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Sri Lankans celebrating cricket season | © Alexis Gravel / Flickr
Sri Lankans celebrating cricket season | © Alexis Gravel / Flickr

11 Reasons Why We Love Sri Lanka's People

Picture of Orana Velarde
Sri Lanka Hub Writer
Updated: 4 December 2017

Some people will tell you that Sri Lanka’s people, right alongside Thai people, are the friendliest in the world. Many foreigners that visit often or stay on the island for a long time fall in love with its people pretty quickly and may also start new families. Here are 11 reasons why we love Sri Lanka’s people.

Their head wobble

As soon as you get to Sri Lanka, you will notice that when people greet you, they wobble their head. When you ask them something, they wobble their head. Most of the time, they are also smiling while wobbling. This Sri Lankan personality trait is very common.

Their religious diversity

There are four official religions in Sri Lanka and every single one of them is celebrated in its own right. Hinduist, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian holidays are all public holidays. Christmas, for example, is celebrated by everyone!

Their smile

Sri Lankans are laid back and easy on the smiles. It’s true that sometimes they smile because they aren’t understanding what you’re saying but that’s okay too. Better than scowling, right? This can be annoying to some but amusing to most.

Their generosity

Sri Lanka is the eighth most generous country in the world, according to the CAF World Giving Index. This generosity is seen throughout the island, in how people welcome you into their home, always serve you a meal and offer to help in any way. It is unfortunate that some people have taken this idea of generosity and turned it into scams towards tourists. Thankfully though, real generosity is still prevalent.

Their “dance like no one is looking” attitude

Sri Lankan’s love games. At every festive occasion, they play games and have fun competitive activities. Birthday parties will always have dancing contests, musical chairs and other things of that sort. When they are having a party and the music comes on, no one is shy to go all out and have a great time.

Their wide use of the coconut

The way Sri Lankans use coconuts is quite impressive. Like that song in Moana, “Consider the coconut”, Sri Lankans use every single bit of the coconut. To start off, they have a special coconut called the king coconut, which they use for drinking, while the husks are used for making fires. The other more standard coconut is used for making coconut milk and cooking while the husks are again used for making fire. They extract the sap from the king coconut flowers to make honey, treacle and even a special liquor called Arrack.

Their use of three languages

There are three official languages in Sri Lanka and most people speak two of them. Most people speak English but some speak English and Sinhala or English and Tamil. There are some that speak all three. Every single street sign is in all three languages.

Their food

Sri Lankan food is similar to South Indian food but they created their own particular style. Egg hoppers and short eats are so special and unique that people come back to Sri Lanka often just to be able to eat them. If you ever get to eat Sri Lankan food in a family home, you are in for a treat. They will also gladly teach you to eat with your hands.

Their art

Sri Lankan folk art is beautiful and memorable. Sri Lankan folk artists have lots of different skills; puppetry, coloured masks, batik, handloom weaving, costume making, stone sculpture and of course, painting. Let’s not forget the folk dancing done at festivals!

Their festivals

Sri Lanka has around 25 public holidays and almost every single one includes some kind of festival. The most famous festival in Sri Lanka is the Perahera in Kandy that lasts for an entire week. People love to celebrate festivals in Sri Lanka and all visitors are welcome to participate.

Their love of cricket

Cricket is the national sport, but it’s not just a sport! Every year in March, the entire country stops for the Royal Thomian Cricket Match. This is when you see the true nature of Sri Lankans – their love of cricket is quite impressive and spectacular. If you join in, you can truly experience Sri Lanka to the core.