Sri Lanka Essay Writing
Sri Lankan Culture
Culture varies from one country to another. In Sri Lanka, there is a distinctive culture and civilization inherited from the ancient times. It is important to state that Sri Lanka has a unique art, food culture, historical writings, unique attire, exceptional ceremonies and festivals, distinctive religious beliefs and historical sites (Winslow &Woost, 2004). The prevalent culture of Sri Lanka blends contemporary aspects with ancient elements, and the Sri Lanka has come to be known for its unique regional diversity (Hennayake, 2006). It is evident that Sri Lankan culture is heavily influenced by the heritage of Buddhism that originated from India. In the northern region of the country there are prominent Indian cultural influences. The many years of colonial rule has also left an indelible mark in the way of life of Sri Lankans. British, Portuguese and Dutch elements are mixed with various traditional aspects to form the contemporary culture.
Sri Lanka has a fabulous artistic tradition, with unique creative elements that include visual arts, music and dance. One of the most well-known essentials of the Sri Lankan culture is the fusion of cricket into their way of life (Winslow &Woost, 2004). This paper will provide a thorough exploration of the Sri Lankan culture.
Milk is a food that has high cultural value to the Sri Lankans. The Pasgorasa which is an important dish is made from a mixture of milk, wendaru (a species of sweet potatoes) and gee. The information given above clearly indicates that Sri Lanka possesses a rich food culture inherited from ancient civilizations. Even so, there have been various modifications over the years, and most of these changes have been influenced by the Indian culture. For instance the food items such as string hoppers (Indi Appa), hoppers (Appa) and Wade all come from India. During the European occupation a wide range of food items from Britain, Portuguese and Dutch were also introduced to Sri Lanka (State Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 2015). Some of the vegetables such as Leaks, Mangoes and Pineapples that are prevalent in all parts of the country originated from the west. The boondi, watalappam and musket were cultural foods that were inherited from the Muslims who interacted with Sri Lanka through trade and social events (Holt, 2011).
Being the largest tea producer in the globe, Sri Lankans drink a lot of tea. Tea has become an important element of the Sri Lankan culture. Majority of Sri Lankans drink a lot of tea, and as expected there are many tea factories in the highland areas that are predominantly tea zones (State Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 2015). It is reported that majority of Sri Lankans drink an average of three cups of tea every day (Fernando, 2007). Tea is always served to a guest visit a home inhabited by a Sri Lankan. Tea is also served in gathering, festivals and any social events. The diagram below shows one of the tea estates in Sri Lankan highlands.
Tea Estate in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is well known all over the world for its wide- range of spices. The most popular and widely known spices are the cinnamon which is indigenous species. Between the14th-16th, merchants from different parts of the globe introduced new cuisines to Sri Lanka, and brought forth numerous cooking techniques (Holt, 2011). Majority of people use spices abundantly in their delicacies, and in many cases they do not adhere to any precise recipe. In this light, every food curry has a different aroma and taste since different spices are used depending on the preference of a person (State Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 2015). It is worth noting that Sri Lankan cuisines are popular around the world. Some of the most notable are the amu miris, tamil milakaai and kochchi miris. In food prepared for community events and festivals less species are used and so is that which is prepared for tourists.
Spice shop in Sri Lanka
There are many festivals throughout celebrated at different times and by different social groups in the country. One of the most popular festivals is the Tamil New Year celebration and Sinhala which normally take place in April (Winslow &Woost, 2004). The New Year is ushered with traditional games and different religious activities. In these festivals, Sri Lankans wear special traditional dresses. In August there is one more popular festival called the Esala Perahera, which is a Buddhists festival with lots of fire dancing, and cultural music (Holt, 2011). In this festival Sri Lankans wear elaborate costumes along with bejeweled elephants. The diagram below depicts Sri Lankans celebrating one of the Esala Perahera festivals with balls of fire in the month of August (Winslow &Woost, 2004).
Dancers in one of the Esala Perahera festivals
Religious and Historical Sites
Sri Lanka is also home to eight different world heritage sites. One of the most prominent cultural sites is the Sigiriya, which is a traditional site with a rock that is 66o feets (Winslow &Woost, 2004). At one time in the history of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya was home to a wonderful palace which was decorated with excellent frescoes. In the course of history the site has also served as a Buddhists monastery (Holt, 2011). Today, Sigiriya is a popular spot for tourists and a principal model of urban planning. The diagram below shows the Rock fortress Sigiriya.
Arts and crafts
Many of the different forms of crafts and arts derive inspiration from the country’s enduring Buddhist culture that has also absorbed and swallowed countless local and regional norms. In most cases, Sri Lankan art emanates from traditional and religious beliefs, and is depicted in numerous forms such as architecture, paintings and sculpture (Holt, 2011). One of the prominent aspects of Sri Lankan art are temple and cave paintings, the most notable being the frescoes found at the Sigiriya. The most notable religious paintings can be found in Dambulla. There are other noteworthy forms of art that have been influenced by both the native and foreign colonizers. An excellent example is the clay pottery and wooden handicraft located on the mountainous regions. Majority of the Sri Lankans are Buddhist meaning that the country is home to many and different Buddhists Temples (Winslow &Woost, 2004). Many locals and religious leaders pray at these temples daily, and majority of them are also open to travelers and other visitors. Below is a diagram of a one of the most notable temple in Sri Lanka.
A gilded bronze statue at one of the Temples in Sri Lanka
Different cultural forms are good illustrations that Sri Lanka’s culture circumnavigates around religion. Majority of Sri Lankans Buddhists observe Poya days once per month in line with the lunar calendar. The Muslims and Hindus also observe their own festivals and holidays (Winslow &Woost, 2004). Majority of people are very religious as a result of the long contact with many religious at different times in history. As mentioned above there are numerous Buddhists temples that have served as a place of worship for many Sri Lankans generations. In the North-eastern region of the island, there are numerous Hindu temples, owing to the fact that majority of the settlers in these areas are Tamil (Fernando, 2007). In the Southern Part of the country a number of churches can be found because of the Protestant and Roman Catholic legacy, however Buddhists are found in any part of the island and theyform the largest religious group in the country.
Sinhala is the most spoken language in Sri Lanka, and majority of the speakers are the Sinahalese people. Due to the huge number of Sri Lankans who use Sinhalese (17 million) the language has been acknowledged as one of the official languages in Sri Lanka (Holt, 2011). In the Northern part of the island that is predominantly occupied by the Tamil, the main language is the Tamil.
With a population of more than 20 million people, and different ethnic and religious groups Sri Lanka has one of the most diverse culture in the globe. In Sri Lanka, there is a distinctive culture and civilization inherited from the ancient times. Sri Lanka has a Unique art, food culture, historical writings, unique attire, exceptional ceremonies and festivals, distinctive religious beliefs and historical sites (Winslow &Woost, 2004). The current culture of Sri Lanka blends contemporary aspects with ancient elements, and is the country has come to be known for its unique regional diversity.