Although the sale of housing lots is a growing industry, the sale of agricultural land is relatively uncommon. This, in combination with the subdivision of property with each generation, has created very small holdings of paddy land, which are inefficient to farm, something that the world Bank has identified as the primary cause of poverty in Sri lanka. Sri lanka's towns and villages as well as its urban centers are typically active sites of commercial exchange. Most of the nonplantation agricultural crops that are not consumed in the home are sold at local markets, along with traditional craft products such as brass, pottery, and baskets, which are largely produced by hereditary caste groups. Repair, construction, tailoring, printing, and other services are always in demand, as is private tutoring. Tourists are also the focus of a range of commercial activity. The major industries in Sri lanka are involved with agricultural production and manufacturing. Nearly one-third of the agricultural production of the island is from the tea and rubber estates, products that are partially processed locally.
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Kawum (sweet oil cakes) and other special snacks are also popular at special events. Alcoholic beverages do not play a role in the formal rituals of Sri lanka, being condemned by Islam, buddhism, and Hinduism alike. Alcohol is, however, a ubiquitous part of men's social gatherings, where beer, toddy resume (fermented palm nectar arrack (distilled palm nectar and kassipu (an illegally distilled beverage are consumed in great quantities. Sri lanka's economy is shifting away from its traditional agricultural base to include production for an international market, a shift accelerated by a major policy change in the 1977 transition from a socialist-style, state controlled economy to a free market economy lead by the private. By the mid-1990s, roughly one-quarter of the population was employed as skilled workers in agriculture, fishing, or animal husbandry; one-quarter in skilled craft or factory production; one-quarter in administration, medicine, law, education, accounting, sales, services, or clerical work; and one-quarter as unskilled laborers. In spite of this shift away from agriculture, sri lanka has recently achieved near self-sufficiency in rice production and other staple foods. Land Tenure and Property. Although private ownership of land has been well established in Sri lanka since the precolonial period, most of the land is currently owned by the state and leased to private individuals and companies. Religious establishments also own substantial tracts of land. Today as in the past, private property is passed from parents to children, with the bulk of landholdings going to sons.
In almost every town there is at least one Chinese-style restaurant where alcohol is also served, as well as Sinhala, muslim, hibernation and Tamil restaurants and traditional snack booths. In the capital, western chain restaurants as well as other foreign-style foods are increasingly available. There is some ethnic variation in foods and customs, as well as food taboos. For instance, muslims avoid pork while hindus are often vegetarian. Sinhala and Tamil people tend to take care that the foods served together create a balance of hot and cold energies. They also typically will not accept food prepared by those of relatively lower caste status. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Kiribath, rice cooked in coconut milk, is part of nearly every ceremonial occasion in Sri lanka.
This rice and curry meal is traditionally eaten at midday, although it may also be served in the evening. The traditional morning and evening meals are usually composed of a traditional starchy staple, such as string hoppers hotel (fresh rice noodles hoppers (cup-shaped pancakes roti (coconut flat bread or thosai (sourdough pancakes served with a sambol (a mixture of hot peppers and other vegetables, served. A variety of snacks and beverages are also eaten periodically throughout the day. Strong, sweat tea, usually with milk, is drunk alone or following a small serving of finger food or sweets, especially at mid-morning and late afternoon. Curd, a yogurt made from the milk of water buffaloes or cows, is often served as a dessert with palm syrup or sugar. A rich variety of fruits is available year-round. Eating outside of the home has not been very common, although it is becoming more.
The front of the house with its sitting room, bedrooms, dining area, and veranda is typically separated from the back of the house in which the kitchen and washing areas are located, a division that reflects notions of the danger of pollution by outsiders. Buddhist, hindu, or even Christian shrines are often located within the house or the garden areas that surround. Public spaces provide the setting for a variety of valued activities. Each community, no matter how small, contains a public school, a place of worship, and a shop or two where people can buy daily necessities as well as exchange gossip. Wells, rivers, and other bathing places are also important social gathering places. Food and Economy, food in daily life. Sri lanka's staple meal is a large serving of rice accompanied by up to twelve different side dishes of vegetables, egg, meat, or fish stewed together with peppers, spices, and often coconut milk.
