14 Amazing Facts About Sri Lanka No One Will Tell You


Pearl of the Orient, Ceylon, Teardrop of India
– whatever you call Sri Lanka, one thing is true about it: this beautiful country has
unique traditions you won’t see anywhere else in the world. Coconut smashing, full
moon celebrations, and hotels without beds – these are just a drop in the bucket! Let’s
count down from: 14. Celebrating the full moon
Every single full moon (or “Poya”) is officially a public holiday, which makes Sri
Lanka the #1 country in the world when it comes to frequency of holidays. Each of these
monthly Poyas has its own name, and the dates obviously change every year. This tradition
is a way to commemorate important events in Buddhism. For example, the January Poya is
celebrated to remember the first of Buddha’s 3 visits to Sri Lanka, and the one in May
celebrates his birthday, enlightenment, and achievement of Nirvana. 13. Shaking their head as a sign of agreement
If you ask someone in Sri Lanka if the weather’s going to be good today and they start shaking
their head, it doesn’t mean a thunderstorm is on its way. It’s quite the opposite – it
means “Yeah, it’ll be a nice day!” (in the context of this example, of course). In
fact, Sri Lankans don’t just shake their head but “waggle” it by making a figure
8 in the air. A short waggle is also a way of saying “hey” to a passerby, and a more
energetic one means “yes”. It’s not easy to get the movement down just right,
so you better practice! 12. One word for many emotions
The Sri Lankan “aiyo” is a peculiar slang word. It’s been officially acknowledged
by the Oxford dictionary, but putting a definition to it isn’t quite as easy as you’d think.
If you ask 10 locals what it means, you’ll most likely get 10 (or more) different answers!
“Aiyo” is super versatile and can express anything from joy to sorrow, pity to disgust,
and awe to anger. So whenever you’re talking to a Sri Lankan, throw a casual “aiyo”
and they’ll be impressed! 11. Beethoven means breakfast time!
If you go to Sri Lanka, you’ll hear Beethoven’s “Für Elise” in the streets every morning.
Bread trucks (or “tuk tuks”) have chosen it as their anthem for some reason. In any
case, when locals hear the tune, they know the bakery-on-wheels is making its way through
the neighborhood! Kind of like “turkey in the straw” in the US for the neighborhood
ice cream truck. 10. The birthplace of cinnamon
Now, it might’ve been made popular by the ancient Egyptians, but the first cinnamon
in the world comes from the central hills of Sri Lanka. The island is still the #1 cinnamon
exporter in the world, and there are 8 types of it in the country. So next time you spice
up your meals or coffee with some cinnamon, don’t forget to thank the Sri Lankans! 9. March Madness
Cricket is more than just a sport in Sri Lanka – it’s a way of life! And, of course,
a favorite pastime for millions, from school kids to their grandparents! While everyone
in the States is going crazy for basketball, March Madness in Sri Lanka is the time of
the Big Match. Different schools compete to become the big cricket champion, and the whole
country watches. But it’s not just about the competition – the spirit is just so
contagiously inspiring! If you choose March for a visit, you’ll hear chanting, see parades,
and flags everywhere. And if you aren’t that much into cricket, I’m sure you’ll
still enjoy the stage performances, jazz evening, and shopping festivals that are organized
along with the tournament. 8. Eating out only for special occasions
If you’re used to grabbing some lunch with your coworkers or meeting up with friends
at a restaurant on a typical Friday, then I assume you’re not in Sri Lanka. There,
eating out is reserved for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or some other
