Sri Lanka Bits + Bobs
Interesting Bits and Bobs of Sri Lanka
The Flag of Sri Lanka, also known as Lion Flag, is considered one of the world's oldest, dating back to 162 BC. It is also thought to be the only flag in the world to recognise different religious beliefs, with the leaves of the bo tree representing Buddhism, orange standing for Hinduism, and green for Islam.
"Serendipity", one of Britain's favourite words, is derived from "Serendip", the old name for Sri Lanka as named by the Arabs and Persians. The word, invented by the English writer Horace Walpole in 1754, was based on the word on the title of a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, in which the princes "were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of”.
In July 1960, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the leader of Sri Lanka Freedom Party, won the victory in the general election and became the first woman prime minister in the world. She served the country for three terms before she resigned in August 2000 because of failing health. At the age of 84, Sirimavo Bandaranaike died of heart attack in the same year after her vote in the parliamentary elections.
Sri Lanka attaches great importance to education and makes it a fundamental right in its Constitution. The country is said to have a literacy rate of 92%, making it the highest in South Asia as well as one of the highest in Asia. Lovely to see all schoolchildren wearing uniforms.
Though the most popular sport in the country is cricket, it is volleyball that was made the national sport. Sri Lanka introduced the game in 1916 and it gained tremendous popularity in a few years. In 1951, the Volleyball Federation was established and it was officially declared the national game of Sri Lanka in 1991.
In most cultures, one nods one's head to show consent and says no with the shaking of their head. That is not the case in Sri Lanka. When meaning yes, people of the island nation actually shake their head from side to side. It can be confusing for most foreign visitors, but they'll get used to it.
A sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, brought from India in the 4th century CE, is still preserved in the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Every summer, there's a grand festival known as Esala Perahera (Festival of the Tooth), one of Sri Lanka’s top festivals - to honour a tooth…….
The oldest tree planted by the human being rather than by natural seeding is in Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. It is a sacred fig or bo-tree aged 2,300 years old and called Sri Maha Bodhiya. The tree was planted in 288 BC. Its mother tree is said to be the famous Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment when he was meditating. We were not allowed to stand next to the tree but it is the one in the centre of the picture.
Adam’s Peak is the most sacred mountain in the country Perched in the picturesque area of the southern Hill Country, this holy peak has been a mecca for people of various beliefs in Sri Lanka for over a thousand years. In Buddhism, the peak is known as Sri Pada, meaning sacred footprint, and is believed to have been left by the Buddha when he was going to paradise. For Hindus, it is Lord Shiva's footprint. When asking Christians and Muslims, they would say it is the footprint of Adam as he was banished from the Garden of Eden.
The best and most humbling ‘thing’ about Sri Lanka is respect for others property, This picture was taken at one of our B&B’s, money, mobile and keys left on the table in the hall. No one will touch, amazing. We saw ladies leave all their ‘kit’ on a table and trot off to select their food, nip to the toilet or pop out to their car. How marvellous is that.
Visitors come in all shapes and sizes (this chap in Beez toilet), some don’t want to leave.
ALL IN ALL DIVERSE AND INTERESTING
I HAVE ENJOYED MY TIME HERE ENORMOUSLY