Sri Lanka: an amazing country with interesting traditions and customs
Going on a trip to Sri Lanka, we are not only looking for beautiful hotels and clean beaches. We want to learn more about the world and better understand ourselves. Therefore, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the traditions and customs in Sri Lanka in order to better understand this beautiful exotic country.
Greetings in Sri Lanka
The traditional greeting in Sri Lanka is a small nod of the head, which is accompanied by folding your hands in a traditional prayer gesture. Usually greeted by older people. Such a greeting is obligatory in temples and monasteries. In everyday life, modern Sri Lankans greet us with the usual handshake.
Important! When greeting, never touch the person with your left hand. In Sri Lanka, it is generally not customary to do anything with the left hand – neither take food, nor say hello, or give gifts. The left hand is considered “unclean” for Sri Lankans, it is intended only for hygienic needs!
Religion is an important part of life in Sri Lanka
On the island, Buddhism is considered the most important religion. It is professed by 70% of the inhabitants. An equal number of adherents of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity – 10% each. In general, in Sri Lanka they are very loyal to any beliefs. Sri Lankans do not believe that one religion can be more important or more correct than another. Therefore, on the island by the road you can meet a small statue of Buddha, and next to it – a statue of Christ. Only here Christ in Sri Lanka is pacified and detached, like Buddha. No crucifixes and torment!
Important! There is a rule on the island – it doesn’t matter what religion you practice, but you must respect the Buddha, observe the traditions and rules of behavior in temples and monasteries. You can’t be photographed with your back to the Buddha, all the more so – climbing a monument. Watch the children carefully. In relation to Buddha, Sri Lankans do not forgive even innocent childish pranks.
Be sure to leave a tip if they are not automatically included in the bill.
In large hotels and restaurants, gratuities are often already included in the bill. In all other cases, if you are satisfied with the service, be sure to leave at least 10% of the tip. Do not forget that on the island, for example, guides and baggage carriers work only for tips. Tipping is customary to leave to taxi drivers and just locals who told you the way.
Important! To make a pleasant Sri Lankan you can give him a small souvenir. As with tips, Sri Lankans do not expect much reward. For example, in a hotel and restaurant you will be thanked for an interesting lighter, and the inhabitants of the island will be happy with an unusual and beautiful fountain pen.
Sri Lanka traffic is governed by only three rules
It is convenient to rent a moped or bicycle to get around the island. Just avoid driving on your own in busy cities. Sri Lanka traffic obeys only three rules:
The one with the big car is right.
The one who has an expensive car is right.
Always right is the one who is bolder and who has a louder tone.
Therefore, Europeans who are accustomed to other traffic rules find it difficult to adapt on the roads of Sri Lanka.
Important! Public transport in Sri Lanka is a lot of buses. Be careful, bus drivers are real extreme sportsmen. At stops, they slow down slightly, and passengers have to jump on the go. Yes, the doors, as a whole and the windows, in public transport in Sri Lanka do not close!
In Sri Lanka, it is not customary to touch unfamiliar women
On the island you will repeatedly see men hugging or holding hands. This is a familiar manifestation of friendship among Sri Lankans. Women in Sri Lanka are reluctant to touch men who are members of the family. Therefore, the female hotel administrator will offer you to shake hands if she considers this appropriate. And to hug a woman on the street or to take a picture with her, you need to ask permission.
Donation accepted before going on the road
In Sri Lanka, you will come across the fact that there are toll roads. But the Lankans have their own pleasant tradition – to leave donations to the Buddha temple before setting off on the road. When your vacation is over and you will be leaving the hotel for the airport, be sure to put a few rupees in a special box near the road.
When you leave the hospitable and joyful Sri Lanka, do not forget to buy yourself and your friends real Ceylon tea. Sri Lanka is the world’s largest tea producer after India and China. This small country produces 10% of the world’s tea volume. You will definitely find there a sort of tea that you want to treat your friends to!