Ambassador Mahinda Samarasinghe and the staff of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. opened their doors for American visitors as part of Passport DC’s ‘Around the World Embassy Tour’ from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on Saturday, 06th May 6th, 2023 promoting Sri Lanka as an exciting tourist destination among over 3,750 prospective US tourists and well-wishers who visited the Embassy during the event as verified by Passport DC.
The visitors were treated to traditional Sri Lankan hospitality with a sample of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine including street food while offering them the opportunity of witnessing live cooking demonstrations in collaboration with the assistance extended by the Sri Lanka Tourist Promotion Bureau. The Embassy also made arrangements to serve all the visitors a freshly brewed cup of Ceylon tea in a specially set up tea corner that demonstrated different types of Ceylon Tea. In addition, a spice corner was set up for the visitors to learn about and experience the highest quality of different varieties of Ceylon spices that the country could offer. The hosts were heartened to witness the large number of visitors queuing up to taste Sri Lankan food and tea throughout the day.
Among the activities organized by the Embassy to mark the occasion, a photo opportunity with traditional attire was a highlight among the visitors as many American women queued up to drape themselves in Kandyan sarees, whilst gents tried on vivid batik sarongs and shirts. Sri Lankan traditional handicrafts comprised of wooden masks, drums, bags, batik wear, brass items and paintings were on display and proved another major attraction for the visitors. Traditional cultural dances and drums that were performed in regular intervals by students from two dancing academies based in Washington DC captivated the guests throughout the day.
The Embassy seized the opportunity in showcasing the diverse tourist attractions of the country by exhibiting vibrant photographic sceneries as well as continually broadcasting well-chosen tourist-oriented videos portraying pristine beaches, green mountain landscapes, and highlighting Sri Lanka tourism ranging from adventure and wellness to wildlife, catching the interest and attention of all visitors. On the sideline of gift distribution, a large volume of tourist promotional materials was also shared among spectators. To the surprise of the audience, the first 1,000 visitors who attended the event were offered a large pack of Ceylon tea each as a gesture of compliment from the Embassy whilst promoting ‘Ceylon tea’ among the visitors which in return was highly valued by the recipients.
The open house launched under a special event, “Passport DC”, was organized by Events DC in partnership with over 60 foreign Missions based in Washington D.C. including the Embassy of Sri Lanka. It is a month-long festival in May that pays tribute to Washington D.C.'s thriving international diplomatic community and its lively and varied culture. As part of the festival, the first Saturday in May, the ‘International Cultural Awareness Month’ in Washington D.C., is devoted to Embassy open houses.
Passport DC is Washington D.C.’s citywide international cultural awareness programme that enables residents and visitors to experience and explore the international culture that flourishes alongside Washington’s renowned institutions of governance, cultural and historic heritage. Organized annually, Passport DC showcases Washington D.C.’s embassies and cultural organizations with a wide range of performances, discussions, and exhibits. It has become very popular among Americans in the Greater Washington area (Washington D.C., State of Maryland and Northern Virginia, and surrounding metropolitan area), as it gives them a rare opportunity of enjoying many aspects of foreign cultures and traditions in a single day.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
09th May 2023