Lifestyle

This small 65610 sq km island is no short of diversity when it comes to culture and lifestyles. The cuisine of Sri Lanka is influenced by that of India as well as colonists and foreign traders. Rice is usually consumed daily, and it can be found at any special occasion, while spicy curries are favourite dishes for lunch and dinner. Rice and curry refers to a range of Sri Lankan dishes. Sri Lankans also eat hoppers which can be found anywhere in Sri Lanka.

Much of Sri Lanka's cuisine consists of boiled or steamed rice served with spicy curry. Another well-known rice dish is "milk rice". Curries in Sri Lanka are not just limited to meat or fish-based dishes; there are also vegetable and even fruit curries. A typical Sri Lankan meal consists of a "main curry" (fish, chicken, or mutton), as well as several other curries made with vegetable and lentils. Side-dishes include pickles, chutneys and "sambols" which can sometimes be fiery hot. The most famous of these is the coconut sambol, made of scraped coconut, chili peppers, dried Maldivian fish and lime juice. This gives extra zest to the meal and is believed to increase the appetite. Coconut milk is found in most Sri Lankan dishes and it gives the cuisine its unique flavor.

Sri Lanka’s street food culture is dominated by multi-cultural aspects. Foremost among them is ‘Kottu’, a mouthwatering meal made out of rotti, local spices and your favorite meat. Savoring a kottu is among the bucket list of any traveller.

With a population composed of many a races and religions, Sri Lanka is never short of festivals and celebrations. Every month brings a celebration, either of religious or cultural importance.

The Sinhala-Tamil New year festival in April is the most important cultural festival in the country. The festival marks the beginning of the New Year and the end of harvesting season. A lengthy holiday and a table full of oily delicacies and sweets make the New Year festival one of the long awaited festivals in the country.

The May full moon poya day or Vesak is the most important religious celebration in Sri Lanka, where Buddhists celebrate the nativity, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha. Sri Lankans of every religion, crowd the roads to enjoy Vesak decorations including pandals and lanterns and many a makeshift alm houses that line the roads offering every food item from beverages, dessert to main meals.

In August are the Esala festivals in Kandy and Kataragama. The Kataragama Esala Festival is a multi-religious festival where devotes use fire walking and extreme self-penance to shows their piety to Lord Kataragama. The Kandy Esala Perahera or the Dalada Perahera is the largest cultural parade in the world and showcases the best of Sri Lankan dancing and music and the best of the domesticated tuskers in the country.

Sri Lankan music is mainly influenced from Buddhism and Portuguese colonizers. With them came, cantiga ballads, the ukulele, and guitars, along with African slaves, who further diversified the musical roots of the island. These slaves were called kaffrinha, and their dance music was called Baila. Today Sri Lankan parties and sports events rarely function without Sri Lankan Baila music. Traditional Sri Lankan music includes the hypnotic Kandyan drums and is very much a part of music in both Buddhist and Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. Most western parts of Sri Lanka follow western dancing and music.

The sport of Cricket is a ‘religion’ which unites this heterogeneous land. Being crowned World Champions twice, the national Cricket team of the island is a dominant force in world Cricket. The ‘Mecca’ of this cricket-crazy nation, the symbolic venue of RPS is nestled in Central Colombo amidst the hustle and bustle of the big city. On match day, the boisterous reverberation by the ‘papare bands’ and the ardent fans not only eclipse the sounds of the city, but also reflects the unique identity of Sri Lankan Cricket.

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