Aayubowan ! May you live long - greetings from Sri Lanka, my country, the beautiful small island in the Indian Ocean.
"Marco Polo considered Sri Lanka the finest island of its size in all the world, and you'll likely agree after exploring the country's fabled delights. What takes your fancy? Beaches? The coastal stretch south of Colombo offers palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. Culture? Try the Kandyan dances, a procession of elephants or the masked devil dances. Ruins? You'll find enough ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to satisfy that inner archaeologist, we promise. And then there's the natural wealth for which Sri Lanka is rightly renowned. Head for the hill country to escape the heat of the plains, where the coast fades away to reveal gorgeous rolling hills often carpeted with tea plantations. The entire island is teeming with bird life and exotics like elephants and leopards are not uncommon. To top it all off, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and costs are low."
- Lonely Planet World Guide
Known to the ancient Greeks and Romans and Taprobane, then to the Arabic sailors as Serandip, the tiny yet beautiful island was named 'the pearl of Indian ocean', and gave English language the word 'serendipity'.
The island is around 65,000 square kilometers in area, and had a greatly varying range of landscape, temperature and rainfall. Sunny and hot beaches; nice and cool misty mountains; dark and wet natural rainforests that are as old as the mankind on earth; windy and dry rugged terrains; hot water fountains; animals ranging from elephants to tigers to wild deer - you name it - you can see them all in this small patch of land !
Sri Lanka was famous in the earliest days for gems, pearl and ivory. Later, merchant ships from many parts of the world landed there for spices. After the british occupied the island, it became best known for it's tea. It's one of the chief tea-growing country of the world.
The island gets most of it's rain from southwest and northeast monsoons. The normal temperature is around 25-30 °C, and can go very low - even to zero in the up country. Mostly due to tropical rain forests, it has a lot of animal and plant species, some are unique to the country.
In addition to the long heritage and history, the people in Sri Lanka are best known for their friendliness and hospitality. I personally prefer the southern part of Sri Lanka, where I was born and bred. There are many nice beaches there, and a lot of other places to see and enjoy. Sri Lanka abounds in tropical fruits and the food is delicious, although local cuisine is sometimes known to be too hot for westerners. And in general, living costs are very low.
I'm a sinhalese in nationality. Sinhalese are the majority in population of Sri Lanka, and claim a history that is more than 2500 years old. It starts approximately in 450 BC, when the North Indian prince Vijaya landed on the island. By then, the country had a culture of it's own, and several tribes who were technologically advanced enough to have their own industries. Later, the indians mixed with the natives; the natives adopted the technologies, some cultural traits and, most importantly, Buddhism from the indians.
The new nation that was built from this fruitful mix was known as Sinhala.
The language of the sinhalese, Sinhala is a member of Indo Aryan group of languages, which consists of languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi and Maldivian. It traces back it's origin to Sangskrit. Sinhala script is phonetic; you can correctly pronounce whatever the word exactly in the way it's written.