Random questions about Sri Lanka answered

Sunday, 8 May 2016
Q. Why do some men where sarongs in Sri Lanka and others do not?

A. The sarong is the national dress for men in Sri Lanka. When the country was Westernized the British (and Dutch, Portuguese) made sure that trousers were the norm as far as attire is concerned for men. Even now there are some men who wear sarongs and some men who wear pants. The driver who drove us to Kandy told us that he wears jeans or pants during the day while working but as soon as he gets home he changes into his sarong.

Q.Why do Sri Lankans shake their head "no" when they mean "yes?"

A. The "head wag" is a common Sri Lankan gesture. When you ask a question, such as, "Is it okay to stop for a bathroom break?" The person will bobble their head while shaking left to right and then rotate their head in an up and down motion while shaking it back and forth. There are less hand gestures here and more gestures with the head. Dipping the chin and turning your head to the right has different meanings depending on the situation. It can be pretty confusing to foreigners, especially Westerners who use their hands more to gesture.

Q. How do so many different religions co-exist peacefully in such a small country? (Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim, Roman Catholic)

A. People mind their own business and calmly respect others.

Q. How do dozens of different types of bananas grown in Sri Lanka?

A. This is a land of plenty. Sri Lanka really only has to import wine and types of liquor because everything else they can grow or raise here. The fruit selection is beyond amazing and the veggies are fresh and plentiful. Bananas come in 22 different varieties here: sweet, sour, small, large, green, yellow, red... They are absolutely delicious.

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