The culture of Sri Lanka has been influenced by many factors, but has managed to retain many of its ancient aspects. Sri Lankan culture has been influenced by its long history and its Buddhist heritage bought from North India, mostly in the southern/central parts of Sri Lanka. South Indian influences are visible in many aspects in the north of the country. There is also some influence from colonization by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The country has a rich artistic tradition, embracing the fine arts, including music, dance, and visual arts. The Sri Lankan lifestyle is reflected in the country’s cuisine, festivals, and sports. Sri Lankan culture is best known abroad for its cricket, food, holistic medicine, religious icons like the Buddhist flag, and cultural exports such as tea, cinnamon and gemsas well as tourism. Sri Lankan culture is diverse, as it varies from region to region. Sri Lanka has had ties with the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. Demographics: Sinhalese 74.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.23%, Indian Tamil 4.16%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.21%, Other 0.6%.

Sri Lanka boasts of a documented history of over 2000 years, mainly due to ancient historic scriptures like Mahawamsa, and with the first stone objects dating back to 500,000 BC.[3] Several centuries of intermittent foreign influence have transformed Sri Lankan culture to its present form. Nevertheless, the ancient traditions and festivals are still celebrated by the mostly 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 Buddhist, controlled the south.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Sri_Lanka

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