Kandy: Politics, Society and Culture

Kandy is a small city in central Sri Lanka. As the capital city of the precolonial Kandyan Kingdom, Kandy has an abundance of history and culture. It is home to the sacred Temple of the Tooth containing the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha.  One of the main attractions of Kandy city is the famous Asala Perahera, also known as The Festival of the Tooth, which takes place in July and August. Kandy is set on a plateau surrounded by mountains, which are home to tea plantations and biodiverse rainforest. In the heart of the city students will find Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake) and a walkable center city shopping district which is host to both local markets and a modern multistory mall. 

Host Institution: The International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) is one of the country’s leading research centers focusing on ethnicity, identity politics, conflict and conflict resolution, post-war reconstruction, caste, democracy and governance, human rights, development and gender issues. The mission of ICES is to deepen the understanding of ethnicity, identity politics and conflict, and to foster conditions for an inclusive, just and peaceful society nationally, regionally and globally, through research, publication, dialogue, creative expression and knowledge transfer. Students can base their research out of ICES and work with a large range of communities throughout the country on diverse subjects such as Sri Lankan Tamil and Muslim cultures (with affiliates at Eastern University) in Batticaloa or caste issues within Buddhist Sinhalese communities (with affiliates at University of Peradeniya). Students can create their own research project related to these topics or participate in field work already being conducted in these fields.

Mentor: Prof. Kalinga Tudor Silva assumed duties as Director of Research at ICES Kandy in May 2016 where he previously held the position of Executive Director from 2009 to 2011. He is currently Professor Emeritus at University of Peradeniya where he served the Department of Sociology and Faculty of Arts in various capacities for almost 40 years. 

Program Dates: Between June 1 - August 11

Program Length: 8 Weeks

Housing: ICES will arrange a homestay for students. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE January 24, 2020 @11:59PM.

APPLY here! For questions contact Amelia Carter, Assistant Director, at ameliaca@upenn.edu