10 Things You Need To Know About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful archipelago off the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the major group of islands lying on the Indian Ocean. It boasts of beautiful sights, an astounding sense of culture, and warm people.

Take a trip right about now and learn ten things about the beautiful island-nation of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

10. It has a high human development index compared to most countries in South Asia

Coming from a bloody civil war that lasted for thirty years, Sri Lanka has made great strides when it comes to the economic development of the nation and its people. Sri Lanka has overtaken all the nations in the Indian subcontinent in the area of human development. Sri Lanka also has the lowest poverty level incidence in South Asia.

9. The name Ceylon is Sri Lanka’s colonial name

The Portuguese, who sailed off the Indian Ocean and landed in Sri Lanka called the island Celiao. Upon the colonization of the British, the island was placed under British dominion and was later called Ceylon – a name that will identify the archipelago during its colonial days. Upon gaining independence from the British, the people decided to change the name to Sri Lanka.

8. Sri Lanka’s civil war was also a racial conflict

Sri Lanka’s thirty year civil war, which began in the 70’s, was caused by tension between two of the country’s largest and most influential ethnic groups – the endemic Sinhalese and the Tamils, who trace their ancestry to neighbouring Southern India. This civil war displaced many people and caused Sri Lanka’s economy to become stagnant. It was only in the beginning of the 90’s was Sri Lanka able to rise from the ashes of war.

7. Sri Lanka was also ravaged by the 2004 Southeast Asian earthquake and tsunami

Although already part of South Asia, Sri Lanka’s proximity to the Andaman Sea, which was the earthquake’s epicenter, unfortunately made Sri Lanka as an open target of giant waves rippling from the ocean onto Sri Lanka’s eastern coast. This natural disaster, which happened early in the morning when most people were still asleep, claimed the lives of some 35,000 Sri Lankan people.

6. Sri Lanka is currently one of the world’s fastest growing economies

The Sri Lankan economy has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years. Thanks to a much improved peace and order situation, a stable government, and a young hardworking population. Foreign direct investment, tourism, and fisheries are some of the major industries that has given jobs and raised the standard of living of many Sri Lankans.

5. It is Asia’s oldest democracy

The “one man, one vote”right – or universal suffrage – was first introduced and implemented in Sri Lanka back in 1931. While still under their British caretakers, Sri Lankans were able to choose for themselves the representatives for the Ceylon State Council or the Ceylon Congress.

4. Sri Lanka has the highest life expectancy among the countries in South Asia

The Sri Lankan life expectancy of 77.9 years is ten years higher than the global average. Hence, it is said that Sri Lankans live longer lives compared to their neighbouring countries like The Maldives, Bangladesh, or even India.

3. Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist and not Hindu

A common misconception of many outsiders was the myth that Sri Lanka follows its larger neighbour India when it comes to religious adherence.The truth is that 70% of India, especially the native Sinhalese, are Buddhist. Only 13% of the population adhere to Hinduism.

2. Sri Lanka has the best roads in the whole of South Asia

One of the main reasons for Sri Lanka’s brisk economic development is the government’s investment to better the country’s infrastructure- particularly the roads and highways. The Sri Lankan government has acknowledged the importance of a highly integrated road network to facilitate transportation and to stimulate economic growth.

1. Sri Lankans love jackfruit

The people love this odd-looking fruit that in some feasts, jackfruit even takes the place of rice – a staple part of the Sri Lankan diet.