Hela Bojun: ‘The best place to taste authentic Sri Lankan traditional food … a must for all tourists’
Hailed on TripAdvisor as “the best place to taste authentic Sri Lankan traditional food”, the Hela Bojun in the university town of Peradeniya, near Kandy, is “a must for all tourists”.
Hela Bojun food courts can be found throughout the island, and are special—they were founded specifically to promote local produce and empower women.
And they have been spectacularly successful because they provide delicious and fresh food at concessionary rates subsidized by the government.
RoarLIFE reports that thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture Supplementary Food Crop Promotion Programme, which underpins the initiative, there are now 15 Hela Bojuns across the country.
From the initial stall in Gannoruwa (Kandy), they can now be found from Jaffna to Nuwara Eliya, with a new outlet scheduled to open in Matara by the end of December, Ranasinghe said.
Additionally, three more stalls are scheduled to open by the end of this month, in Padiyathalawa, Wakare, and Kanthale respectively.
These local food outlets provided professional employment for women in rural areas, enabling them to monetise their existing skills while being trained in hospitality, customer care, hygiene, and finance.
Says a spokeswoman: “We provide them with space, and with the necessary training. They have to take care of their own resources, like the raw materials, electricity bills, rent for the building and such.
She adds that 600–700 women who have now found work thanks to the Hela Bojun Hal programmes, and are working with the stalls run by the Ministry.
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For example: “The best place to taste authentic Sri lankan traditional food. Nice setting. Bit crowded but delicious healthy food including most of Sri lankan traditional food. A must for all tourists.”
It notes: “Traditional food items and beverages like hoppers, unduval, ulundu vade, kola kanda, beli mal juice and soya products are prepared here and one could sense a great enthusiasm along with a village spirit at the restaurant.”
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