Zinara Rathnayake

Zinara Rathnayake is an independent journalist and a creative based in Asia. She writes about travel, food, and culture. Her work has appeared in BBC Travel, The New Zealand Herald, Atlas Obscura, and others.

Latest articles

How Sri Lanka Became a Hollywood Filming Destination

When India says no or is too much of a hassle, the island nation has filled the void. But this trend has yet to lead to a boom in local film or film tourism.

Zinara Rathnayake

December 20, 2021

How Sri Lanka Became a Hollywood Filming Destination

”Enjoy Enjaami”: How a Tamil Song Led to a Public Outcry About Caste

For Tamils around the world, the song was something to be proud of. But a magazine cover by Rolling Stone India and a Times Square billboard sparked public outrage over Dalit erasure.

Zinara Rathnayake

October 01, 2021

”Enjoy Enjaami”: How a Tamil Song Led to a Public Outcry About Caste

The Sri Lankan Hopper is Going Global

The quintessential island snack is making its way around the world, appearing on menus from the U.K. to Australia and beyond.

Zinara Rathnayake

September 09, 2021

The Sri Lankan Hopper is Going Global

“A Pained Spectator of the War”: Anuk Arudpragasam on “A Passage North”

The Sri Lankan Tamil novelist talks to us about his Booker Prize-longlisted novel, his aversion to writing dialogue, and what’s next.

Zinara Rathnayake

September 03, 2021

“A Pained Spectator of the War”: Anuk Arudpragasam on “A Passage North”

Why Sri Lanka Loves Russian Literature

The Soviet Union translated Russian books in local languages as a propaganda tool. Decades later, those books still hold influence in Sri Lanka.

Zinara Rathnayake

July 23, 2021

Why Sri Lanka Loves Russian Literature

Sri Lanka’s Little-Known Memoni Cuisine

For years, Memoni food remained absent from mainstream Sri Lankan cuisine, but women from the community are changing that.

Zinara Rathnayake

February 24, 2021

Sri Lanka’s Little-Known Memoni Cuisine

The Revival of Sri Lanka's Kithul Palm Treacle

The sweet vegan syrup is evolving from a dessert sweetener to a condiment in savory dishes and boozy drinks.

Zinara Rathnayake

November 12, 2020

The Revival of Sri Lanka's Kithul Palm Treacle

Rishi Naleendra, Michelin Star-Chef, Spotlights Sri Lankan Cuisine

A "short brown guy from a small island" shared his native food with the world — and they ate it up.

Zinara Rathnayake

September 25, 2020

Rishi Naleendra, Michelin Star-Chef, Spotlights Sri Lankan Cuisine

The Rise of Male Belly Dancers

Indian men are blurring gender lines and embracing belly dance as a form of expression.

Zinara Rathnayake

August 06, 2020

The Rise of Male Belly Dancers

How We Get the Job Done: Ayush Kejriwal

Ayush Kejriwal's unconventional models and uniquely patterned saris have helped the Glasgow-based fashion designer command an Instagram following of 185k+.

Zinara Rathnayake

May 27, 2019

How We Get the Job Done: Ayush Kejriwal
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