Most of Sri Lanka is relatively flat, according to Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia “About four fifths of the island is flat or gently rolling”. In fact, the majority of Sri Lanka is made up of plains which are between approximately 98 to 656 feet above sea level (CSAH). Although most of Sri Lanka consists of plains, these plains are dotted with several mountains, the most well knowing being Adam’s Peak at 7, 356 feet. While Adam’s Peak is most well known as a result of numerous religious traditions, the largest mountain is actually the Pidurutalagala which is considered the highest point in Sri Lanka at 8,278 feet.
Sri Lanka’s climate is overall very warm year round as a result of its ...view middle of the document...
In 1956 the government decreed that Sinhala was the official language of Sri Lanka and this disqualified the Tamil minority from, “…taking up government positions” (CS 150). This was a large reason why a civil war ensued between the Sinhalese and the Tamils (CS). Although the war has been over for many years and both Sinhala and Tamil are currently considered official languages of Sri Lanka, language is still a highly debated topic (CS).
Buddhism is the official language of Sri Lanka; however, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism are all very popular in Sri Lanka. The equality each religion receives is a debated topic. Some sources such as Sri Lanka: A Country, note the freedom and equality each enjoys saying, “ Sri Lanka is multireligious; the majority, Buddhists, live peacefully besides sizeable Hindu, Muslim, and Christian communities, while major local events… are often marked by representatives of faith together.” (CS 50). Operation World however, notes that, “Although freedom for other religions is assured, there has been a steady erosion of that freedom, with discrimination against minority religions in taxation, employment and education…” (587 OW)
Rice is the staple food of many Sri Lankans. It is typically eaten with various spices, most commonly curry. Hoppers, which are like pancakes, are also very common ( COTW). A typical dinner includes both Rice and Hoppers and several sides ( COTW). According to Cultures of the World, “ The meal is not complete without badung ,fried dried fish; vegetables with lentils; malung , finely-shredded leaves cooked light or served raw; and papadam , a puffy, crispy, spicy wafer. “ (125). Not only do Sri Lankans eat food leisurely, but many Sri Lankan foods are also religious symbolic (CS 75).
Music in Sri Lanka is enjoyed both as a leisure activity and as an integral part of many religious ceremonies ( CS). Bollywood, an Indian form of the United States’ Hollywood, has a large role in Sri Lanka’s secular music (CS). According to Sri Lanka: A Country Study, “Sri Lankan music has been influenced by religious chanting, the rhythm of African slave songs and the melodies, Charisma…” (112) as well.
Sri Lankan dress is largely influenced by western fashion, although traditional Sri Lankan dress is still seen; mostly in formal events. According to Sri Lanka: A Country Study, “… Saris are still the preferred formal dress of women, but today, have many modern variations and high heels are gaining popularity with the younger generation. Men wear suits or smart trousers, shirts and ties for formal occasions” (CS 94-95)
Sri Lanka’s government has been a Democratic Socialist Republic since 1978 (Culture Smart) as a result of the 1978 Constitution. According to Sri Lanka: A Country Study, this type of government is comparable to France’s Fifth Republic. All citizens eighteen years and older are permitted to vote for a president ( Culture Smart) who, “ …is both head of state and head of government as well as...