We are still living within the nostalgic memories of the rustic charm of Sri Lankan country lifestyle. Rustic life creates a sense of togetherness and Sri Lankanness. Sri Lanka has its national identity on the countryside. Just like in other parts of the world, the early settlers of Sri Lanka knew exactly how to be part of nature and that knowledge has been passed down for generations. People lived in partially independent villages with sufficient self-supplied and self-fulfilled services and needs. Their lives were centered on natural or man-made lakes, rivers, or reservoirs, since paddy cultivation was their main living.
Not all families in a village are farmers. But cultivation is what binds all communities together. Every community in the village gets their share of rice for performing their duties to the village. Some communities are, inherently, metalsmiths, and they make all necessary tools and equipment needed for paddy cultivation. Traditional Ayurvedic doctors, another integral community of any village, treat all physical illnesses of villagers and animals involved in paddy cultivation, using natural herbs and plants. All physiological illnesses are treated by performing traditional masked dancing rituals executed by another separate social group within the village. For instance, at different stages of maternity, traditional masked dancing rituals are performed in order to remove any mental worries and discomforts that bother pregnant women. Since paddy cultivation being the medium that brings all communities together, the proper functioning of every social group is important to maintain the fruitfulness of the village. Therefore, physical and mental wellbeing is important to avoid any discontinuities of the social system.
In addition, marriages between inter communities were highly restricted. Even though that this may sound anti-democratic, villagers believed that inter-community marriages can weaken the social structure that is pinned by paddy cultivation.
Paddy cultivation is an effective method to conserve the biodiversity of the nature and at the same time be a part of it. Paddy fields are efficient wetlands that stand as catchment areas of lakes and flood detention areas. In addition, these wetlands (paddy fields) along with the surrounding coexisting ecosystems purify water, by filtering out toxins, and retaining vital nutrients, before joining tanks or rivers. Further, paddy fields help conserve the adjacent network of other wetlands too.
Villagers were aware of the importance of retaining the ecological balance of the nature, and therefore they made sure that aquatic plants such as algae, reeds, and water plants are protected during all human activities.
By staying in a rustic village, you get the chance to inhale and feel local way of living, get hands-on experience in different stages of the farming process, and at the same time enjoy the warmth and panorama that surround you. You will work with traditional tools to prepare the land, making holes on the ground and planting seeds, weeding, and fencing. In addition, if you choose to spend a night in a hut built to protect crops from wild animals that wander searching for food, you can enjoy the dazzling swing of folk songs that express the emotions, history, feelings, and ethics of rustic Sri Lankan life.