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Sri Lanka

Ten interesting facts about Sri Lanka

1. Sri Lanka may be the tea capital of the world, but tea was introduced to it only in 1867.

2. Before Sri Lanka became famous for tea, it was famous for coffee – but the coffee fields of Sri Lanka were wiped out by leaf blight in the 1870s.

3. Sri Lankans had known about tea for nine years before they saw rubber for the first time, in 1876.

4. When Sri Lankans say yes, they don’t nod their heads up and down but rather waggle it from side to side, so it looks as if they are saying no instead.

5. At meals, Sri Lankan women usually serve the children and the men first before they themselves settle down to eat.

6. The very first female prime minister in the world is Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. She first served in 1960 and held three terms: 1960–1965, 1970–1977, and 1994–2000.

7. Bandaranaike’s daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunga, was the first female president elected in Sri Lanka. She served for two consecutive terms.

8. Sri Lanka is mentioned in the famous ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana.

9. Sri Lanka achieved its independence from Britain in 1948 – the same year when Gandhi began his final fast, the Republic of Ireland was declared, and the country of Israel was formed.

10. Sri Lanka was called Ceylon until 1972. Until today, some organizations in Sri Lanka still have “Ceylon” in their names.