The culture of Sri Lanka dates back over 2500 years. It is influenced primarily by Buddhism
and Hinduism. According to Islamic folklore, Adam and Eve were offered refuge on the
island as solace for their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The island is the home to
two main traditional cultures: the Sinhalese (centred in the ancient cities of Kandy
and Anuradhapura) and the Tamil (centred in the city of Jaffna). In more recent times,
the British colonial culture has also influenced the locals. Sri Lanka claims a democratic
tradition matched by few other developing countries.

The first Tamil immigration was probably around the 3rd century BC. Tamils co-existed
with the Sinhalese people since then, and the early mixing rendered the two ethnic groups
almost physically indistinct. Ancient Sri Lanka is marked for its genius in hydraulic
engineering and architecture. The rich cultural traditions is the basis of the country's
long life expectancy, advanced health standards and high literacy rate.

For more information on Sri Lanka's History, please visit