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Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Sri Lanka?

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We asked people in Sri Lanka if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...

"It is important to be mindful of cultural norms when visiting Sri Lanka. It is considered disrespectful to touch someone on the head, as the head is considered sacred. It is also important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. It is also important to be aware of the local customs and traditions, and to be respectful of them. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local language and to avoid using offensive language. Finally, it is important to be aware of the local customs regarding food and to avoid eating with your hands," wrote a member who made the move to Sri Lanka.

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"Not yet :-) But I have heard, you should never mistake Sri Lankans as Indians which apparently drives them up the wall," explained one expat living in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Other Questions:

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Sri Lanka?

If you live in Sri Lanka, newcomers to Sri Lanka would love to hear your answer to this question.

If your answer relates to a specific city or town in Sri Lanka, please include the name of the city/town below:


About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

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