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Because of the historic fluidity in migration and marriage patterns, the physical attributes of the principal ethnic groups are widely distributed. While conflicts between various groups have periodically flared up, beginning in 1956 the ethnic rivalry between the sinhala-buddhist majority and the Sri lankan maker Tamil minority has intensified to an unprecedented level and led to the eruption of civil war in 1983. Since that time, the liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant organization of Sri lankan Tamils, have been fighting for an independent Tamil state in the north and east. Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space. In the precolonial period, only the ruling elite and religious establishments were permitted to have permanent buildings. As a result, most of the archaeological ruins represent the heritage of elite culture, the ancient states, and the temple complexes, many of which are still in use today. The most elaborate of Sri lanka's architecture continues to be dedicated to religious purposes, ranging from the imposing domes of the mosques to the graceful spires of the portuguese churches to the ornate and colorful figures covering the hindu temples to the white, bell-shaped dagobas.
The influences from these religious traditions have combined with the influences of the colonists and more modern designs to produce a diverse architectural landscape in the urban areas as well as the rural, where 7080 percent of the population continues to live. Residential buildings vary widely according to the socioeconomic status of their inhabitants. Rural peasants live in small temporary wattle and daub (stick and mud thatched houses whose style has remained unchanged since ancient times. In the urban area adults of Colombo, half of the residents are estimated to live in "low income" areas characterized by crowded dilapidated buildings and adjoining watte, built of a hodgepodge of thatch, wooden planks, and corrugated metal sheets along railways and roadways, beaches, rivers, and. In this same city are modern apartment buildings and colonial-era gated compounds with attached servants' quarters. All over the island, there is a preference for whitewashed cement houses with polished cement floors and windows designed to keep out the heat and light but let in the air through built-in vents.
The sinhalas, the tamils, and various south Indian invaders built powerful kingdoms with advanced agricultural projects and elaborate religious institutions, kingdoms that periodically brought the island under the authority of a single regime. Because of its important ports along the east-West trade routes and desirable goods, traders were drawn to the island. Some of these Arab traders made Sri lanka their permanent home, adding Islam to the island's religions. In the early sixteenth century portuguese traders introduced Christianity as they began to make use of the island, eventually gaining control over productive portions. In 1638 the king of Kandy drove out the portuguese with the help of the dutch.
The dutch then kept the land for themselves, controlling all but the kingdom of Kandy until they were driven out by the British in 1796. In 1815 the British ousted the last king of Kandy, gaining control over all of Sri lanka, which remained a british colony until 1948. On 4 February 1948, ceylon, as the nation was then known, became politically independent of Great Britain, though it remained part of the commonwealth. The current Sri lankan national identity is dominated by the sinhala majority, although this identity is resisted by the minority ethnic groups. Since independence, national leadership has consistently appealed to the sinhala majority and the strength of the buddhist monastic orders, marginalizing the non-Sinhala, non-Buddhists from the Sri lankan identity and limiting access to state-controlled benefits. Despite the politicization of separate ethnic identities, there is a core of cultural beliefs, practices, and values that are largely shared among the people of Sri lanka, particularly in the domains of the economy, social stratification, gender, family, and etiquette. Sri lanka has always been home to a multiethnic and multireligious society.
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The betel leaf and oil lamp are used teresa to mark special occasions. Images of the island's natural resources, such as palm trees, gems, and beaches, are promoted as part of the tourist industry and other international commercial enterprises. The players and events that are part of the wildly popular national cricket team serve as symbolic foci of national culture. Further, the performance of certain islandwide customs, such as bowing in respect, serve as symbolic enactments of a national cultural identity. History and Ethnic Relations, emergence of the nation. There is archaeological evidence that the island was inhabited as early as 10,000. The present-day väddas, who live in remote areas of Sri lanka and use a simple technology, are apparently descended from these early inhabitants mixed with the later arriving Tamils and Sinhalas, who were both well established on the island by the third century. It is widely believed that the sinhala people migrated to the island from north India, bringing their essay Indo-Aryan language and some version of Brahmanism with them, although Buddhism was introduced in their principal areas of settlement during the third century. The tamils emigrated to the north of the island from southern India, bringing Hinduism and their Dravidian language with them.
