A country with a big contrast. In the top 30 of the Happy Planet Index and the bottom 30 of the World Happiness Index, the definition of happiness in Sri Lanka is something worth discovering. So are facts on Sri Lanka. One of the largest “bleeders” is how they rate their own well being. The social support they perceive is high, which is definitely experienced during our travels here.
The best way to see Sri Lanka is to jump in a tuk-tuk and ask the driver to take you to his favourite places. The best way to learn about Sri Lanka is to travel around and chat to the locals. The second best way to learn about Sri Lanka is to read these facts. You’re welcome ;-).
- Independent – Sri Lanka was first colonised by the Portuguese in 1505, then the Dutch in 1658 and then the British in 1796. Finally, the country gained full independence in 1948.
- Oldy – The oldest living tree known to be planted by man is in Sri Lanka. Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura has been tended continuously for over 2,000 years. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodh Gaya in India, the tree under which Buddha is said to have found enlightenment.
- Tea time – Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth largest tea producer (after China, India and Kenya) and third largest exporter. The country produces three main varieties: Ceylon black, Ceylon green, and Ceylon white tea. (Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN)
- What’s your name? – Sri Lanka has two names that it’s also known as. The first is ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean’, this is said to be named after its incredible beauty, varied biodiversity (the highest in Asia!), as well as one of its main exports being precious gemstones. The second, the ‘teardrop of India’, is a little more obvious, due to its perfect teardrop shape and being off the coast of India.
- head waggle – In Sri Lanka, it’s very common for people to “waggle” their heads from side to side (more of a pendulum swing than a shaking of the head), there’s quite a bit of variation on what this actually means. But generally, it means “yes” or an affirmative answer. However, it can also be interpreted as “Do you agree?”.
- Hydropower – Thanks to the countries waterfalls and rivers, the majority (over 50% in 2014) of the power for the country is generated by Hydropower.
- Multi culti – of Sri Lanka flag contains a golden lion, surrounded by four golden leaves at four corners which represents Buddhism. The green and orange strips represent Islam and Hinduism respectivel