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Although there are many influences of various cultures which have shaped the Sri Lankan culture over the centuries, it distinguishes from other cultures by its own typical stable character. Sri Lankan people are proud of their country, despite the hardships of daily life some people have to go through. It is highly appreciated if you say nice things about their country. Except on the bus, Sri Lankans put a high value on good manners and family values.

Sri Lanka has a variety of different cultures due to its ethnic and religious diversity, but overall the Sri Lankan culture can be characterized as a conservative one. Current values are not likely to change if there is not a better alternative to be found. However, the middle and upper class people, mainly in Colombo, make an exception; they increasingly adopt many values of the western culture.

Respect for the elderly

Family members take good care of each other and children highly respect their parents, while during old age they largely take good care of them until they pass away. Grandparents are totally involved in the social life of their family. They are part of the family till the end of their days and they usually stay with their family all that time. Elderly homes are an uncommon phenomenon in Sri Lanka, although changes are looming in the capital Colombo.


There is a strong division between male and female professions and the majority of the female population becomes housewife after they got married or after having delivered her first baby. Teacher and nurse are typical female professions. Female politicians, CEO’s and board members are not common, although the country had its first female prime minister in the world and Mrs. Bandaranaike recently fulfilled her duty as president of the country.


Boys and girls live a different world. While boys mainly hang around with friends in gangs, playing cricket, going on a trip and attend classes, girls mostly stay at home, being involved in domestic duties and following classes. Friendships are very important among the youth. Parents invest a lot of money for after-school classes. Youth is overloaded with classes, sometimes till the early evening hours, which could be extremely exhausting for many. It is the dream for numerous parents that their children get many diplomas and a good education, them preferably becoming an engineer or a doctor.