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Experience Sri Lanka in the U.S.

August 8, 2011

Ayubowan! in English means welcome and wishes you to live longer and be healthy.

The 5th Annual Sri Lanka day in Santa Monica is an annual event where the Sri Lankan community share their rich culture, food, music, and entertainment.  The day was filled with traditional and contemporary performances where men, women, and children are dressed in colorful Sri Lankan clothing.   Towards the late afternoon a small perahera is held where performers and a theater elephant parade through the Third Street Promenade.  In Sri Lanka, perahera is a grand festival celebrated with theatre elephants, grand costumes, and cultural dancers that roam the streets.

It was an awesome event that introduced the public to a little bit of Sri Lanka’s culture without having to spend a lot of money.  I spent a total of $22 mainly on food (because I wanted to try everything), got free cup of Ceylon tea, a free  “Heart of Buddha” booklet,  and watched free performances.

As for the cuisine,  if you love spicy foods, then you will love Sri Lankan dishes.  Their cuisine shares similarities to Indian food.  Each dish I ordered was delicious, spicy and full of exotic flavors.  I also tried  faluda, a popular cold sugary drink with jelly pieces which balanced the spicy flavors.                                                                                            foods kept in warm clay pots

Sri Lankan red rice (bottom), papadam (crisp flatbread), fish ambulthiyal (blackened tuna), ela batu (green eggplant) curry, pol sambol(grated spicy coconut), gotukola (parsley family), and a meat filled patty ($11)

assorted pastries filled with spiced fish, chicken, potato, or vegetables ($1 each)

stage performances

Perahera

Kalagedi,dance using clay pots

traditional wedding clothing

theatre elephant decorated with royal colors

devil dance to chase away evil spirits

fashion show

More pictures are found on my facebook page.

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