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Culture

Coffee around the world

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world. There are many coffee lovers who love to sip coffee and enjoy their relaxing time among the good aroma and taste. However in different parts of the world there are different ways of making coffee and enjoying it. While coffee shops are more popular there are also popular brands which produce the best coffee around the world. You can even learn about coffee culture and preparation of a good cup of tea from websites.There are coffee hubs such as Coffee Cicerone which shares all the necessary information about coffee helping you to get the best experience with your cup of coffee.After reading such posts I thought of sharing this post about coffee culture around the world because it is really interesting how people enjoy their cup of coffee in different ways.

Coffee around the world
Coffee plant
Coffee Culture in Sri Lanka

As a Sri Lankan, I enjoy my coffee as a hot beverage. However in Sri Lanka, Ceylon tea is popular than coffee. But do you know that before tea was introduced, Sri Lanka was popular for its Ceylon Coffee? Anyway in Sri Lanka, generally coffee is considered as a beverage that drinks when there is a stomach problem. People don’t drink coffee daily. As coffee can make you constipated, it is just a drink that is served rarely or when someone is with bad stomach. Sounds funny right? 🙂

Coffee around the world
A cup of coffee prepared in Sri Lankan style (plain coffee with sugar)

In Sri Lanka,traditionally coffee is prepared plain with sugar making it a cup of ‘kopi’ or when milk is added it is called ‘kiri kopi.’

Singapore

When I came to Singapore, I was amazed by watching how people drink coffee. I could always see a cup of coffee on my colleagues’ tables while they work. They drink lot of coffee throughout the days.These coffee are full of aroma which could make me too a coffee lover!

In Singapore there are many coffee shops which anyone can buy high quality coffee beans and coffee powder freshly ground.There are also places to enjoy a warm cup of coffee.

Coffee around the world
A cup of Kopitiam Kopi (coffee with condensed milk as sweetener)

In Singapore you can find different coffee preparations including Kopi (coffee with sweetened condensed milk), Kopi-O (coffee with sugar but without milk) and even as Kopi Peng (iced coffee).Places like Kopitiam are popular for tasting a traditional cup of coffee while spending time watching around or talking with friends.

Malaysia
kopi

In Malaysia I found similar coffee culture to Singapore. Their traditional coffee preparation is similar to Singapore versions. Kopi or Kopi-O is most popular as traditional way of serving coffee. But, there are still popular coffee brands which serves coffee including international styles.

Coffee around the world
Even in McDonalds,you can find your cup of coffee!

Living and travelling frequently to destinations in above 3 countries, I found that it is interesting to experience coffee in different ways. Below are some other countries which enjoy coffee as a favorite drink.

Morocco

In Morocco you will find spiced coffee brewed with spices such as nutmeg, sesame seeds and black pepper

Turkey

Turkey is another country popular for its unique ways of preparing coffee. Roasted Coffee beans are   finely grounded. Then they simmer coffee before serving. Turkish coffee is served without filtering.

Spain

Spain coffee is served as espresso drink prepared with condensed milk to add sweetness.

Austria

In Austria coffee is prepared with sugar as a sweetener. However they also add an egg yolk, and cognac to their coffee.

Australia

In Australia, coffee is a popular drink. They add enough milk and prepare coffee as a cappuccino or a latte

Above are some of the interesting ways people drink coffee around the world. How about you? How do you enjoy your cup of coffee?

 

If you visit Sri Lanka, you will get chance to explore the country’s traditions and different culture same as its scenic beauty. With influences from other countries in the region, Sri Lanka boasts to have its own unique traditions including traditional dance performances, music and many other cultural activities. As a nation, we celebrate our festivals   to the best possible and due to that most of these traditions are still preserved.

For today post, I actually don’t have access to my recent travel images as my desktop was attacked by a virus. After removing it 2-3 times and getting it again, we decided to format our computer. So, till that I thought of sharing some of the previous images I shared on this same blog thinking still these posts have some value and interest.

Traditional Drums of Sri Lanka
Traditional Drums and Masks from Sri Lanka
Traditional Drums from Sri Lanka

Davula,Yak Beraya, Udakkiya are some traditional drums and these are used for performances including religious festivals.

Read more about Traditional Drums of Sri Lanka

Traditional Dancing

In Sri Lanka, you’ll find different performances. Most of the performances are involved with traditional drums and beautiful costumes. Below is a picture of Kandyan dancers who performed in a recent wedding we attended.This is how bride’s family welcomes the groom and his family members for the wedding ceremony.

Kandyan Dancing and Drumming in Sri Lanka
Kandyan Dancing and Drumming in Sri Lanka

Other than Kandyan dance performances, there are other styles too.

Traditional Masks from Sri Lanka

This is another must view crafts if you visit Sri Lanka. There are also religious activities attached with these masks. Usually masks are colourful and each mask has its own meaning and way of using. Those are usually use for devil dance which is meant to send away devils and their affects for people.

Traditional Drums and Masks from Sri Lanka
Traditional Masks from Sri Lanka

Usually masks are made of balsa wood (kaduru wood) and those are light weight. Read   my previous post on Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka

In your country, do you have such traditional activities?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in comments section.

Also please don’t forget to share your photo story this week.

Traditional Drums of Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, there are traditional drums which are mainly used for traditional dancing and other related cultural activities. Davula,Yak Beraya, Udakkiya are some of these traditional drums which are popular among many cultural activities.Not only to entertain people with dance and music, these drums also use for many religious activities.

Traditional Drums of Sri Lanka
Traditional Drums Sri Lanka

In Buddhist culture, there are some activities which Traditional Dancers pay respect to the religion. For example, Dalada Thewawa is a daily Performing in respect to the Sacred Tooth Relic in Dalada Maligawa,Kandy. This is a ritual in many temples and even for most ceremonies; traditional dancers play a major role.

