Sri Lankan Culture

Other Considerations

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  • Sri Lankans are generally curious about their surroundings and inquire about what they see. They may ask you “Where are you going?” or “What are you doing?” when you ordinarily might not expect the question. These queries are generally harmless. Try to be patient with them in this situation and provide them with brief answers (these should suffice).
  • Many Sri Lankans enjoy watching and/or playing cricket. This is usually a good point of conversation and a way to bond with your Sri Lankan counterpart.
  • Sri Lankans with whom you have a strong relationship may ask you for favours. If you do not think you can fulfil their request, the best way to reply is by remaining non-committal. This involves verbally acknowledging that you heard and understood their request, without giving them cues that it will be pursued.
  • Keep in mind that some Sri Lankans – particularly Tamils – have fled to Australia to escape persecution in their home country. Many have experienced oppression and/or violence directed at their ethnicity.
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Sri Lanka
  • Population
    22.235 million
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Sinhala (official) (74%)
    Tamil (official) (18%)
    Other (8%)
    Note: English, spoken competently by about 10% of the population, is commonly used in government and is referred to as the link language in the constitution.
    [2012 census]
  • Religions
    Buddhism (70.2%)
    Hinduism (12.6%)
    Islam (9.7%)
    Catholic Christianity (6.1%)
    Other (1.8%)
    [2012 census]
  • Ethnicities
    Sinhalese (74.9%)
    Sri Lankan Tamil (11.2%)
    Sri Lankan Moors (9.2%)
    Indian Tamil (4.2%)
    Other (0.5%)
    [2012 census]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 80
    Individualism 35
    Masculinity 10
    Uncertainty Avoidance 45
    Long Term Orientation 45
    Indugence -
    What's this?
  • Australians with Sri Lankan Ancestry
    138,268
    Including Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamil and Sri Lankan (ndf)
    [2016 census]
Sri Lankans in Australia
  • Population
    109,849
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Sri Lanka.
  • Average Age
    41
  • Gender
    Male (51.1%)
    Female (48.9%)
  • Religion
    Buddhism (38.1%)
    Catholic Christianity (23.4%)
    Hinduism (17.8%)
    Anglican Christianity (5.7%)
    Other (2.7%)
  • Ancestry
    Sri Lankan (50.9%)
    Sinhalese (18.4%)
    Tamil (9%)
    English (4.3%)
    Other (17.4%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Sinhalese (47.4%)
    English (26.7%)
    Tamil (23%)
    Other (1.7%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 91.9% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (50.9%)
    New South Wales (27.4%)
    Queensland (8.9%)
    Western Australia (6.2%)
  • Arrival
    Prior to 2001 (53.5%)
    2001-2006 (17.3.%)
    2007-2011 (25.8%)
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