important milestone. It’s not because they don’t have any restaurants – there are
plenty of those and the food is amazing! It’s just that Sri Lankan moms see cooking as their
privilege and will wake up at 5 a.m. to make lunch-to-go for every family member! 7. Roomless hotels
Imagine this: you’re traveling around Sri Lanka, and after a happily exhausting day
of sightseeing, you walk into a hotel and request a room only to get a smile and a menu
instead. It’s not that the receptionist doesn’t like or understand you – it’s
because not every hotel in Sri Lanka is a place you can sleep at! Quite a lot of restaurants,
cafes, and bars are called “hotels”. No one knows the exact reason for that, but there
is one theory. Some time ago, hotels were the best place to get delicious and beautifully
served food, so they became associated with eating out. Therefore, before you request
a room, make sure the “hotel” you’re at even offers sleeping accommodations! 6. Serious tea business
If you’re an avid tea drinker, chances are you’re sipping on some warm Sri Lankan greetings
every day. The island country is 4th on the list of top tea-exporting countries, making
$721 million in 2018 alone! So, yeah, tea is Sri Lanka’s biggest export, and the industry
employs over a million people. The first tea was brought from China to Sri Lanka by the
British in 1824. And back then, the island was called , which basically became synonymous
for “tea”. Locals have it first thing in the morning and at around 4 p.m. So, at
least 2 cups a day, and there’s no upper limit! 5. Powered by water
Hydropower used to make up over 50% of all the power used in Sri Lanka. And even though
it’s at around 20% now, it’s still impressive! This hydro-powered electricity is possible
thanks to waterfalls, rivers, and abundant rains in the country. 4. The largest Christmas tree in the world
You’d expect some wintery place like Finland to hold this record, but the tallest Christmas
tree in the world was registered by Guinness World Records in Sri Lanka in 2017. It stood
at 236 feet (72 m) tall and was made from metal and wood with 600,000 LED bulbs that
lit it up at night. The tree that looked more like a space ship to many cost the country
about $80,000. 3. Smashing coconuts
No, not pumpkins – coconuts! Any Sri Lankan can break a coconut, and it’s as easy to
them as tying their shoes. Smashing (or “dashing”) a coconut, however, has deep symbolism and
can help you in different situations if you believe in it. They can be positive situations,
like if you want your favorite team to win, or negative ones, like a way to punish an
enemy! There’s even a special dashing ritual for good luck and for bad luck. The main thing
is to not mix the two up! 2. The first country with a female prime minister
In July 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first female head of government in the
world. She was re-elected twice and remained prime minister until she resigned in 2000
for health reasons. 1. Who to thank for the word “serendipity”
Sri Lanka was once known as “Serendip” to the Arabs and Persians. Back in 1754, English
writer Horace Walpole came across this word in the title of a Persian fairy tale, The
Three Princes of Serendip, and loved it. The princes in that story were able to make lucky
guesses and unexpected but important discoveries. The writer added an ending to the word, and
it’s been widely used in the English language ever since! Hey, would you like to visit Sri Lanka, or
maybe you’ve already been there? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned
something new today, then give this video a like, share it with a friend, and here are
some more cool videos to check out from the Bright Side of life!

