Adaptation to New Food Culture

Transition to City Food Culture

Sri Lanka is a natural resourceful country with different ethnic groups living harmoniously. They are Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims in the majority. Each ethnic group is having different cultures and behavioral patterns especially the food and beverages. Within each ethnic group region and religion wise, the food culture and the nature of food varies.

Village people mostly prefer homemade foods, more vegetables, less oily, traditional and healthy where city people go for fast food, street food, take away, delicious and prestige food. The following chart will give an idea of the different food culture of each ethnic group.
BreakfastLunchDinnerSweets and Snacks
SinhaleseString hoppers Rice and curry Bread Noodles BarattaRice and curry (Vegetable or Non- Vegetable)Rice and curry String hoppers Baratta Noodles KoththuOil cakes, Pancakes Mung kevum Athirasa Pani walalu Mun guli Asmee
TamilsPittu Thosai Idly String hoppers Hoppers UppumaRice and curry (Vegetable or Non- Vegetable) *Hindus mostly prefer vegetablesRotti, boori Pittu Thosai Idly String hoppers etc.Murukku Vadai Pagoda Boonthi Laddu Alvaa Flat vadai Peanut biscuits
MuslimsPittu String hoppers Noodles BarattaRice and curry (Vegetable or Non-Vegetable) Mostly Non-VegetableKoththu Baratta Noodles PittuWattalappam Gulabjamn Laddu Thothal


People locomote to different areas means the city for higher studies, university, job, and random visits like trips and other purposes. It is a transparent fact that people have to change themselves to new food culture. Normally people move to cities for long term purpose takes around 6 months(as per reviews) to adapt themselves to the new food behavioural patterns. The factors affecting them are as follows;

  • Religion:

Tamils are mostly Hindus and considerable peoplebare Christians. Most of the Hindus are vegetarians and some only eat vegetable food on Tuesdays and Fridays commonly. During pasting times they are pure vegetarians. It is difficult to find pure veggie foods everywhere.

Muslims they mostly eat Non- Vegetable foods and as per Islam, they prefer to eat Halal chicken and other Non-Vegetable foods except egg. It is difficult to find halal shops everywhere.

  • Nature of food:

Even though in Sri Lanka there are common foods the way they prepare it differs. for example like different curries, spices they used Sinhalese use milky curries where Tamil use spicy ones, the vegetables, rice type they use and obviously the taste are different.

  • Cost:

In cities or towns comparatively, the foods are expensive. Some people find themselves difficult to bear these costs continuously. If the food is cheaper they might be less quality and vise versa. This is considerable. Unable to cook without proper facilities and time restrictions.

  • People’s attitude and mentality:

Some people think other language people’s food is not good and they are the ones eating healthier dishes. So they hesitate to eat others’ foods or eat less. Homesick is another factor due to missing home food.

  • Health issues:

People get ill when they try to adept new environment for the 1st time. In villages majority people whatever the ethnic group is like to have homemade foods. In city food for taste, they add more additives like ajinomoto and coloring. People get illnesses like indigestion, stress, fatigue, dizziness, gastritis and ulsor in common. Considering the above-mentioned factors people take time to adapt to the city food culture.


As city people eat all kinds of food there are Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Italian shops hotels and restaurants everywhere. It is a fact city foods are less healthy as the culture is different from street food and fast food. In cities for prestige problems, people spend more money on highly expensive restaurants like Pizza, Burger Hut etc. And people are lazy to cook these dishes in order to take away for fast food culture. They try to avoid breakfast and delaying time to take lunch as always busy.

However, people might be needed to live anywhere as per their requirements. So people should find out good ways to being healthy and omit the bad food cultural patterns which is beneficial to them as well as others.

Thank you.

You all represent a particular ethnic group and a religion.share your food culture below in the comment box.    
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