Get Great Deals On Your Maldives Trip. Up to 40% OFF!
Srilankan etiquettes
Written by Shamanthika on May 28, 2021 Share on

Best Sri Lankan Etiquettes – Interesting Local Customs In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful beaches, temple ruins, tropical climate, tea plantations and warm people. Lying between the Southern part of India and Southeast Asia, this spectacular country has an alluring history. The country’s unique culture and natural beauty are pulling tourist from all over the world. When you are here in the country, stroll along the quaint little village roads, observe the birds and wildflowers and enjoy traditional Sri Lankan dishes. Being blessed with vibrant history and culture, the country is also known for its Etiquettes. If you are a tourist visiting the country for the first time, you must know about the best Sri Lankan etiquette. Wondering how to learn about Sri Lankan etiquettes before travelling? Worry not, we have listed all of them here in the blog post. Enjoy reading about the local customs and traditions in the country. Here are the best Sri Lankan etiquettes.


Sri Lanka Package Starting @ ₹14,562


Also read: Best places to visit in Sri Lanka for a memorable Vacation

Buddha Statue
Image Source: Unsplash

Best Sri Lankan Etiquettes – Before you visit the Sri Lankan Country

In Sri Lankan country, cultural customs and traditions are very significant. Buddhism is the dominant religion in Sri Lanka. The remaining population are followers of Hinduism, Islam or Christianity. We have put together the best Sri Lankan etiquette below:

Greet the Sri Lankan way!

Is this your first time in Sri Lanka? Wanna know how people greet each other as per the Sri Lankan culture? They tend to greet with their hands clasped together. With a slight bow of the head, they indicate respect for others.

  • Generally, the older generation of Sri Lankans uses “namaste” to greet elders.
  • The Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka tell “ayubowan” ( which literally means ‘you be blessed with a long life’)
  • The Sri Lankan tamils tell ‘Vanakkam’

Due to the impact of modernisation, handshakes are also getting popular. Sri Lankans use their right hand when shaking hands with others. This is even while handling money and giving gifts. When in Sri Lanka, avoid left hands. Use both hands or just your right hand. They address a person by using their title and surname.

Best Sri Lankan Etiquettes
Image Source: Unsplash

Dining in Sri Lanka

Dining in Sri Lanka is considered to be very important and considered a social occasion. People in Sri Lanka socialise with others before serving food. This is also considered one of the best hospitality practices. It is mandatory to wash hands before and after serving food. Like the rest of the South Asian countries, food is eaten with fingers and not using cutlery. This is traditionally followed by the older generations in the country. However, you can notice modern adaptations in the younger generations. As a tourist in the Sri Lankan country, you will also notice people scooping up rice with their hands or roti or bread to eat.

Food on a plate
Image Source: Unsplash

Hospitality in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country that values hospitality very much. When you’re in Sri Lanka, you will be well-treated by the heart-warming locals of the country. The country is also known for its locally-owned accommodation spaces like Homestays and guest houses. You can choose to stay here to enjoy the local hospitality. In addition to this, you will also learn the local practices and relish locally made food.

Also Read: Things to Do in Colombo with Kids: Vacationing With Family In Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka Package Starting @ ₹14,562


Temple Etiquettes in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a highly religious country and it is very important to respect all of their beliefs as a tourist. And if you are visiting a temple, it is all the most important to learn Sri Lankan etiquette. You must dress appropriately so that you are guaranteed entry into the temple. These temples have a set of protocols for what you should wear and carry. Choose a dress that covers your legs and shoulders. Most Importantly, headwear and footwear must be removed outside the religious worship area. Do not worry, the locals at the temple area will guide you with the set of protocols. Do not indulge in inappropriate posing for photographs as the monks and locals consider it disrespectful. Keep an eye out for the ‘No Photography’, No Videography’ signs. In addition to this, some temples may request men travellers to remove their shirts. Since these are religious places of worship, you can spot monks and priests performing religious rites. Thus, you must try not to offend them or disturb them by any means.

Best Sri Lankan Etiquettes
Image Source: Unsplash

Key Pointers to Note:

  • Temple Attire:  Your dress must cover your shoulders, arms and legs.
  • Footwear in Temples: You must remove shoes and hats before entering the temples. However, you can wear socks.
  • Beach attire:  Note that nude and topless sunbathing is not allowed on Sri Lankan beaches.
  • Avoid left hands:  while handling money or gifting people.
  • Before you click a Picture:  Keep in mind that you must never pose beside or in front of a Buddha statue. Please ask permission before photographing local people.

Also Read: Looking for luxurious resorts in Sri Lanka? Here are five of them

Sri Lankan market
Image Source: Unsplash

Now that you have learnt about the basic Srilankan etiquettes, do you wanna plan a vacation to Sri Lanka? Let us help you. Check out the super-cool Sri Lanka holiday packages on the Pickyourtrail website. We will curate it just the way you like it and make your dream Sri Lanka vacation happen.

Related Itineraries