Cultural Night: Sri Lanka


Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


Small nation draws large crowd

Citizens of Sri Lanka are proud of many things within their culture. So it should be no surprise that Sri Lanka native Malith Silva announced to an audience of over 100, “We’re going to bring the World Cup home,” at The University of North Dakota Union on Thursday.

Silva's statement during the UND International Center's series of cultural nights, was met with cheers of approval from fellow Sri Lankan cricket fans – as well as competitive glares from students supporting rival teams.

After all, it’s difficult to find a Sri Lankan who does not have an immense pride of the nation, especially when it comes to sport. “Everyone goes crazy during the cricket season,” said Silva. In fact, cricket is second only to soccer, where Sri Lanka has brought home a World Cup.

Sri Lanka makes up one of the smallest international populations at UND, consisting of just over a dozen graduate and undergraduate students. It is a small but close community within the University. “Our culture is very community-oriented,” said sophomore Christalin Casinader. “We always come back to our customs and traditions.”

Casinader, along with a hand full of her counterparts presented a brief history of the island nation nestled south of the Indian subcontinent in the Bay of Bengal. “It’s the number-one travel destination of 2011,” Silva pointed out. “It is a very affordable location, everyone should check it out.”

UND students were able to sample a host of different dishes native to Sri Lanka. “It’s a fusion of British, Portuguese, Dutch, and native tastes,” Casinader said.

On the menu was chicken curry, saffron rice, potatoes, and lentils. A sweet caramel flan completed the meal. “This is really good!” one student exclaimed as he tasted the dishes.

The Former Soviet Union will be featured in the next cultural night on Thursday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Loading Dock. Admission is free and food costs $1.