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100 thoughts on “14 Amazing Facts About Sri Lanka No One Will Tell You”

  1. BRIGHT SIDE says:

    Hey there, BrightSiders, what’s your favorite fact about Sri Lanka?

  2. Nirmali De Silva says:

    I am a SriLankan

  3. kim jaejae says:

    Any Sri lankans here?? Thank you so much bright side for making a video about great things in Sri Lanka.

  4. Krishan Anthonypillai says:

    Aiyoo is basically like oh my god. You just say it with different expressions

  5. Ransi Musician says:

    Happy to say that i'm a Sri Lankan <3

  6. Dhammika Hettihelage says:

    Good work. Thank you.

  7. kandy 360 says:

    This beautiful country now. Political leaders eat now . .

  8. online tech Joke says:

    we are not tear drop.. we are pearl of indian ocean….we have free education system from grade one to university…free treatment come on….why don't you mention ?

  9. Free Spirited Chuck says:

    Yay yay yay! There you go! That’s us!

  10. Arkeshan says:

    How many Tamil Sri Lankans watching this?

  11. Arkeshan says:

    Btw Smashing coconut was a Tradition for Hindus. Hindus break coconut in Temples called Koyil as a treat to god.

  12. Sabilashan Ganeshan says:

    sri lanka has holiday on fullmoon because it is poya day, a commercial holiday

  13. Dulan SL gaming says:

    wow i am a sri Lankan. Thanx for this video. Sri Lankans must watch this video. 🇱🇰🇱🇰🇱🇰🇱🇰😎😎🇱🇰🇱🇰😎😎

  14. this is says:

    Sri lanka..
    Comment ekak onna math demma itin.

  15. Nilan Marasingha says:

    අයියෝ………. aiyoooo……our motherland… ❤❤❤

  16. sAm sRi says:

    Aiyo.. we are not tear drop, we are the pearl of Indiam ocean.

    Hay did u visit here recently ??

  17. Bhathiya Prabodha says:

    ටූන් පාන් එකට කීව එක තමා ආතල්ම කතාව…..🤣🤣

  18. viraj chathuranga says:

    Sri lanka (me too)💓💓💓

  19. Nathali Perera says:

    Omg I'm shocked to see abt Sri lanka from bright side!!!

  20. FAQ DODO! says:

    Srilanka is good place for a trip

  21. Nerf First person shooter says:

    I am Sri Lankan

  22. Anaya Wijesena says:

    Ugh it is not pronouncd ayo it is pronounced I-yo and its is used when you disagree with someone or prove them wrong like we would say: iyo no it is this see ? Ok so ya please don't just throw around the word like its nothing people would know your a tourist and would not be impressed

  23. Rehana Cathrine says:

    It's not eyo it's AIIIYYYYOOO

  24. srinath supun jayawardena says:

    😍අඩෝ පාඩුවෙ ඉන්න දීපල්ලා අපිට පර හැත්ත😁

  25. Rahul Ash says:

    Love Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Pondicherry (India)

  26. Sampath Amarathunga says:

    Yes, We are the Sri Lankans who smiling with everyone.

  27. Sarajan Sivanendrarajah says:

    Another thing you didn't know about srilanka. The srilankan government is extremely racist and doesn't give fair opportunities for Hindu srilankans and bombed a number of hospitals, orphanages, homes and so called no fire zones. Mass genocide at it's best committed by srilanka funded by china.

  28. 1000 subs with Out any vids says:

    I am from srilanka

  29. Shorab Sheriff says:

    I am a Sri Lankan I now somethings you said

  30. Hansi dabare says:

    I'm still Lankan

  31. Dunishika Jeewarathne says:


  32. Dark Queen says:

    I’m so shocked I’m srilankan who else is from Sri Lanka 🇱🇰?

  33. Nexso Brothers Srilanka says:

    Srilanka ❤️🙏🏻

  34. Nexso Brothers Srilanka says:

    හංදියෙ බත් කඩේට හොටෙල් එක කියල දැන් සැපද😐

  35. Gavin w. says:

    Bro not to lie you got some info wrong

  36. suki keetha says:

    it is not aiyo it is ayo pronunciation pls

  37. Sithara Don Wijesinghe says:

    Hey mate, some were not rite but nice work thank u talking about my country. So proud. Never thought u gys would.

  38. Ghazanfar Butt says:

    Do about Pakistan

  39. Rit916917 says:

    I believe sri lanka doesnt exist because come on when have you known someone from Sri Lanka?

  40. Samitha Siriwardena says:

    Thank you BRIGHT SIDE 🌬🌷💨

  41. Galagedara Dhananjaya Dissanayake says:

    එල මචන් තෑන්ක්ස් ලංකාව ගැන දැම්මට

  42. Abimana Peiris says:

    Most of sri lankans dont know the meaning of hotel and resturant thats why they named as hotel for resturant 😁

  43. Cj Senanayake says:

    And the way we spell the name of our country is wrong, it should be " Shri lanka" not "Sri lanka"

  44. Lazer Gamer says:

    Hi I’m from Sri Lanka and I wanted to say aiyo is not a good thing like aiyo I forgot my book

  45. baby girl says:

