Sri Lanka – The Ocean Pearl

December 22nd, 2018

Sri Lanka is an island neighboring India with many cultural elements typical for Southeast Asia. It’s usually known for its beautiful, tropical beaches, as they are common destinations for tourists. Its nickname, Ocean Pearl, speaks of its very clean and hospitable sand beaches, but also of the old job of pearl-hunting, that used to be an occupation in the country. Sri Lanka also appears in the tale of Ramayana. It is a predominantly Buddhist country, a fact that has become known worldwide when a Buddhist man claimed he has not eaten in 5 years.SRI LANKA

Sri Lankans abide a social hierarchy similar to the Indian one, albeit less strict. Castes don’t mix between each other and the Tamil community is quite large. Sri Lanka has one of the oldest flags in the world and used to be called Ceylon. If the name rings a bell to you, it’s probably because of the Ceylon tea. The country is the biggest tea producer and used to have coffee plantations in the past. Depending on the region, common foods include curry, rice, coconut milk or appam (string hoppers). Some people season their fruits, no matter how sweet, with salt and pepper.

People from Sri Lanka are friendly and open to socialize. They respect their families so don’t talk badly about your parents or siblings. Family gatherings can get quite noisy and are usually very joyful, with tons of food in sight. Members should earn the respect of the community and do their best to help the others; otherwise, the entire family loses face. Face is more of a moral code, similar to ‘dignity’ or ‘integrity’. Criticism or wrongdoings can cause a loss of face or humiliation, so Sri Lankans avoid voicing negative feedback or accusations. They are tactful and beat around the bush if they’re under pressure. Be aware, shaking your head from left to right means yes, unlike the Western gesture.


At work, they are formal, serious and cold. Once the program is over, the Sri Lankans changes completely. They enjoy hanging around with friends and socializing usually involves food. Nightlife is not that exciting, except for Colombo. Sri Lankans have their own dance called Baila. People may show up uninvited at your door since friends don’t announce each other of their visit.

Ask one of them to take you to Udawalawe National Park. Sri Lanka has a considerable elephant populace and you can admire it from here. Some other natural reservations include wild animals and breathtaking landscapes. No matter where you are, you can get to the beach. For a bit of history, go to Sigiriya. Sri Lankan nature is a perfect place for trekking. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth awaits for you if you are interested in a more spiritual experience.