Sri Lanka From Your Living Room
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SRI LANKAN CULTURE WITH A CUP OF CEYLON
Getting accustomed to a country before visiting is a great way to fully understand its culture. Sri Lanka’s history is challenging and enthralling and is definitely worth learning a bit about before visiting. So, why not dive into a book and sink into your sofa with a cup of Sri Lanka’s finest tea, Ceylon. One sip and you’ll be transported over to the island’s luscious tea fields. Below are some great books on Sri Lankan culture.
This Divided Island- Stories From The Sri Lankan War, written by Samantha Subramanian, a journalist from New Delhi, gives a fascinating insight into the Sri Lankan War that struck the island for many years. Understanding the war is a wonderful way to get to know the people, and will give you knowledge few visitors have.
A Village In The Jungle by Leonard Woolf is possibly one of the best Sri Lankan novels. Woolf spent eight years in Sri Lanka between 1904 and 1912. The story unravels his personal hardships and mysteries of life in the tropics. His period in Sri Lanka gave Woolf first-hand insight into what it’s like to live in the deep, hot, intense jungle.
Island Of A Thousand Mirrors, written by Sri Lankan writer, Nayomi Munaweera gives a young perspective of the Sri Lankan conflict. Her book, tells the story of a Sinhala girl and a Tamil girl that surpass the conflict of their cultures. Sinhala and Tamil are two prominent ethnic groups in Sri Lanka.
GET DOWN WITH THE LOCALS WITH SOME LOCAL LANGUAGE
Sri Lankans love it when we speak their language. Whip out a phrase or two and your tuk driver or waiter will be grinning from ear to ear. The most prominent language is Sinhalese, spoken widely throughout the country, followed by Tamil found mostly heard in the north and east coast. So here are some good to know phrases in Sinhalese to help you on your way.
Hello - Ayubowan (a-yu-bow-an)
How are you? - Ko-ho-ma-dha (ko-ho-ma-du)
Thank you - Stutiyi (s-tutti)
My name is… - Ma-ge na-ma… (ma-ga-na-ma)
Let’s go - Ya-mu (ya-mo)
HAVE A DANCE TO SOME SRI LANKAN MUSIC
Sri Lankan music brightens up everyone's day. It has its roots in influences like Bollywood, European baila and folk and it’s so cheery and upbeat. The Gypsies are a great baila band that will no doubt get you dancing around your living room to the sweet sounds of Sri Lanka.
Other great, popular artists to check out are Chandraleka Perera and Marians. In fact, why not search Sri Lanka in Spotify and see what you discover.
COOK UP A DHAL-ITFUL DHAL
Although cooking dhal is more like Sri Lanka from your kitchen, we couldn’t miss trying some Sri Lankan cuisine. Inspired by Southern India, Sri Lanka's national dish is rice and curry and they eat it for most meals. Fiery, flavoursome and tangy, we’d say they’re some of the best. One of our favourite’s dhal and it’s so easy to make. Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a go.
200g Red Lentils
1 Onion finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves grated
0.5 tbsp fresh ginger grated
1 Coconut cream
1 Veggie stock cube
200g Tomatoes finely chopped and fresh
2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp Ground coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
Chilli flakes (measure depending on how spicy you like it)
1. Heat coconut oil in pan and add chopped onion. Sauté until lightly golden and translucent.
2. Add grated ginger, garlic and spices. Fry on low heat until sizzling
3. Add chopped tomatoes to make a paste. Mix well.
4. Add red lentils, coconut cream and 500ml veggie stock water. Mix well.
5. Cook until the water has absorbed and lentils are soft.
6. Garish with fresh coriander and eat with rice and roti.
Now you’ve made your creamy dhal, why not eat it in real Sri Lankan style, with your hands. That’s right, the Sri Lankan’s eat mostly with their right hand and save their left for drinking. OK, we know that’s not for everyone and lets be honest, if you haven’t yet mastered the Sri Lankan technique, it could get messy, so why not tuck into your Sri Lankan feast in front of a film set on the beautiful teardrop island instead (scroll for more info).
CHILL OUT TO AN EPIC FILM SET IN SRI LANKA
Here’s a classic film shot in Sri Lanka that will get you even more excited to visit.
Did you know Steven Spielberg’s, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Doom was set in Sri Lanka? Yep, even the blockbuster movies get shot on this small, exotic island. In 1935, archaeologist Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
So, there you have it. A Sri Lankan experience without even leaving the house. If that’s got you excited for the trip of a lifetime, then check out our Sri Lanka tour here! Elephant safaris at Udawalawe National Park, surfing on the south coast with the locals, taking rides on the most scenic Kandy to Ella train ride, hiking to reach epic viewpoints all await!