Customs and traditions are deeply ingrained in Sri Lankan society and have been past on from one generation to the next, over a period of 2,500 years. These traditions are with day to day life of the island’s four ethnic groups, the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers and their religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The traditional greeting is with clasped palms, a head nod followed by the words ‘Ayubowan’ which translates to ‘May you live long’. The equivalent greeting in Tamil is ‘Vanakkam’, whilst the Muslims will say ‘Assalamu Alaikum.
Traditional attire for Sri Lankans
Sarong – A sarong is a garment consisting of a length of printed or plain cloth. It is worn wrapped about the waist and covers the legs. Sarongs are the standard garment for most men in rural, towns and even some urban communities. In cities, you will see a mix of Western clothes and the traditional sarong.
Sari – A traditional sari consists of six yards of often brightly coloured cloth nicely wrapped around the body in a beautiful and flattering pattern with suited blouse to suite the saree. Women from different parts of the country wear varying styles of saries.