Traditional-Dance-Sri-Lanka
Kandyan Dancing Performance in a Sri Lankan Wedding

Another occasion which these traditional drums play their role is ‘Thovil’.’Thovil’ is a kind of activity which is considered as a ‘way of healing’ or ‘a healing ceremony’ to keep off the evils and their influences. ’Bali’,’ Shanthikarma’ are another traditional ceremonies which are mostly similar to ‘Thovil’.

Traditional-Kandyan-Dancers-Sri-Lanka
Kandyan Dancing and Drumming in Sri Lanka

I captured these traditional drums during our previous visit to Sri Lanka. I was lucky to see this traditional drums display in Sri Lanka Airport and as always I didn’t miss the opportunity.

So, here is my photo story for the week. Do you have any story to share? Please share those below. I’d like to read your posts.

As I shared in my other blog, In Sri Lanka we celebrate New Year in April. After the traditional things we do at an auspicious time, it is time to celebrate. Among other customs and traditions, we also celebrate the New Year with traditional games. Below are some captures from such a New Year Games Festival I participated in Sri Lanka. It was such a fun experience and basically I had a nice time with our neighbors.
These games are full of fun and simple. During the April and after the New Year (that is after around 13th,14th April) there are lot of such festivals around country.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
April New Year Marathon (Gama haraha diweema)
As for the most of such festivals, this New Year festival also started from the ‘Marathon’. Usually this includes competitors to complete a track which usually covers the residential area where the games festival is organized. At least 2-3 km is included for the runners to complete.

 

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Coconut Scraping Competition
Coconut scraping is another fun event. Usually ladies enjoy this event much as it is one of the things day do at home for cooking.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Kana Mutti (Clay pots are ready for the game)
Kana mutti bindeema is another fun game which is like a must in any New year games festival. Usually
for this game, there are few clay pots which are filled with sand or water and hanged in a row. Among these pots there is one pot which is filled with blue water.
Completion is to hit the clay pot which has blue water. To start the game, the eyes of the competitors are closed using a piece of cloth. They are provided with a bamboo stick to hit the pot.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Kana mutti biindeema

The competitor who hit the pot which contains blue water will win the game. Even if there is a winner or no,
this game is a fun event for all those who participate for the festival.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Pillow Fighting Game (Kotta pora)
Another game is Kotta pora which means pillow fight.It is basically, two competitors fight with a pillow till one person is fallen down. Usually a place is prepared using a pole placed horizontally at about 2 m in height. This can be placed in other vertically placed poles/columns. Then 2 competitors sit on both sides and beat each other using a bag (pillow) full of straw or some light weight things. This will continue until one falls off.
Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Lissana gaha nageema (The Slippery Pole)

Climbing the slippery pole (Lissana gaha nageema) is another game.For this game, a very long timber pole is fixed into the ground. A flag is placed at the top of the pole.(tree).Then the organizers will apply some slippery thing like grease on this pole. The first person who climbs to the top of this slippery tree and who gets the flag is the winner.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka

However, this game is played as a team. Those who participate for the game will repeat their attempt and
remove the grease on each attempt. Finally one person will be able to get the flag. Usually the price is a good amount of money and the winner will share it among all those who participated in the team.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka
Watching at the slippery pole (lissana gaha nageema)

 

This is actually not an easy game, it requires lot of energy and also climbing skill. But there are people
who like to participate for this game. Those who watch the game can give some donations (money) for the final prize. Organizers of the festival collect this type of donations and add that to the final prize.

Most of these festivals end with the competition of selecting ‘New Year Princess and Prince’ (Avurudu kumari/kumara).This competition is organized in national level too where beautiful girls and guys participate.However,in this New Year Festival which was organized by residents  around the area,it was a small competition for girls and boys below certain age limit.

Sinhala New Year Games-Sri Lanka

Above are our little girls who participated for the competition.All these girls are from our neighbors homes and for me all of them are beautiful and New Year Princesses. 🙂 They are wearing a traditional Sri Lankan dress,specially for girls.

These are few of the traditional games.But there are lot more fun games which all can participate during the festival.Do you have such traditional events?Do you have any photo story for this week?Please share those.

 Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka
Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country rich with scenic beauty and it boasts about the country’s rich heritage. So far I’ve shared some historical places to visit during a holiday in Sri Lanka, however other than visiting historical places, you can also involve in exciting activities and watch and learn about Sri Lankan arts and crafts while experiencing the unique culture.

Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka
Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka

Traditional masks are one such wonderful thing to watch in Sri Lanka. If you visit the southern parts of Sri Lanka, Ambalangoda is popular for traditional masks and its manufacturing.

Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka

During our recent Sri Lankan holiday, I had a great chance to capture some Sri Lankan Traditional Masks. We didn’t travel Ambalangoda or didn’t visit any museum. But, for my surprise, there was a display in the airport duty free area while we departing the country. (Bandaranaike International Airport)

Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka

It was last minute and we were not in actual mood. We were in our own world thinking of parents and friends over there in Sri Lanka, thinking of another few months in Singapore without seeing them and we were surrounded by feelings of separation.

Traditional Masks of Sri Lanka

Suddenly, it was this Traditional Masks display at the end of the duty free area! Those were so colourful and nicely hanged. Although I was carrying my son and with the diaper bag in one hand, I operated my camera using the other hand. Some pics are bit shaky. not very clear. But I could sort few photos for this blog post.
 Things to do in Sri Lanka Holiday
These masks are not just another masks carved from wood. There is a history bonded with each mask and there is a purpose and a value for each. Most of these masks are used in traditional dancing.
If you are interested, here is a post to read more about the history and details of Sri Lankan traditional masks.Do you like these masks? Aren’t they colourful?

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