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Ceylonese, Lankan Orientation Identification.
Inthe 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.
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 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 to be called Eelam.
Sri Lanka is a small tropical island off the southern tip of India.
The island nation covers approximately 25, square miles 65, 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 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.
Located on the west coast is the island's largest city, Colombo, a hub of international commerce as well as the seat of government administration located on its outskirts in Sri Jayawardenepura.
According to the islandwide census inthere were 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, 1.
Although the civil war in the north and east of the island has thwarted subsequent census plans, it was estimated that the population in 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 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 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.
The betel leaf and oil lamp are used 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.Published: Mon, 5 Dec This assignment will explore C.
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