Maheshika about the environment, culture and traditional

Lashani Baddegama hewage, Intro Sociology 1104-14, Professor Phyllis Myers


Sri Lankan culture, traditions and customs are deeply rooted, and over a period
of 2,500 years, it has been passed on from generation to generation. Sri Lanka is a
tear drop shaped, small Tropical Island, surrounded by the Indian Ocean.
It’s located in the southern tip of India. Sri Lanka is known as the “Pearl of
Indian Ocean” because of its shape, and the magnificent natural beauty.

The people who
lives in the Sri Lankan culture deeply enjoy touching other people’s hearts
with their great hospitality, and also they have a unique, artistic culture
which has been known for centuries. Different age categories are present in
this culture. Majority of the young generation respect their elders, and value
their culture and the traditions. Sri Lankan economy is working towards to
combine their traditional agricultural pedestal with the international market.
People who live in this culture employed in the fields of craft or factory production, fishing, agriculture,
animal husbandry, administration, education medicine, law, engineering, accounting,
sales, services, clerical work or as an unskilled laborers. Education is one of
the main priorities in Sri Lankan culture also it provides a deeper
understanding about the environment, culture and traditional values to people. Children
who are in the age category of five to ten attend to the primary schools, age
eleven to fifteen attend to the junior secondary schools (ordinary level
examination), age sixteen to seventeen attend senior secondary schools (advance
level examination) and those who get qualified from the advance level exam get
the opportunity to enter the universities which runs under the Sri Lankan
government. During the school life, children get the benefits of free text
books, school uniforms, health services including vaccinations and dental
treatments, a nutritious mid-day meal, free school transport services, and
scholarships for students who needs financial support.

cultural variety in Sri Lanka is owned to its rich history. Before 300 B.C using
agriculture and irrigation the Yaksha and Naga tribes established their culture
in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan culture nourished from the Buddhism in early 2nd
century B.C, also influenced by Indian invasions and going through Portuguese,
Dutch and British rules, Sri Lankan culture is showing a great deal of variety like
its natural heritage. The British rule brought modern education, democracy, legal
and commercial agriculture system in the early 19th century. Sri Lanka now is a
mirror of its own ancient and modern culture variety from its large towns to small
villages across the beautiful little island surrounded by water.  

or Sinhala is the mother tongue of the Sri Lankan culture, but Tamil and
English also widely spoken and understood by the majority of people. Tamil is
mostly spoken only the northern part of Sri Lanka. During the school education
children get the benefit of the exposure to all three Languages. Some people in
Sri Lanka, struggles to speak the English language due to their lack of
confidence. Name of the public places, transportations and sign boards are
mostly appears in all three languages.

Hinduism, Islam and Christianity are the four category of regions in Sri Lankan
culture. 70.2 % of the Sri Lankan population are Buddhists and the remaining
population are 12.6% of Hindus, 9.7% are Muslims, and 6.1% are Christians.  There are three categories in Buddhism
Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Sri Lankan Buddhist practice the Theravada
Buddhism. Kings who lived in the ancient history of Sri Lanka has played a
major role to spread Buddhism inside the country. Deep respect towards Buddha
is a main Principle for people who follows the Buddhism in Sri Lanka. There are
many Buddhist Stupas, temples and statues of Buddha are made in Sri Lanka to
worship Buddha and to show reverence to his memory. Hindu people who lives in
the Sri Lankan culture practice the Shaiva Siddhanta. Also, they have built
many prominent Hindu temples in Sri Lanka to worship Lord Shiva. Worshiping to
Lord Shiva, consider as Puja by Hindus. There are two major branches in Islam,
Sunni and Shia. In Sri Lanka 85% of Muslims are
Sunni and 15% are Shia. Muslims consider the holy Quran as the words of their Lord Allah. Majority of
Christian people are Catholics in Sri Lanka. Portuguese introduced the Roman
Catholicism to Sri Lanka. Christian population includes some people from the
Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic groups.  Christian
people attend to their church prayers every Sundays. There are more than 200 Catholics
churches located are in Sri Lanka.

Religion is not a
barrier for people to get married in Sri Lanka, but the legal age for a
marriage is 18. If two people are deciding to go for a marriage, according to
the Sri Lankan culture they need to have their parents’ approval to their
marriage. In all ethnic groups marriages are traditionally arranged by the
families of the couple, however nowadays love marriages also pretty common to
see in the Sri Lankan culture. Additionally,
there is a preference among Tamil and Sinhala groups for cross-cousin marriage,
which is marriage with the child of one’s father’s sister or one’s mother’s
brother. Among Muslims, the preferred match is between parallel cousins, the
children of two brothers. It is also considered best if the couple are of
similar ages. There are many beautiful
rituals in a Sri Lankan cultural wedding. Buddhist
weddings are influenced by the Hindu culture which gives a precedence to “Neketh (The auspicious time).” The Poruwa ceremony consider as a
prominent custom in a registered marriage and it appears to have existed in Sri
Lanka before 3rd century B.C.


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