Sri Lanka is an island nation with an ancient cultural heritage that dates back over 2,500 years. Ruins of ancient kingdoms and archeological findings provides fascinating insights into a sophisticated ancient society which possessed advanced knowledge of science and technology, town planning and design, and valued the aesthetic beauty of the arts. A significant event in the history of Sri Lanka was the introduction of Buddhism in the 3rd century B.C. which then became an integral part of Sinhalese culture and civilization on the island. The many natural resources of this tropical island along with its natural harbors and strategic location, has attracted many nations in the past. As early as the 5th century, ships from Egypt, Persia, Arabia, and China docked at the ports to barter their goods for treasures from this island including precious gems, pearls, spices, and scented woods. The Portuguese colonized the island in the 17th century followed by the Dutch and the British changing the course of history. In 1948 Ceylon as it was then called, gained independence from Britain. Today Sri Lanka is a kaleidoscope of religions and ethnicities with deep rooted traditions influenced by its past history. The majority of the population is Sinhalese but there are significant communities of Tamils, Muslims, Burghers (descendants of the Dutch), and Malays all of whom contribute to make this a colorful and vibrant society.
Indigenous medicine is also a huge part of the culture which even has said to be able to cure terminal diseases such as cancer. These days in Sri Lanka a lot of ayuruvedic spas and clinics are open for tourists who visit the country, which is also considered as one of the major tourist ( recreational ) attractions.
The most vital part (for all the food –lovers) that dominates our culture is our mouth-watering, exotic food. Most of vegetable and fruits are used for cooking are sometimes only found in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan food culminates a variety of spices which integrates the exotic taste of the food. Besides the fact that the food is delicious it is widely believed that the food is made in such a way that provides for a very healthy life style. The best part of the cuisine is that it’s very versatile, where there are a lot of ways to cook one particular dish, which is great for avoiding monotony.
Art, music, drama and even architecture also is a part of the cultural fusion. Art plays an integral part in the history of Sri Lanka providing a figurative gold mine to archeologists and anthropologists since art speaks a lot about the Sri Lankan way of life. From castles to frescoes art itself chronicles the history and culture leaving people filled with wonder, reverence and respect.
Sri Lanka is one of the biggest and best tea producers of tea. Tea is an integral part of the culture since it goes hand in hand with hospitality, every household offers tea to guest’severy time, no exceptions. It has been said that the British Royal Family drinks Sri Lankan Tea.
Sri Lanka is one of the handfuls of countries that offer free education to children even up to higher education such as doctorates. Because of this reason Sri Lanka has a boasting literacy rate of 97%, is a highest rate for a South-East Asian Country.
There are two styles of martial arts native to Sri Lanka, these are Cheena di and Angampora. Chenna Di is more popular of the two whereas Angampora shows a decline in students each year due to the fact of the length of time to master the art.
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