Symbolism of Food In Sri Lankan Muslim Culture

Food plays a major role in all cultures.  Likewise, it plays a special role in my culture as well.  Especially, the role in food is well seen whith the arrival of guests.  Usually they are invited for lunch or dinner.  However, if the guest stayed overnight, then they are more likely to have the breakfast and leave the place. 

We, Sri Lankan Muslims, prepare pittu, rotty or hoppers for breakfast, usually.  We can make them with different types of flour; for example, coconut rotty with wheat flour, kurakkan rotty with kurakkan flour, parata rotty and many other types of rotties, and hoppers like string hoppers, milk hoppers, plain hoppers and egg hoppers with corn flour, rice flour and wheat flour.  Each variety is a different type of food.  We often serve banana and pudding for dessert.

Next, for lunch, we cook special vegetable rice and spicy curry including a complete diet with green leave salad and fruit. We serve faluda or some other items of soft drinks with fruit as desserts.  After an hour later, we usually have coffee or tea with short eats.

Then dinner is slight as always. Breakfast and dinner have almost always have been the same because that is the food that is not heavy.   We sometimes cook potato curry with gravy for diner, and all others are similar to breakfast.

However, during the especial festival days, things will be quite different as in all other cultures.   Though there are visitors or not, there will always be a cup of vattilappam, which so delicious – made of egg and some other ingredients.  This is so special during the festival days.  Though we go to some others’ places, we take that cup of food.  One cup of vattilappam will reciprocate the whole lunch or dinner whatever we had as a guest.

Finally, our day to day food is somewhat similar to the guest’s food. We don’t have desserts as like we the visitors have. We enjoy our food always.

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2 Responses to Symbolism of Food In Sri Lankan Muslim Culture

  1. dorjiom says:

    I am looking forward to taste Sri lanka’s traditional food. By looking at the you mentioned about your food, I feel like eating it just now. We, Bhutanese, too like spicy food. What about the way you eat your meals. Do you eat together or let the male members of your family to eat first. Similarly, what about guest? Do you serve them in different room or eat together.

  2. papunauw says:

    Dear Mumtaj,
    Very interesting post! Reading your post I am so eager to taste your traditional food.
    In this post you just only described what your traditional food is, how you taste, present your traditional food, but you did not use any symbolism of food in Srilankan Culture.
    For example in our country, we, Bangalies are used to call generally “Mache- Vate Bangali” ( The bangali always prefer to eat fish and rice). As Bangladeh is a riverine country, most of the people earn their livelihood by fishing. Therefore, mostly they like to eat fishes and rice.

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