Sri Lankan art has been largely influenced by Buddhist tradition and is expressed in various forms including painting, sculpture and architecture. Nature is a recurring theme in Sri Lankan art, as seen in the many temple paintings and carvings representing images of birds, elephants, wild animals, trees and flowers.
Sri Lankan music has been influenced by three dominant cultural traditions -- Buddhism, European colonization (particularly the Portuguese), and historical as well as commercial Indian culture. For example, the hypnotic sound of the Kandyan drums in traditional Sri Lankan music is very much influenced by Buddhism and can still be heard in both Buddhist and Hindu temples today.
When the Portuguese first arrived on the island, they brought with them ukuleles and guitars as well as African slaves called kaffrinha. These slaves also brought their own form of music, further diversifying the musical roots of the island. The dance of the African slaves was known as baila.
Folk music in Sri Lanka is unique to members of different castes and is sung today as a form of cultural expression. However, such music originated as a way to pass the time while one was working. Today, much of Sri Lanka's modern music is influenced by the Bollywood culture in India.
Sinhala: Ow (Yes), Nae (No), Sthuthiyi (Thank you), Sa-dha.ra.yen.piliganimu (You are welcome.), Karuna-ka.ra.la (Please), Sama-wenna. (Excuse me.), Hallo (Hello), Gihin ennam (Goodbye), A-yubo-wan, suba. Udhae-sa.nak (Good morning.), A-yubo-wan, suba. Ra-thriyak (Good night.), Engreesi (English), Oya-ge nama.Mokakdha? (What is your name?), Hambu una eka loku sathutak (Nice to meet you.), Kohomadha. Ithin? (How are you?), Hondha (Good), Nara.ka (Bad)
Sports & Games
Volleyball has long been a favorite sport on the island. However, the national pastime is either watching or playing cricket. Cricket fields are scattered across the island, and when big matches are televised, it's not unusual for businesses to close. In 1996, for example, the whole country shut down when the Sri Lankan team beat Australia in the finals to win the Cricket World Cup.
Rice is a main staple in Sri Lankan cuisine. Flavorful curries are used to make a wide variety of rice dishes ranging from meat or fish-based dishes to vegetables and even fruit. Along with the main curry dish, a typical Sri Lankan meal includes side dishes such as chutneys, pickles and sambols, which can be extremely spicy. Coconut sambol is the most famous and is made from ground coconut, chilies, dried Maldivian fish and lime juice. These ingredients are ground to a paste and eaten with rice. Along with rice and various curries, coconut milk is a common ingredient in Sri Lankan cuisine and gives it its unique flavor.
“Short eats” — a variety of hamburgers, hot dogs, Chinese rolls, patties and pastries — are a popular snack. Mallung is another popular dish, made of chopped leaves, grated coconut and red onions.