Videos on ‘Sri Lanka: a Buddhist cosmology in food’


A great collection of videos on Rita Langer’s website are devoted to the subject of ‘Sri Lanka: a Buddhist cosmology in food‘.

Rita is a senior lecturer in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol and she explains the subject of the short documentaries in the following way:

In 2014 I made six documentaries on food offerings in Sri Lanka. The short videos show how Buddhists in Sri Lanka relate to the visible and invisible beings around them including gods, animals, hungry ghosts and monks by way of providing food. The result is a cosmology in food which emerges from the kitchens of Sri Lanka. Some of the offerings are made to avert misfortune, others are made in fulfilment of a vow. They range from very private feeding of crows to large scale public generosity stalls distributing free food to 3000 people. In Sri Lanka cooking is still largely, even though not exclusively, the domain of women and their voices are rarely heard. I decided against a narrator and let the food makers tell their stories in their own words. The videos are in Sinhala with English subtitles.