Everything else.. When you attend a Sri Lankan Dinner Party

When you attend a Sri Lankan Dinner Party

2018 Jul 9

Ah, family dinner parties. There’s nothing quite like those big shindigs that make you feel both much closer to your family but also slightly exasperated at their shameless clichés and questions.

There’s always that one drunk uncle (or aunt?) dancing to Baila and reminiscing about the good old days, as well as the impertinent questions about your love life, career, and just about everything else you wish to avoid thinking about.

While these occasions might have proved to be quite boring when we were younger, family dinner parties are the perfect opportunity to load up on family gossip and catch up with those relative you don’t entirely want to murder. In short, buckets of fun! Check out the article below to see if you’ve really attended a Sri Lanka dinner party!

1. You wait for your favourite cousin to arrive

This is easily the highlight of every family dinner party. Regardless of whether you hang on the regular or once every couple of months, there’s nothing but love and excitement at having them there. I’d even dare to say that after the dinner, they’re the NEXT best thing all night.

Whether you gossip and laugh about family drama and eccentricities or just jointly demolish the food off the table, these are moment that create unbreakable bonds!

2. You strategically sit close to the food table

One thing about our Lankan dinner parties is that our food is just so damn good.

Whether it’s those piping hot hoppers, black pork curry, or those irresistible bite-sized cutlets, we know how to do a family dinner the right way.

Given how freaking good the food is, most of us strategically pick seating that’s close to the dinner table. Not only because it’s more convenient to make frequent trips back and forth but also because your judgmental relatives won’t see just how many servings you take.

That being said, you’ll also encounter an endearing grandparent or hostess who doesn’t think 4-5 servings of food are enough. Which means that most of that extra food gets dumped on our plate given just how close we are to the dinner table. Either way, this is a win. Even if you can’t finish the food, there’s always a hungrier dad, brother or cousin happy enough to take those glorious extras off your hand (plate).

3. Your uncles and aunts still think you’re a kid and give you money

Hey, I’m not complaining. If I’m given money in the mistaken assumption I’m still a child, I’ll never complain about not being treated like an adult again.

Whether it’s due to forgetfulness or drunkenness on their part, Lankan grandparents, aunties, and uncles are always convinced you’re still a child and start doling out money. Usually when it’s time to leave.

Sure, we do the “Oh no, I can’t take this”, when secretly we’re cackling on the inside. Until, of course, our parents ruin everything by either telling them we don’t need it or that we already have jobs. WHY DO YOU DO THIS?!

4. Somebody gets drunk

This is the highlight of the night for just about every family dinner here in Sri Lanka.

While it’s most often a male member of the family that tends to do the honours, it’s not unheard of to have a wine drunk aunt entertaining guests with their drunken antics. Whoever they are, these relatives often get LOUD and giddy. While this may have been either frightful or surprising as a child, as adults ourselves, most of us usually find the racket rather entertaining, provided, of course, it’s not our parents on display. *cringe*

5. Nobody leaves until there’s a fight and a few tears

In the midst of very drunken people, there’s bound to be at least one fight and a few tears.

Whatever the cause is, you can be sure that a female relative is in tears either at the hands of a catty relative, a mean-spirited uncle, or simply in order to make a scene to mask other family drama. Whichever it is, you can be sure that all the kids and most of us “young adults” are watching in equal measures of awe, curiosity, and pity.

6. There’s Baila 

Are you even Sri Lankan if there is no Baila music at your dinner parties?!?!

This is undoubtedly the highlight of the night. Not only do you get to bust your moves without any fear of humiliation but also get to watch older relatives dance with reckless abandon. These are usually the ones who wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead on the dancefloor. Actually, maybe the ones looking for any excuse to be on the dancefloor.

Either way, you are guaranteed an entertaining display of well-coordinate hip thrusts and a few sarong hoists here and there.


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