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CULTURE

 

TOP 10 CULTURAL INFLUENCES OF SRI LANKA

1. Sinhalese (North India)

2. Tamils (South India)

3. Veddhas (native aboriginal people)

4. Muslims (Arabs and North Africans)

5. Portuguese

6. Dutch (Netherlands, including Swiss mercenaries)

7. British (including Scottish, Welsh and Irish)

8. Chinese

9. Malays (Indonesia and Malaysia)

10. Others (French, German, Danes, Sikhs, Afghans, Jews)

 

TOP 10 TRADITIONAL COSTUMES OF SRI LANKA

1. Sarong (full-length or knee-length worn by men)

2. Sari (worn by women)

3. Hatta and Redda (traditional dress worn by women)

4. Ariyasinhala (National Costume usually worn by male politicians)

5. Batik (shirts, dresses, blouses, etc, worn by men and women)

6. Lungi (more modern version of the Hatta and Redda, worn by women)

7. Kandyan (different costumes for men and women)

8. Verti (Sarong worn in a different manner by Tamil men)

9. Buddhist Monk Robes (saffron)

10. Amuday (g-string undergarment worn by traditional rice farmers)

 

TOP 10 NATIONAL SYMBOLS OF SRI LANKA

1. Blue Water Lily (National Flower)

2. Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl (National Bird)

3. Elephant (National Animal)

4. Sri Lanka Birdwing (National Butterfly)

5. Ceylon Ironwood (National Tree)

6. Blue Sapphire (National Gemstone)

7. Rice and Curry (National Food)

8. Arrack (National Alcoholic Drink)

9. Peacock (National Airline Logo)

10. Baila (National Music - unofficial)

 

TOP 10 ETHNIC GROUPS IN SRI LANKA

1. Sinhalese (descendents from people who arrived from north India)

2. Sri Lanka Tamils (descendents of people who arrived from south India)

3. Moors (descendents of Arab traders from Arabia, Africa and India)

4. Indian Tamils (descendents of tea plantation works brought by the British)

5. Sri Lanka Malays (descendents of Malaysians/Indonesians brought by the Dutch/British)

6. Burghers (descendents of marriages between Dutch and Sri Lankans)

7. Eurasians (descendents of marriages between British/Irish and Sri Lankans)

8. Veddhas (descendents of aboriginal people going back into the pre-history of humans)

9. Chinese (descendents of people brought by the Dutch/British and independent migrants)

10. Kaffirs (descendents of marriages between Portuguese/Africans and Sri Lankans)

 

TOP 10 TRADITIONAL HANDICRAFTS OF SRI LANKA

1. Clay Pottery – One of the oldest handicrafts in Sri Lanka

2. Wood Carvings, Wood Masks and Lacquer Products

3. Metal Work – Brass and Silver

4. Batik – Indonesian origin but with a distinctive Sri Lankan style

5. Handloom Textiles – Cotton and Silk

6. Weaving – Using fibre similar to Jute

7. Reed and Rush Products – Coconut, Cane and Bamboo

8. Jewellery – Gold, Silver and Gemstones

9. Beeralu Lace – Introduced by the Portuguese and the Dutch

10. Musical Instruments – Drums (Bera) and Cymbals (Thalampata)

 

TOP 10 TRADITIONAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF SRI LANKA

1. Drum (Bera) – Gata Bera, Yak Bera, Dawula, Tavil, Dholak, Udekki, Tammattama

2. Conch Shell Horn (Hak Gediya)

3. Violin (Ravanahatha) – Considered to be the world’s first violin

4. Clarinet or Oboe (Horanawa – Temple Clarinet)

5. Cymbal - Thalampata, Panthru

6. One-sided Drum (Rabana) – Hand Rabana, Bench Rabana

7. Horn (Sringa, Ranasringa) – Naga Sinnam, Kombu: Ancient musical instruments

8. Flute (Susira) – Vas Danda (Bamboo Flute)

9. String Instruments – Veena, Yachaka Veena

10. Striking of sticks or metals – Lee-Keli (wooden sticks), Talam-pota (metal sticks or balls)

 

