After journeying to Colombo (Sri Lanka) in May two students from the Department of Religion and Theology (University of Bristol) decided to bring a little piece of Colombo back by hosting Bristol’s first ‘dansal’. A dansal is a ‘generosity stall’ that forms a part of Buddhist festivals in Sri Lanka. Those who pass by a dansal are offered free food and drinks. This can include cups of tea, soft drinks, rice and curry or ice cream. Dansals are held during Buddhist festivals days such as Vesak in May (celebrating the Buddha’s birth, awakening and death) and Poson in June (commemorating the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BCE). Friends, family and neighbours come together to organize dansals. Buddhists and non-Buddhists can organize and attend dansals. Holding a dansal is in essence a celebration of generosity, one of the qualities Buddhists hold in high esteem as a basis of merit or good karma.

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