Sri Lanka hosted Ayurveda Symposium 2019 to boost its culture heritage

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/17 19:43:40

Ayurvedic herbal bath at Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort in Sri Lanka Photo: IC

Ayurveda, one of the world's oldest forms of healing, has been intricately tied with the culture  of Sri Lanka for thousands years. To promote and help preserve this intangible cultural heritage, the country hosted a symposium on Ayurveda on October 5-6. 

Taking "Healing Benefits of Ayurveda" as its theme, the Ayurveda Symposium 2019 was held at Wadduwa, near the capital city of Colombo by the country's well-known Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka and SriLankan Airlines.

According to Asoka Hettigoda, managing director of the Hettigoda Group, the symposium aimed to raise public awareness about the benefits of the medical system while also focusing on its preservation. 

Despite of the emergence of the concrete-jungle, or perhaps because of it, Sri Lankan Ayurveda has gained in popularity around the world for its nature-based approach to treatment. In parallel to the development of conventional medical systems, seeking the assistance of Ayurveda medicine to treat illnesses in the human body has become a common practice for many. 

At the symposium, Raj Somadeva, professor of archaeology at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka, gave an introduction to the history and evolution of the indigenous medicine of Sri Lanka. 

Ayurveda, the Sanskrit words for life (ayuh) and knowledge or science (veda), became so popular in Sri Lanka after being introduced from India thousands of years ago, Sinhalese kings established Ayurveda treatment centers in the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. With the royal patronage bestowed on them, Ayurveda physicians in ancient times enjoyed a noble position in the social hierarchy, endorsing the local belief that, "If you cannot be a king, become a healer."

Statics from Sri Lanka Tourism's official website show that there are around 6,500 registered Ayurveda practitioners in Sri Lanka, with around twice that number practicing informally in villages. 

More and more overseas visitors from Western countries such as Germany, Italy and the UK and Asian nations such as China and Japan fly to Sri Lanka to spend days to weeks at specialized Ayurveda resorts such as the Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort and Anarva Mount Lavinia Hotel. 

There visitors enjoy a combination of pure fresh air, a largely vegetarian diet, yoga, meditation and individually designed Ayurvedic treatments.


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