Cultural & Religious Values in Sri Lanka

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Cultural and Religious Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan culture has its corner stone in the teachings and philosophies of the Lord Buddha and also much mythical folklore, as told by the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. The documented history of Sri Lanka is shown in the Mahawamsa, and incredibly, in stone carvings dating back to 500,000 BC.
Modern day Sri Lankans mix many elements into their culture, which is also known for its area-specific diversity.

When embarking on a cultural holiday in Sri Lanka, you must understand that you will not only be meeting our genuinely friendly people, you will also be invited into their homes with little or no previous notice, as well as be a recipient of their open hearted generosity.

Cultural and Religious Tours will entail stops in the main locations such as Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth Relic, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa relics and ruins, Dambulla for the Golden Temple as well as the Nallur Murugan Kovil, one of the most significant Hindu Kovils in the Jaffna Peninsula. There are of course many more places of religious and cultural significance and you can always ask us to give you a more comprehensive list, or take a look at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites mentioned on our website.

For the most part, the Sinhalese majority lives in harmony with the Tamil, Muslim, Burgher (Eurasian mix) and other minorities. There are many monuments and edifices across the island nation made to venerate the Buddhist, Catholic - Christian, Hindu and Islam faiths. There are also several locations where several or all of these religious shrines are represented in one location. Even though the country battled a civil war for over three decades in the North eastern part of the island, life in most of the coastal areas and in the business hub of Colombo remained unchanged.

Colonial Occupation

Colonial occupation goes as far back as the 15th century with the Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British taking over the island in succession. Sri Lanka finally gained its independence on February 4, 1968.

Performing Arts

As a result of this multiculturalism, as well as multiple roots and influencers, the local Arts and Literary scene is quite mature and well represented.

Home to a variety of dance styles such as folk, classical and dance drama, Sri Lankans also have within these streams several sub sections such as low country and up country dance styles. Most traditional music will include the flute and the rhythmic Kandyan drums, which can make your blood pound to its hypnotic rhythm.

Cinema and Theatre is also quite advanced with Sinhala Opera being performed on various stages across the island as well as one of Sri Lanka’s most acclaimed and influential filmmakers Lester James Peiris showcasing the island at many international film festivals for the last half century.

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