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  • Last Updated: 08th December 2016

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Sri Lanka - Lifestyle & culture

Sri Lanka has a wildly diverse and beautiful culture, which spreads to every corner of the country. The island comprises a rich religious culture that can be felt throughout the streets and seen in ancient sights and countless celebrations. This sits alongside stunning natural beauty that contrasts with the beach vibes emitting from the shores.

With the diverse scenery comes an equally diverse wildlife collective, which all work together to create the island’s vibrant and colourful culture. Finally let’s not forget the delicious food on offer here; with multiple Asian influences converging on one island, you’ll be in store for culinary treats beyond belief.

Poya

Religion is a huge part of Sri Lankan culture, with Buddhism and Hinduism being the main religious influences. However, according to Islamic folklore this is the island where Adam and Eve were given refuge, following their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Due to the large population of those practising Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the Buddhist holiday of Uposatha is celebrated regularly. Also known as Poya, it’s a civil and bank holiday that occur every full moon.

Therefore there are 12 or 13 Poya days each year, which see celebrations across the island, alongside temple worship and thought on these extremely religious days. At this time shops and businesses tend to close, and alcohol and meat sales are forbidden. Experiencing one of the varying Poya days is a great way to truly immerse yourself in Sri Lankan culture.

Wildlife and natural beauty

With 13% of Sri Lanka being conserved as national parks, sanctuaries, reserves and jungle corridors, it’s no wonder it’s known as having one the world’s best degrees of biodiversity. In fact the island has been named one of the top 34 biodiversity hot spots in the world by Conservation International.

With this comes a wide range of wildlife ranging from elephants, leopard, giant squirrels and monkeys, to snakes, crocodiles and an ever growing amphibian population, and many many more, you’ll be lost for words. You can observe many of these great species throughout the country, with a safari being available in one of the national parks; giving you the chance get even closer than normal.

Next to this you can observe and enjoy the delightful scenery, which is more diverse than many places across the globe. Enjoy long walks or lounge on the soft sand beaches, or explore the rocky coves, lagoons, wetlands, rivers and jungles. You name it, Sri Lanka has it.

Brisbane is well noted for its live music scene. Visit venues such as The Zoo, The Globe and The Tivoli, found in Fortitude Valley, and find out what the buzz is about.

At The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts on Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley you can find exhibitions and festivals of visual art, music and dance.

With mist shrouded mountains, tree plantations and rolling hillside to contrast all this, visiting Sri Lanka is like visiting several different holiday landscapes in one.

Dining

In a country that has seen many foreign influences over the decades; the dining opportunities are out of this world.

An island that loves spice, your pallet will experience various delightful curries featuring fish, chicken, eggplant or potato alongside rice, which is a staple on the country’s plate. Seafood lovers will also be in their element as culinary delights like crayfish, crab, squid and fresh fish are all readily available to you. Fresh fruit is also a staple of many people’s diet here, so mango, banana, pineapple and papaya are widely available to keep you refreshed.

Ensure you try out many unique staples of the Sri Lankan diet such as hoppers, cutlets, patties, malu pang and kimbula bunis, which will all help broaden your experience of this delightful and warming country.