    Dont insult us by calling this beautiful country as tear drop of India its the pearl of the indian ocean 💕

  46. Husnul Aman says:

    Being born poor isn't your fault.
    Dying poor isn't your fault.
    Not visiting Sri Lanka at least once in your lifetime is… ❤

  47. arvindluv2000 says:

    not all of them are unique to Srilanka, It has similarities w.r.t south India (breaking coconuts for example)

  48. X_H_A_M_I_L Vevo says:

    We are srilankan and we hate india 🇮🇳 😂 we are not a drop of them ! We are 💎 in Indian Ocean 🌊

  49. Jonas Akula says:

    Been there many times. I love the country

  50. Dikshitha Sriram says:

    Half of these traits are shared by Indians, and I have a feeling now that if I met a Sri Lankan I would get along just fine with them like they were my own countrymen. Love from India❤️🇮🇳

  51. Music says:

    තද තද බ්‍රයිට් සයිඩ් එකටත් ලංකාව ගියා.ආඩම්බරයි.ඔබහන් ඔය සබ්ස්ක්‍රයිබ් ලයික් ශෙයා හැම එකක්ම

  52. Hemal Silva says:

    SRI LANKA is the pearl of the Indian ocean. not teardrop of India.

  53. Dana DV says:

    It seems u have missed the Legendary president of Sri Lanka.

  54. Jeslin Mary says:

    Aiyo is something when u say for something negative 😑NOT FOR MEETING SOMEONE AND THEN TELLING THEM AIYO!!!!


    Is that Beethoven's Für elise?
    Who cares!!!!
    In 🇱🇰 it's the chuun paan tone….😋✌️

  56. Juvie Eusaff says:

    Hahahaha i have a lot of sri lankan frends i was surprised when one of them told me that we will go hotel…. I said what what we will do in hotel? He said we will eat. I said you mean restaurant. Hotel is different from restaurant.

  57. tharusha taz says:

    Sri lanka 🇱🇰 ❤️

  58. Nalik Perera says:

    Im sri Lankan.totally wrong start.its call pearl diamond of India.thanks for nice video

  59. Naveen Viraj says:

    Whoo hoo

  60. kur shid says:

    Breaking coconuts is an Indian tradition not srilankan …. The south Indians do it …..

  61. Manmit Kahlon says:

    I am Indian but I love Sri Lanka

  62. Surabhi Pahade says:

    Indian share many of the same traits such as tea, hotel coconut etc

  63. Maya M says:

    Why am I watching this when I'm Sri Lankan-

  64. kanishka panamaldeniya says:


  65. Aish Nizam says:

    I am a Sir Lankan

  66. Nanu Vix says:

    Am I the only Sri Lankan cringing by just watching this video?
    Dear Non Sri Lankans, this is NOT what Sri Lanka is about! We love our tea, we love our holiday's and we love our Aiyo's but trust me that's about as much as you should take away from this video.
    PS: BRIGHT SIDE I think you guys need a Take two on this video! Also do feel free to consult the 101 Sri Lanka's who have commented down below to get some actual facts and better footage of our country!

  67. MR Sassy says:

    I’m from Sri Lanka😂 but I’ve never seen any YouTuber talking about my country in detail or any way😁 thx for the vid❤️❤️

  68. Noel Wickramasekara says:

    I am so happy my family are for Sri Lanka i love you Bright side please make more you MAKE MORE when people talk about Sri Lanka make me happy

  69. C.A.N Perera says:

    I'm a srilankan there's beds in hotels 🔥🔥🔥

  70. C.A.N Perera says:

    Thanks bright side I'm proud of my country

  71. Sarita Ambawatte says:

    Idek what these are and I’m from Sri Lanka and Canada 😂

  72. kithsiri somapala says:

    මෙත්‍රි = "මේ රට මම කොච්චර සංවර්දනය කලාඩ කියනවනම් හිටං අන්න එකෙක් ඉංගිරිසි හෑල්ලක් දාලා වේඩියෝවක් හදලා.ඉතින් මට චන්දේ දීපං"

  73. kai de says:

    That was 'I O ' and ' I Ya' try to pronounce separately to catch the slang.
    Thanks for the video.
    I ask any thing about Sri Lanka. I am a Sri Lankan. Peace

  74. dark wolf demon says:

    About celebrating full moon is not the true fact. The true fact is celebrating Buddhist.

