Cultural traditions and customs are highly respected in Sri Lanka. Theravada Buddhism has long dominated the culture, and the religion is particularly strong in the country’s southern and central regions. Before you go, be conscious of these handy tips on the custom.
Using Right Hand In Sri Lanka.
Like many people around the world, Sri Lankans don’t use utensils, yet eating on their right hand with the fingertips. To travelers who don’t want to do the same thing, if you ask politely, most restaurants may offer cutlery. When shaking hands or handing money and small objects to someone else, it’s polite to use your right hand. It is totally acceptable if you use both hands for something big and heavy.
Respect The Culture Of Buddhism In Sri Lanka.
Buddhism is Sri Lanka’s dominant religion, and Buddhism is more than 70% of the population. The rest follow Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity. Never reach or rub a Buddhist monk’s top head, including kids in temples. They must be regarded as the community’s religious leaders. Don’t turn your back on a nearby Buddha statue. Look at the behavior of the local people around you if in doubt. It involves posing for photos as it’s okay to take a picture of a statue, but anybody in the picture should be facing Buddha, not standing next to the statue or with their back.
Next, do not wear any clothes with Buddha or any other god. It could be viewed as disrespectful and insensitive and possibly resulting arrested by the authorities. Always be respectful to monks, if you are on a crowded bus and give them a seat. Once you reach a temple, cover your shoulders and legs and remove your shoes and head wear before going inside. The same rules of attire apply to Hindu temples. Besides that, you should always remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.
Photographer’s Paradise In Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s vibrant colors and culture make it the paradise of a photographer. However, until taking pictures, there are a few things to consider. Many places require a permit, which covers photography, filming, parking and entry fees, depending on where you intend to take pictures. Usually, these sites are allowed to take pictures in between 6 am and 10 am. Never take pictures at sensitive places such as in shopping malls and inside factories.
Be particularly careful about the Fort at Colombo. Put your camera away if there are local soldiers standing guard. Do not rely solely on signs, as they are old or unreliable at times. There have been cases where the police detained foreign nationals after snap pictures of the buildings or vehicles used by VIP’s. Such places are located in the central Colombo. You may find snake charmers in Colombo. Always remember, never pay for photographs because there is a movement around the world to prohibit this cruel and immoral practice.
Social Manners In Sri Lanka.
Public Displays of Affection (PDA) such as kissing and hugging are prohibited in Sri Lanka. PDA is considered private actions in Sri Lanka but is usually acceptable in functions and locations like nightclubs, casinos and beach parties. Throughout Sri Lanka, public nudity is illegal. So, if you are hoping to have a skinny dip and sunbathe naked or shirtless, stick to the private beach resorts that make it possible.
But, inquire first to avoid embarrassment. Checkpoints for protection are normal. You must always bring on you a form of official photo identification, but keep them safe from possible pickpockets. It is advised to behave like the locals do. The best way to avoid being offensive to someone and eventually get into trouble is, to learn and behave like them.
There are different cultures in different countries. This means that if you don’t know the country’s culture you are visiting, you may disregard their culture without even thinking about it. This is just one explanation why before you visit the country, you should know a country’s culture.
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