TOP 10 OLD MEDICAL REMEDIES OF SRI LANKA

1. Siddhalepa Ayurvedic Balm – relieve body aches and pains

2. Kothamalli (Coriander Water) – Remedy for colds

3. Kanji (Congee in Chinese) – Remedy for colds

4. Samahan

5. Paspanguwa

6. Morison Gripe Mixture

7. Morawaka Asamodagam

8. Valmelix Cough Syrup

9. Castor Oil

10. Venivelgeta

 

TOP 10 OLD FURNITURE OF SRI LANKA

1. Pettagama (Storage Box)

2. Almirah (Wardrobe/Cupboard)

3. Four-Poster Bed

4. Octagon Table

5. Double-Sided Couch (Settee, Dutch Sofa) (Kavichchiya)

6. Single Sided Couch (Reclining Settee)

7. Planters Chair (Haansi-Putuwa)

8. Rocking Chair

9. Burgomaster Chair

10. Short Footstool (Kolombuwa)

 

TOP 10 DANCES OF SRI LANKA

1. Tamil Folk Dance - Koothu, Kummi

2. Classical Indian Temple Dance - Bharata Natyum

3. Kandyan (Kandy area) - Uda Rata Nadum: Accompanied by drums and cymbals

4. Sabaragamuwa (Ratnapura area) – Sabaragamuwa Natum: To seek the blessings of the God Saman

5. Low Country – Pahatharata Natum: To seek the blessings of the Goddess Pattini for good harvests or to ward off evil spirits.

6. Devil Dances – Yakun Natum: Dancers wearing masks

7. Folk Dances – Associated with folk festivities

8. Drama Dances – Kolam: Dancers wear masks of officials and politicians

9. Portuguese Creole Dance – Kaffringha: Popular folk tradition in coastal districts

10. Folk Art Dance – Baila: Modern adaptation from Kaffringha using violin, drums and modern musical instruments.

 

TOP 10 SUPERSTITIONS OF SRI LANKA

1. Breaking a mirror – brings seven years of bad luck to the person who broke it

2. Spilling salt – warning that evil spirits are nearby; take salt in the right hand and toss it over the left shoulder to prevent the evil spirits getting close

3. Black cat crossing in front of a person – mischief will be caused because it is a witch that has transformed into the black cat

4. Friday the 13th – very unlucky day; if you are born on Friday the 13th then this will be your lucky day

5. Cry of the Loris – summoning of devils to your house or an impending death among family and friends

6. Bite of a rat snake (Garendiya) – no other snake will bite that person because he or she has been bitten by a low-caste snake

7. Bird droppings on the head – good luck is imminent; quickly buy a lottery ticket on the very same day

8. Chirp of the house Gecko – Gives agreement to a point-of-view or a course of action; “Listen, even the Gecko agrees.”

9. Crow cawing loudly and incessantly near the house in the morning – you will have visitors that day

10. Burning a Krait (Maapilla) that has been killed – otherwise seven other Maapillas will come to take revenge on the person and family that killed the snake

 

TOP 10 AMUSING PHRASES OF SRI LANKA

1. All Fart, No Shit! (AFNS) – someone who talks a lot but doesn’t follow with action

2. Come or Go, Chicago! – continue regardless of the outcome or what happens

3. GROBR (Good Riddance of Bad Rubbish) – someone or something is no longer around

4. Parangiya Kotte Giya! – going to the destination in a circuitous route

5. Kandy Looking, Colombo Going! – no sense of direction or no coherence when talking

6. Farting into the Wind – continuing to argue a lost cause

7. Dead Rope (or D-Rope) – letting someone down, especially not showing up

8. Playing the Merry Devil – to muck around without thought of the consequences

9. Gave him Tight – to verbally put an arrogant, haughty or pugnacious person in his place 

10. Nava Gilunath band choon – Even if the ship is sinking the band plays on

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