You know you are Sri Lankan when…

Our nationality is something to be proud of. Being Sri Lankan isn’t just about what’s on your birth certificate. There are certain characteristics that create the identity of a Sri Lankan.
You know you are Sri Lankan when you will do anything for a bargain or discount. Promotional offers and year- end sales are things that we all dream of. Sometimes, we even buy things we have no real need for just because we are offered a discount.
Tea is a day-starter. Some prefer coffee, but tea is what we truly love. There’s milk tea, plain tea, ginger tea, cinnamon tea and a whole lot more. In fact, a day isn’t complete without at least a cup of tea. What’s even better is when you soak a Tikiri Marie biscuit in a steaming cup of coffee and then eat it.
Watalappan or chocolate biscuit pudding are must have desserts. There is also a curd and milk toffee. Lunch is perfect if its yellow rice, and better if it’s wrapped in a banana leaf. Sri Lankans also need spicy food, and usually the lunu miris, sambol and curries leave you breathing fire.
Sri Lankans love holidays. Besides the 12 Poya holidays a year, and weekends, we also look forward to the other religious and cultural holidays. The New Year, Christmas, Thai Pongal, we don’t even need to celebrate those days, but the holiday is looked forward to by all. In fact all days marked in red in the calendar are worthy of countdowns.

Something that most Sri Lankans do is use words that have lost its real meaning. We end questions and sentences with no or na. Phrases and words like, sin ane, aiyo, it seems (pronounced itsims) and I say are said so frequently they have become Sri Lankan words.
Everyone of your parent’s generation is an aunty or uncle. You do not refer to people as Mr or Mrs. Anyone of your generation but older is akka or aiya and anyone younger is nangi or malli. This is very convenient since remembering the names of your friends, friend’s friends, parent’s friends and so on isn’t quite that easy.
When introducing a friend of the opposite sex to your parents or grandparents, prepare yourself for a thousand and one questions. Make sure you two don’t have any ‘cute moments’ or by the time you blink, you’ll find yourself on a poruwa, being married off to that person. You are better off pretending you have no friends of the opposite sex, since most parents believe all romantic relationships are heterosexual.

Everyone knows each other. If you give them the time, our grandparents could trace our history right to Adam and Eve! Further, there’s no such thing as a distant relative. Everyone is family and our grandparents are ever ready to prove this.

The Police have little work because when a house is broken into, the neighbors will chase the thief, catch him, beat him and tie him up before calling the cops. And how do people prepare for this? By playing Hora-Police all day as kids.

Looking at sports, no Sri Lankan is a ‘real’ Sri Lankan if he or she doesn’t like cricket. Whether we win or lose, cricket will remain an absolute favorite and people don’t even mind staying away from work or school on a day a match is being played.
You are also Sri Lankan if you complain about the crazy driving skills off Sri Lankans, but don’t follow road rules yourself. In fact, while we complain about buses that are just too fast, we also complain about slow buses, which are usually going at the required speed.

Stores and houses are forever decorated. In April, stores bring out their Avurudu decorations. These remain until May, when they are modified to suit Vesak. The two following Poyas also enjoy the lights and lanterns. Then the cleaning up is put of until it’s November, and it makes no sense to take down the decorations since Christmas is just around the corner. And so the Vesak decorations become Christmas decorations and they stay on until April. There are also the in between matches, carnivals and other celebrations which leave the country forever decorated.
Of course, one can write volumes about what it is to be a Sri Lankan. It’s more than our accent and long names. It’s everything that makes us brothers and sisters; what makes millions of people family.