The official symbols of Sri lanka are largely drawn from those representing the sinhala buddhist majority. Sinhala means "lion's blood" and the lion is the central image on the national flag. Also pictured on the flag and other emblems of national culture beast are the leaves of the sacred bo tree under which the buddha found enlightenment. Other symbols central to Sri lankan Buddhism and Sinhala mythology have also become icons of national identity, such as the tooth Relic of the buddha, the possession of which has provided legitimacy to sinhala rulers for thousands of years. There are also symbols of national culture that reflect a more integrated national identity. For instance, the color blocks on the nation's flag represent each of Sri lanka's three major ethnic groups. The Sri lankan elephant is a symbol of national heritage and of prosperity, both for its long association with wealth and royalty and for its association with Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of wealth.
nearly 15 million inhabitants of Sri lanka. This population was concentrated in the wet zone and around the principal cities, although barely three million people were considered to live in urban areas. At that time, there were approximately eleven million Sinhalas, two million Sri lankan Tamils, one million Tamils of recent Indian origin,.5 million Muslims, and less than seventy thousand people of other ethnicities. Although the civil war in the north and east of the island has thwarted subsequent census plans, it was estimated that the population in 2000 stood near nineteen million. There are three official languages in Sri lanka: Sinhala, tamil, and English. Sinhala, the language of the majority, and Tamil, spoken by muslims as well as ethnic Tamils, are the. Sri lanka primary languages of the island. English was introduced during British rule and continues to be the language of commerce and the higher levels of both public and private sector administration. Language has been a volatile issue in Sri lanka, particularly following independence when the "Sinhala Only" campaign came to the political fore, provoking resistance from the Sri lankan Tamils in particular, and thus paving the way toward the civil war.
The island nation covers approximately 25,332 square miles (65,610 square kilometers) and is divided ecologically into a dry zone stretching from the north to the southeast and a wet zone in the south, west, and central regions. This contrast in rainfall combined with topographical differences has fostered the development of regional variation in economy and culture. The north-central plains are dotted by the ruins of ancient kingdoms built around man-made lakes. The northern tip of the island is the traditional home to the Sri lankan Tamils who consider Jaffna, its principal city, their cultural and political center. The dry lowlands of the eastern coast, site of fishing and rice cultivation, are particularly diverse both ethnically and culturally, with Muslims, tamils, and Sinhalas composing almost equal portions of the population in some areas. The central highlands are famous for tea plantations and, in the southwestern part, gem mines. Kandy, the principal city of this offer central "Hill country was the seat of the last of the indigenous kingdoms and continues to be an important ritual, administrative, and tourist center. The southern coastal lowlands are the site of coconut, rubber, and cinnamon estates, an active fishing industry, and beautiful beaches.
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The official name of the nation is the democratic Socialist Republic of Sri lanka. In 1972, the national constitution discarded the name ceylon and adopted the name of Sri lanka. In Sinhala, the language of the majority, sri means "blessed" and Lanka is the name of the island. The island's history of immigration, trade, and colonial invasion has led to the formation of a variety of ethnic groups, each with its own language and religious traditions. Besides the majority sinhala buddhists, the nation also includes Sri lankan Tamils, tamils the of recent Indian origin, muslims, semitribal Väddas, and Burghers, descendants of intermarriages between Sri lankans and Europeans. Although the members of these groups share many cultural practices, beliefs, and values, ethnic differences have become especially marked since the nation's independence in 1948. These differences and the exclusive policies of the sinhala-dominated central government have led to escalating ethnic conflicts, including the current civil war in which Sri lankan Tamil rebels are fighting for an independent nation in the northern and eastern regions of the island. Sri lanka is a small tropical island off the southern tip of India.