The craziest misconceptions about Sri Lanka you won’t believe to be true
We’re all human, so it’s not uncommon that we all keep our own set of cultural, religious, and other misconceptions in our minds. Some myths and misconceptions are downright silly while others test your faith and peace of mind. These ideas of untruths aren’t just specific for certain parts of the world either… misconceptions and untruths are everywhere! Sri Lanka is one of the destinations with some of the craziest misconceptions and superstitions that you will ever hear of!
First of all, please remember that folklore and common beliefs are very different things. I really do not want to offend anyone with this article. Personally, I did fall in love with Sri Lanka.
Now, not to be confused, there are definitely some surprising aspects about Sri Lanka that you may have a hard time believing but they’re nothing like some of these misconceptions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
For example, Sri Lanka is much more expensive than you would think. If you do want to visit this beautiful country be sure to have enough money with you, even if you have to work from home to save extra money!
What are misconceptions? What are stereotypes?
Essentially, a misconception is a wrong understanding of something or a belief in something that’s not true. It’s these misconceptions that can eventually turn into harmful stereotypes against people of different ethnic backgrounds.
It’s when these misconceptions are not addressed that they turn into stereotypes and become a preconceived notion or idea on a group of people, person, or idea. These stereotypes have riddled individuals and groups of people for many years. Some common stereotypes include:
Women are weak individuals
African Americans are intellectually inferior to Caucasians
All Muslims are terrorists
Society has deemed stereotypes as a necessary facet to learn the world around us. It saves us the time and energy required to learn all the unique complexities in the people and the world around us.
Sri Lankan misconceptions you will never think are true
There’s a high likelihood of experiencing a demonic attack during a woman’s time of the month
As crazy and distasteful as it may sound, this is a real misconception in the Sri Lankan culture. It is said that women are susceptible to demonic attacks when they are menstruating. This misconception is primarily linked to PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). Being that some women experience changes in mood and behavior during that time, it has been said a demonic possession was the root cause in these mood and behavior changes.
This misconception has, of course, been debunked. A woman’s menstrual cycle does cause changes in mood and behavior due to the hormonal changes her body goes through but not so much that it causes a woman to display demonic behavior!
This particular misconception had gotten so far out of control at one point that women were advised to stay out of temples and not wander the streets at night. Some women were even advised to stay indoors the entire time!
You can change the complexion of your baby’s skin by the food you eat during pregnancy
This misconception is definitely a bizarre one. Many Sri Lankans have the belief that pregnant women can control the color of their baby’s skin by eating certain foods. They believe that certain foods will allow them to give birth the lighter complected babies. Now, anyone who’s been to a science or biology class knows that a baby’s complexion is built upon the genetic makeup of the baby’s parents.
Now there are foods a pregnant woman will want to eat for the overall health of the baby but in no way do these food contribute to the color of their skin. Even if that misconception were true, why do you think Sri Lankans would want their baby’s skin to be lighter? Why not accept the complexion that they would be born with?
According to theconversation.com, there aren’t too many places in the world where darker skin isn’t ridiculed. In Sri Lanka, being born with fair skin is a blessing because lighter complected individuals are looked at in a more positive light than darker complected individuals. This obsession with a lighter complexion isn’t just a trend in Sri Lanka, in fact, many people in the African American community have taken skin bleaching measures to achieve a more fair complexion. Doing this is looked at as rejecting your identity as a black person.
Summoning Mohini is a very popular myth and misconception and it is slowly fading away but the story behind it is pretty interesting and has scared many Sri Lankans for many years. Now, the story behind Mohini comes in many different versions. Some people tell the story of Mohini as a similar tale of the infamous “Bloody Mary.”
You know, the story of how if you stand in front of a mirror and say “Bloody Mary” so many times before she appears in the mirror? Well, the story of Mohini has a story similar to that but the most popular story goes like this:
“Mohini was a very mysterious woman. No one ever knew where she came from but the most common characteristics about her are that she is very beautiful, she is always seen in white, and she is always cradling a baby and is in isolated locations when she is seen. She seems to only appear to young men when they are walking alone at night.
The way she entices her victims is that she will be holding her baby and struggle to try to tie her loose garment. At that moment, she will then ask the unsuspecting traveler for help by holding the baby while she ties her garment. It is in this moment when the beliefs and superstitions come into play.
One version of the story says that she kills her victims right then and there, while the other version says that Mohini would disappear with her baby and the frightened young man would soon get sick and develop a terrible fever that would ultimately lead to his tragic death.”
This misconception has also since been debunked but do you dare to test out the theory for yourself?
TIP 1: Here’s more about observing wild elephants in Udawalawe national park in Sri Lanka. It’s a such unique experience!
TIP 2: Are you more into beaches? Southern Sri Lanka has some really cool beaches to check out.