  75. Ravwee says:

    Mama sinhala

  76. Aijish Rocks says:

    I’m Sri Lankan

  77. Jaufarusadique says:

    When you are a Sri Lankan and still decide to watch it 🙂

  78. soma Choudhury says:

    Hotel is restaurant in bengal তে্যেদ্্য্কক্ত্ তে্যেদ্ত্্য তে্য

  79. Lanka Prabhashwara says:


  80. Mr. JMUT Jayamanna says:

    The cameraman captured only those toothless people. aiyo! Sri lankan old forks are notoriously toothless (kidding). btw, There are lot of wayside boutiques that are popularly called Hotels which are not hotels indeed. In Sri lanka, wayside "Hotels" are restaurants. Ironically, the Restaurants/Hotels outside Colombo city are not Hotels or restaurant in the eyes of a foreinger. they are just eateries. Also, the pronunciation of "aiyo" is incorrect. It make me laugh and say in all humble "aiyo".

  81. akram sharif says:

    There is so many then this video

  82. Joshcrafter jcr Crafts says:

    The peapol from that is look like filifino

  83. cap'n Jay Sparrow says:

    Great one…You have came up with things that we never thought of…💡👍🏽
    Proud to be a SRI LANKAN 🇱🇰🥰

  84. Aruni Damayanthi says:

    It is not "eyio"
    It is spelled as "aaio"

  85. Aruni Damayanthi says:

    Hey guys I am utterly surprised that bright side … The most famous bright side made a video about Sri Lanka … Wbu. I am a Sri Lankan

  86. Anusha Jayarathne says:

    I am a sri lankan 💚

  87. Ranjithan 530 says:

    volleyball is the national game of Sri Lanka

  88. chandana7626 says:

    Thats not exactly how srilanka works😐

  89. IGOT7 ds says:

    Thanks for making a video about Our Country👍

  90. Mohamed Nagooradumai says:

    All wrong

  91. Subashini Wilegoda says:

    My home country

  92. KingAzreal says:

    FROM SRI LANKA… PRO TIP.. dont just say "aiyo" to everyone you see at road cuz its normally used when u see or do something u dont like or something not accepted by the public… so next time u say aiyo to someone expect a awkward face and walk away!!! LOL

  93. Shakeela Shakeela says:

    first of all let me say that aiyo means ohnooo or ohh (in a sad way)

  94. ZÁM YT says:

    Dude Didnt Show The 90 percent Of Sri Lanka

  95. Channa Rodrigo says:

    Well I live in Sri Lanka cool man

  96. blackrxses says:

    C’è qualcuno che è nato in Italia ma ha origini Singalesi dai suoi genitori e sta guardando questo video?

  97. Achintha Dulmith says:

    pronunciation of 'aiyo' is wrong. let's go letter by letter
    you can use the same pronunciation for ''eye'' for the collective letters ''ai-''
    and for ''-yo'' like in a yo-yo

  98. Syie Pherze says:

    1:46 It's not "eyo", it's pronounced " eye -yo".

    3:40 The "parade" shown here has literally nothing to do with cricket. That's the Kandy Esala Perahera festival.
    3:57 That's Korea.
    7:17 All of the footage from here onwards is just cutting open a coconut to drink from.
    7:39 The last name is pronounced "Ban-dah-ra-nai-kuh". (The "nai" is actually "naya" but is abbreviated for simplicity)

  99. Idontknowdontask says:

    Big match is just two schools competing each other

  100. Jay W says:

    Aiyo!! 🤣🤣🤣

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