SihaDerana: Sri Lanka and Theravada Buddhism - Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka

Some Simple Facts to Start


For the intereseted visitor these are a few pertinent facts about Sri Lanka;

  • Sri Lanka is situated about 5 degrees north of the equator, making it a tropical island, with year round lush green vegetation.
  • It is situated in the Indian Ocean, about 30km to the south east of the southern coast of India.
  • The capital is Sri Jayawardenepura, with Colombo being its economic capital.
  • The country has a population of about 20 million people, is multi-ethnic and multi-religious.
  • The temperature is more or less uniform throughout the year, averaging between 78F to 85F in the low-lying areas, and between 45F to 75F in the central hills.
  • The are two main seasons in Sri Lanka: the wet season and the dry season.
  • There are about 1000km of golden sandy beaches spread around the island.
  • The population is predominantly Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim, with about 75% being Sinhala.

Pockets of coconut trees dotting myriad beaches of seamlessly stretching surf and sand; lush green groves of tea-speckeld hills as far as the eye can see; delightful waterfalls springing up (or rather, going down) from the middle of rocky mountains, and all of it crowned by acre upon acre of indolently waving golden paddy fields.

This is Sri Lanka, more recently known as Ceylon, often times referred to as Taprobane. It is an ancient and enduring land, sunny in weather and the disposition of its people. Everywhere you go, you can be assured of at least a smile if not a welcoming invitation to indulge in some languidly fascinating conversation to pass the time of day. It is also where a drive of 80km can be accomplished in a matter of a mere four hours on a good day.

It is home to a diverse mix of some 20 million people, of whom over an estimated 80% consider Sinhala as their mother tongue.

An island small only in its physical size it is about 440km long by 240km wide Sri Lanka has nevertheless played a big role in the world in days gone by, albeit in a quiet and unassuming manner.

And thats just for starters. Along with all of these there is also one thing you will find in Sri Lanka which you will find hard put to find anywhere else; a ready smile and a helping hand, not to mention an instant offer of food!

You can expect tradiational Sinhala hospitality wherever you go, and this includes being invited to share a meal no matter what the time of day, or even whether you are a spur-of-the-moment visitor. Food in Sri Lanka is as diverse and as unique as its people, not to mention chili-hot.