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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sri Lanka   or Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia. It lies in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the Bay of Bengal, and southeast of the Arabian Sea; it is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India and the Maldives. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital, and Colombo is its largest city and financial centre.

Sri Lanka's documented history goes back 3,000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements that dates to at least 125,000 years ago.It has a rich cultural heritage. The earliest known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, known collectively as the Pāli canon, date to the fourth Buddhist council, which took place in 29 BCE. Sri Lanka's geographic location and deep harbours have made it of great strategic importance, from the earliest days of the ancient Silk Road trade route to today's so-called maritime Silk Road.Because its location made it a major trading hub, it was already known to both Far Easterners and Europeans as long ago as the Anuradhapura period. The country's trade in luxury goods and spices attracted traders of many nations, which helped to create Sri Lanka's diverse population. During a period of great political crisis in the Sinhalese kingdom of Kotte, the Portuguese arrived in Sri Lanka (largely by accident) and then sought to control the island's maritime regions and its lucrative external trade. Part of Sri Lanka became a Portuguese possession. After the Sinhalese-Portuguese war, the Dutch and the Kingdom of Kandy took control of those areas. The Dutch possessions were then taken by the British, who later extended their control over the whole island, colonising it from 1815 to 1948. A national movement for political independence arose in the early 20th century, and in 1948, Ceylon became a dominion. The dominion was succeeded by the republic named Sri Lanka in 1972. Sri Lanka's more recent history was marred by a 26-year civil war, which began in 1983 and ended decisively in 2009; when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Today, Sri Lanka is a multinational state, home to diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities. The Sinhalese are the majority of the nation's population. The Tamils, who are a large minority group, have also played an influential role in the island's history. Other long established groups include the Moors, the Burghers, the Malays, the Chinese, and the indigenous Vedda.

The island has had a long history of engagement with modern international groups: it is a founding member of the SAARC and a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Sri Lanka is the highest ranked South Asian nation on the Human Development Index, and has the second highest per capita income in South Asia.

Sri Lankan cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its particular combinations of herbs, spices, fish, vegetables, rices, and fruits. The cuisine is highly centered around many varieties of rice, as well as coconut which is an ubiquitous plant throughout the country. Seafood also plays a significant role in the cuisine, be it fresh fish or preserved fish. As a country that was a hub in the historic oceanic silk road, contact with foreign traders brought new food items and cultural influences in addition to the local traditions of the country's ethnic groups, all of which have helped shape Sri Lankan cuisine. Influences from Indian (particularly South Indian), Indonesian and Dutch cuisines are most evident with Sri Lankan cuisine sharing close ties to other neighbouring South and Southeast Asian cuisines.[1]

Sri Lanka was historically famous for its cinnamon. The true cinnamon tree, or Cinnamomum verum used to be botanically named Cinnamomum zeylanicum to reflect its Sri Lankan origins. This is a widely utilized spice in Sri Lanka, and has a more delicate, sweet taste in comparison to Cinnamomum cassia which is more common in some other South Asian cuisines. Contrasting the local cuisine with those of neighbouring regions, Sri Lankan cuisine is characterized by unique spice blends with heavy use of Sri Lankan cinnamon and black pepper, as well as by the use of ingredients such as maldive fish, goraka (garcinia cambogia), pandan leaf, lemongrass, and jaggery made from the kithul palm syrup. Sri Lanka is also a consumer of many varieties of red rice, some of which are considered heirloom rices in the country. Tea is also an important beverage throughout the country, and Sri Lanka is known for producing some of the world's finest tea.

The culture of Sri Lanka

The culture of Sri Lanka mixes modern elements with traditional aspects and is known for its regional diversity. Sri Lankan culture has long been influenced by the heritage of Theravada Buddhism passed on from India, and the religion's legacy is particularly strong in Sri Lanka's southern and central regions. South Indian cultural influences are especially pronounced in the northernmost reaches of the country. The history of colonial occupation has also left a mark on Sri Lanka's identity, with Portuguese, Dutch, and British elements having intermingled with various traditional facets of Sri Lankan culture. Additionally, Indonesian culture has also influenced certain aspects of Sri Lankan culture. Culturally, Sri Lanka possesses strong links to both India and Southeast Asia.

The country has a rich artistic tradition, with distinct creative forms that encompass music, dance, and the visual arts. Sri Lankan culture is internationally associated with cricket, a distinct cuisine, an indigenous holistic medicine practice, religious iconography such as the Buddhist flag, and exports such as tea, cinnamon, and gemstones, as well as a robust tourism industry. Sri Lanka has longstanding ties with the Indian subcontinent that can be traced back to prehistory. Sri Lanka's population is predominantly Sinhalese with sizable Sri Lankan Moor, Sri Lankan Tamil, Indian Tamil, Sri Lankan Malay and Burgher minorities.

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