From one set of avid travellers to another, it is always best to do a little homework before you visit a new country – what’s entirely acceptable in one may be considered appalling in another. Every destination comes with its own set of people, values, aspirations and culturally acceptable behaviour. Read on to find out the 4 things you should totally avoid when visiting Sri Lanka:
Don’t disrespect their culture
Sri Lankans are very proud of their rich cultural heritage. Make sure not to disrespect their religion or culture in any way, intentionally or unintentionally. When visiting a Buddhist or Hindu temple, be mindful of the etiquette – remove your shoes and headgear and cover your shoulders and legs. If you’re doubtful, just follow what everyone else is doing.
#YohoTip Being photographed against a Buddha image (such that your back is facing the image) is often frowned upon. Avoid it.
Don’t skip train rides
The best way to experience Sri Lanka and enjoy a truly authentic experience is to hop on a train. This will give you a chance to chat up locals, see the countryside from a new viewpoint and of course, you’ll gather innumerable memories to take back home. The trains don’t match up to bullet speed but that’s the beauty of it – you get to soak in the buzzing atmosphere, with hot cuppas of tea and great conversation keeping you company.
Don’t eat with your left hand
Sri Lankans enjoy eating their food using their hands – especially curries and rice. If you’re encouraged to do so, make sure to use only your right hand since the left hand is reserved for holding the plate or cleaning.
To eat with your hands, mix your food, roll up the rice using your forefingers and then gently push it in your mouth with your thumb.
Don’t compromise on your stay requirements
Sri Lanka is lined with a host of comfortable, budget-friendly options to stay during your holiday. There’s no reason why you should compromise on amenities such as breakfast and WiFi when there’s a Yoho Bed at every corner. From hotels in Narahenpita to apartments in Colombo, find yourself a space that best matches your needs and suits your vibe.
One of the best things about Sri Lanka is the people and their hospitality. Be it Nuwara Eliya, Wellawatta hotels or any other tourist hotspot across the island, don’t refrain from asking for help whenever you need it, the locals will be more than happy to guide you.
Featured image by Cheri Fernando.