Culture

The culture of Sri Lanka has been influenced by many factors, but has managed to retain much of its ancient aspects. Mostly it has been influenced by its long history and its Buddhist heritage.South Indian influences are visible in many aspects. There is also some influence from colonization by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The country has a rich artistic tradition, embracing the fine arts, including music, dance, and visual arts. The Sri Lankan lifestyle is reflected in the country’s cuisine, festivals, and sports. Sri Lankan culture is best known abroad for its cricket, food, holistic medicine, religious icons like the Buddhist flag, and cultural exports such as tea, cinnamon and gems. Sri Lankan culture is diverse, as it varies from region to region.

Sri Lanka has had ties with the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. Demographics: Sinhalese 74.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.23%, Indian Tamil 4.16%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.21%, Other 0.6%.

The cuisine of Sri Lanka draws influence from of India, especially from Kerala, as well as colonists and foreign traders. Rice, which is usually consumed daily, can be found at any special occasion, while spicy curries are favourite dishes for lunch and dinner. A very popular alcoholic drink is toddy or arrack, both made from palm tree sap. Rice and curry refers to a range of Sri Lankan dishes. Sri Lankans also eat hoppers (Aappa, Aappam), 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 kiribath, meaning 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 mixed with chili peppers, dried Maldivian fish and lime juice. This is ground to a paste and eaten with rice, as it gives zest to the meal and is believed to increase appetite.

Being one of the largest producers of tea in the world, Sri Lankans drink a lot of tea.There are many tea factories around mountainous areas. Many Sri Lankans drink at least three cups a day. Sri Lanka is also one of the best tea-producing countries in the world and the Royal Family of the United Kingdom has been known to drink Ceylon tea. Tea is served whenever a guest comes to a house, it is served at festivals and gatherings or just for breakfast.

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