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The history of colonial occupation has also left a mark on Sri Lanka's identity, with Portuguese, Dutch, and British elements having intermingled with various traditional facets of Sri Lankan culture.
Due to Sri Lanka's prominence as an ancient trading hub, cultural influences ranging from East Asia to the Middle East have shaped the island, particularly that of the Sinhalese people.
The country has a rich artistic tradition, with distinct creative forms that encompass music, dance, and the visual arts.
Sri Lankan culture is internationally associated with cricket, a distinct cuisine, an indigenous holistic medicine practice, religious iconography such as the Buddhist flag, and exports such as tea, cinnamon, and gemstones, as well as a robust tourism industry.
Sri Lanka has longstanding ties with the Indian subcontinent that can be traced back to prehistory.
Sri Lanka's current population is predominantly Sinhalese with sizable Sri Lankan Moor, Sri Lankan Tamil, and Indian Tamil minorities.
Several centuries of intermittent foreign influence has transformed Sri Lankan culture to its present form.
Nevertheless, the ancient traditions and festivals are still celebrated, mostly by the conservative Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamil people of the island, together with other minorities that make up the Sri Lankan identity.
The Tamils, primarily Hindus, claimed the northern section of the island and the Sinhalese, who are predominantly Buddhists, controlled the south.
One very important aspect that differentiates Sri Lankan history is its view on women.
Women and men in Sri Lanka have been viewed equal for thousands of years from ruling the country to how they dress.