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Written by Sathya J on May 30, 2021 Share on

Things to bring back from Sri Lanka in 2021

All travellers bring back something or the other from the country they visit. It can be any part of that country’s. Sri Lanka has the capacity to make you sad when you leave for your home country. Do I really have to leave this place ? Can I somehow stay a bit longer ? – Sri Lanka forces you to think like this at the airport while you wait for the return flight. Travellers take back not just the million abstract memories the country gives them, but also a lot of souvenirs. We have got you covered; let us read about the things to bring back from Sri Lanka:

  • Buddha figurines
  • Tea
  • Clothing
  • Spices
  • Raksha masks
  • Jewellery
  • Coconut delicacies
  • Batik products

1. Buddha figurines

Majority of Sri Lankans belong to the faith of Buddhism and needless to say, we can find a lot of Buddha statues in almost every shop. This is a delicate art as they would be creating these statues with their own hands – carving and designing them perfectly to the dot. Any art that involves this much of hard-work and specialisation is generally popular around the world. One might also find a large number of wood-carved elephants. The elephant is of important significance in Sri Lanka. The natives take pride in creating such wonderful objects for tourists. There are other elephant art available as well – soft toys, wooden carvings, fridge magnets, elephants on gemstones.

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

2. Tea

Popularly known as Ceylon tea, the widely grown local tea-leaves are used to make this sumptuous drink. This is the most obvious thing to bring back from Sri Lanka. Tea is the best companion on a pleasant walk along the Galle coast-line. The cool sea breeze and hot tea tickles the tongue.

The Sri Lankan Tea Board has a lion as the symbol of quality assurance of Ceylon Tea. Any company that uses this logo on their packaging has to meet the quality standards set by the Board. This logo is globally recognised. If you see a tea packet with such a logo, enquire about it and purchase it ! The tea available in Sri Lanka is not only high in terms of quantity but also high in terms of quality. Dilmah and Zesta are a couple of popular tea brands in the country.

 

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3. Clothing

Sarees and Sarongs are closely knit with Sri Lanka’s tradition. Sarees are garments worn by women and Sarongs are worn by men. Personally, I find Sarees really beautiful and elegant. Just for comparison’s sake I would like to take this example : Sarees are for women, how Suits are for men. Both look classy and elegant.

While sarees are an an entire outfit by itself, sarongs are a substitute for pants or shorts. I don’t find the need to say how many people can be found wearing these outfits. Whether you are in a tea plantation or a train station or a Sunday market – there is no particular place to wear a saree/sarong. Their usage is omnipresent.

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

4. Spices

The below picture represents spice in Sri Lanka. Abundance is the word ! This country is mainly famous for the true cinnamon – a kind of cinnamon found particularly here – which looks tan brown in colour. Other than this, the most prominent spices to take home are Black Pepper, Cardamom, Clove, Nutmeg, Turmeric and Chili Pepper. For all the amateur cooks out there, these spices will surely elevate the end product ! We have learned what a virus can do to the world and it has also taught us the hardships of lockdowns. Having a range of spices will help you to try out different dishes, flavours and relishes. In 2021, this is a good thing to bring back from Sri Lanka.

These spices can be either picked up in raw form or in packets of powder. It is easier to just get loads of packets and a few raw cinnamon sticks to show off to your neighbours.

Not all spices that are found in the country were originally found in Sri Lanka, yet its inhabitants have utilised all spices to their truest potential.

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

5. Raksha masks

Raksha means demon in Sri Lanka. The natives have been using Raksha masks for decades to ward off evil or the demon. They are widely used as dance props at festivals and other cultural congregations. Old Sri Lankan folklore speaks about how these masks should be of bright colours and the performers wearing it must dance to their traditional music in a certain way to shoo the demons away. Kandyan and Pantheru are a couple of dance rites which the locals undertake during ceremonies.

Raksha masks will be a good addition to the walls back home. How magnet art is for refrigerators, wooden carvings like these are for walls. These masks will add a different touch of colour to your home.

Also read: Top 10 Sri Lankan souvenirs to buy

Picture Courtesy: Pixabay

6. Jewellery

A three hour drive from Colombo will take you to the city of Rathnapura. Ratna means gem in Tamil. Fittingly, the city was named Rathnapura as it was the traditional centre of gem trading. Some of the eye-catching gems to purchase in Sri Lanka are:

  1. Blue Sapphire
  2. Ruby
  3. Spinel
  4. Topaz
  5. Amethyst

Blue Sapphire was declared the national gemstone at the turn of this century. Among tourists, Colombo and Kandy are two of the most favourite places to shop gems and other jewellery. I know, Kandy is a city that not only has a lot of tea estates; it has everything. Walking along the streets of these two cities and trying to find exquisite gems is an overwhelming yet pleasurable task. Look out for certifications too, you don’t want to be cheated by someone posing as a native.

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

7. Coconut Delicacies

Coconut is an inseparable part of the Sri Lanka diet. Pretty much all products have some form of coconut in them. Right from rice & curry for lunch to late night desserts, coconut is a common raw material. To ensure that the taste does not leave you for a while, pack some of the snack items made of coconut from local markets. Coconut oil has countless heath benefits, coconut water cools our body, and ketchup can be swapped with coconut relish. Not just this, but many other coconut snacks ranging from chocolates, coconut milk and cream are available. Traditional desserts and sweets like the Watalappan and Helapa are also made from grated coconut. Coconut products are one too many and hence they are a necessary inclusion in the things to bring back from Sri Lanka.

8. Batik products

Sri Lankans have a great taste when it comes to cooking and creating art (actually cooking can be art too). Batik is a form of artwork which focusses on dyeing fabrics in ornate patterns. Wax is a main component in this process. Batik as an art form is not indigenous to Sri Lanka; it is popular world-over and hence the high demand for such products among tourists.

One of the good things about these items is the range that comes with it. People can find the one pattern and colour that match their wants and needs. This way, everybody leaves happy.

Apart from Batik products, the country also hosts artisans who are highly skilled in handwoven fabrics and moonstone carvings.

Picture Courtesy: Unsplash

Each country has that special something to offer. Global citizens passing through the ports of Sri Lanka influenced the diverse offerings it provides. Learnings were exchanged with Indonesians, Britishers, the Portuguese, and Indians. As years went by, the country as a whole became better at creating art, producing tea, cooking food and mining gems. All the learnings from the past have made Sri Lanka what it is today. If you are up for a healthy conversation about Sri Lanka, reach out to us at Pickyourtrail. Check out our travel packages to Sri Lanka to plan for trip to Ceylon.

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