Our nationality is something to be proud of. Being Sri Lankan isn’t just about what’s on your birth certificate. There are certain characteristics that create the identity of a Sri Lankan.
You know you are Sri Lankan when you will do anything for a bargain or discount. Promotional offers and year- end sales are things that we all dream of. Sometimes, we even buy things we have no real need for just because we are offered a discount.
Tea is a day-starter. Some prefer coffee, but tea is what we truly love. There’s milk tea, plain tea, ginger tea, cinnamon tea and a whole lot more. In fact, a day isn’t complete without at least a cup of tea. What’s even better is when you soak a Tikiri Marie biscuit in a steaming cup of coffee and then eat it.
Watalappan or chocolate biscuit pudding are must have desserts. There is also a curd and milk toffee. Lunch is perfect if its yellow rice, and better if it’s wrapped in a banana leaf. Sri Lankans also need spicy food, and usually the lunu miris, sambol and curries leave you breathing fire.
Sri Lankans love holidays. Besides the 12 Poya holidays a year, and weekends, we also look forward to the other religious and cultural holidays. The New Year, Christmas, Thai Pongal, we don’t even need to celebrate those days, but the holiday is looked forward to by all. In fact all days marked in red in the calendar are worthy of countdowns.
Something that most Sri Lankans do is use words that have lost its real meaning. We end questions and sentences with no or na. Phrases and words like, sin ane, aiyo, it seems (pronounced itsims) and I say are said so frequently they have become Sri Lankan words.
Everyone of your parent’s generation is an aunty or uncle. You do not refer to people as Mr or Mrs. Anyone of your generation but older is akka or aiya and anyone younger is nangi or malli. This is very convenient since remembering the names of your friends, friend’s friends, parent’s friends and so on isn’t quite that easy.
When introducing a friend of the opposite sex to your parents or grandparents, prepare yourself for a thousand and one questions. Make sure you two don’t have any ‘cute moments’ or by the time you blink, you’ll find yourself on a poruwa, being married off to that person. You are better off pretending you have no friends of the opposite sex, since most parents believe all romantic relationships are heterosexual.
Everyone knows each other. If you give them the time, our grandparents could trace our history right to Adam and Eve! Further, there’s no such thing as a distant relative. Everyone is family and our grandparents are ever ready to prove this.
The Police have little work because when a house is broken into, the neighbors will chase the thief, catch him, beat him and tie him up before calling the cops. And how do people prepare for this? By playing Hora-Police all day as kids.
Looking at sports, no Sri Lankan is a ‘real’ Sri Lankan if he or she doesn’t like cricket. Whether we win or lose, cricket will remain an absolute favorite and people don’t even mind staying away from work or school on a day a match is being played.
You are also Sri Lankan if you complain about the crazy driving skills off Sri Lankans, but don’t follow road rules yourself. In fact, while we complain about buses that are just too fast, we also complain about slow buses, which are usually going at the required speed.
Stores and houses are forever decorated. In April, stores bring out their Avurudu decorations. These remain until May, when they are modified to suit Vesak. The two following Poyas also enjoy the lights and lanterns. Then the cleaning up is put of until it’s November, and it makes no sense to take down the decorations since Christmas is just around the corner. And so the Vesak decorations become Christmas decorations and they stay on until April. There are also the in between matches, carnivals and other celebrations which leave the country forever decorated.
Of course, one can write volumes about what it is to be a Sri Lankan. It’s more than our accent and long names. It’s everything that makes us brothers and sisters; what makes millions of people family.
– See more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/lifestyle/item/25353-you-know-you-are-sri-lankan-when.html#sthash.QoOrpOTn.dpuf
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4 thoughts on “You know you are Sri Lankan when…”

  1. Let's see. Much of this article touches on those Sri Lankan stereotypes in a humorous, maybe lightly cynical manner, but in no way does too much to hurt our stereotype either which is good. In fact, well I shouldn't be considered even half Sri Lankan because I rarely follow cricket, I don't often start the day with tea, I don't exactly eat yellow rice very often, I don't know most of my extended family members or have even seen them at all, and I don't celebrate festivals like most others. Wow, I certainly am not Sri Lankan if the stereotype holds true. 😀

  2. Some of the characteristics had me laughing out loud! 😀 😀 Seriously, we are lucky to enjoy an abundance of holidays, mouth watering-dishes, our very own tea, etc. Maybe there’s a touch of sarcasm in the writing style but these idiosyncrasies SURELY play a role in “making millions of people family.”; they make it easy for us to get along with each other. I agree that our language is peppered with words borrowed from many different languages. You have mentioned that “Everyone is family and our grandparents are ever ready to prove this.”- might I add that we also come to know that even a random stranger we meet could be the friend of a friend a friend, you know? 😉

  3. The thing about stereotypes is that most of the time we just pretend to be that image people picture. And yet, stereotypes do have some truth to them. Like, I don't like cricket but when there's some important match on, I do watch it, and feel the excitement and whatnot everyone else feels.

  4. Yes. A few minutes into the conversation and you find you are related in someway. Its surprising though considering the number of surnames in this country.

    We are so lucky to live in a nation like this. And its just so sad that people don't appreciate what we have. They only see what we don't have and keep complaining. And sure, people don't always understand or accept. But the love Sri Lankans have to offer, its overwhelming, but its always there.

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