Tuesday, July 6, 2021

2021 Travel the World - Week 27

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world, so I continued the series in 2020 and here I am in 2021, the third year of traveling the world. 

This week's country is...

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small island nation in the Indian Ocean, just off the southeastern tip of India.

A land bridge between the island and India existed until the 15th century when a cyclone broke the land bridge apart.

Because of its unique shape and position to the south of India, Sri Lanka is known as the ‘Teardrop of India’.

Sri Lanka only covers an area of 25,332 square miles, which is just slightly larger than the US state of West Virginia. 

The coastline of Sri Lanka is nearly 850 miles long. Much of that coastline is made up of sandy beaches well-suited to water-related recreation including snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing.

Sri Lanka used to be called Ceylon which is a transliteration of Ceilao, the name of the country under the island’s first colonial rulers, Portugal. It changed its name to Sri Lanka when it became a republic in 1972.

Sri Lanka is one of the best safari destinations outside of Africa with an abundance of wildlife squeezed into its 26 national parks.

For its size, Sri Lanka is home to an incredible diversity of animal life: 125 species of mammal, 433 birds, 245 butterflies, 96 snakes, 97 lizards and 383 spiders (which includes 15 tarantula species).

In the southwestern lowlands of Sri Lanka is The Sinharaja Rainforest, one of the last of its kind in Asia. The animals who make this area their home, such as monkeys and elephants, roam freely alongside many other species. You will also find an incredible 170 kinds of orchids in the rainforest.

Every year Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka is the site of the largest gathering of elephants at one time in Asia. During the dry season, the elephants come from the surrounding areas to take advantage of the Minneriya Reservoir. At the peak of the gathering, you can watch up to 300 elephants enjoying the Park, the water, and each others company.

Recent numbers indicate that there are some 7500 wild elephants remaining in the country.

Some other animals that you can see in the wild include Water buffalo, Sambar deer, Grey hornbill, Langur, and Sea turtles.

There’s more than a hundred waterfalls in Sri Lanka and plenty of them you can swim in! The majority of Sri Lanka’s electricity is supplied through hydropower plants that tap into the immense energy of these falls.

Sri Lanka's does not have any natural lakes, but there are several dams, water reservoirs and water tanks in the country.

Cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka and was discovered by the Egyptians. It’s still grown in the country and is recognized as the highest quality you can find in the world.

One of the earliest exports from Sri Lanka was coffee which thrived in the higher elevations. In the 1870s a disease wiped out entire coffee plantations, forcing the owners to switch to growing tea, for which they became well known worldwide.

Lipton Tea was founded in Sri Lanka. In 1890, Glasgow-born grocer Sir Thomas Lipton purchased 5,500 acres of the Dambatenne Tea Plantation in Ceylon’s high country and began exporting it directly to his shops in the UK.

One in every 22 Sri Lankans is employed in the tea industry, be it directly (working in a tea factory) or indirectly (building warehouses or selling fertilizers).

One of the best activities to do in Sri Lanka is to take the train from Colombo to the hill country. Known as one of the most scenic train rides in the world, the train takes you from the coast, through the paddy fields and up the mountains through tea plantations to old eucalyptus forests full of mist and magic. The train ride starts in the heat of Colombo and finishes in the cold crisp air of Nanu Oya, in the midst of Sri Lankan tea country. Just in time for tea.

Rubies, sapphires and other precious gems are mined in Sri Lanka. The town of Ratnapura is known as The Gem Capital of Sri Lanka.

The oldest living tree known to be planted by man is in Sri Lanka. Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura has been tended continuously for over 2,000 years. It was grown from a cutting brought from Bodh Gaya in India

Sri Lanka is home to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a gigantic column of rock rising 660 feet from the forested plains below. Built over 1,000 years ago, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is Sri Lanka’s most popular attraction.

Cricket is by far the most popular sport in Sri Lanka, but the national sport is in fact… volleyball. 

The national flower of Sri Lanka is the Nil Mahanel, known to botanists as Nymphaea Stellata. It is known in English as the beautiful Water Lily.

There is no official national animal in Sri Lanka.

The population is young. About one-fourth of the population is under the age of 15, and nearly half of the population is under the age of 30.

The majority of Sri Lankans are poor farmers living in rural areas.

Rice and curry is the staple dish in Sri Lanka. It’s often eaten from a banana leaf and it’s traditionally eaten with the hands (without cutlery), as is every other meal. The dish is always called rice and curry, never curry and rice, because rice is seen to be the most important part of the dish.

Thanks to its tropical climate, various kinds of unique fruits are thriving here, including Thambli, also known as the King coconut. Some other Sri Lankan fruits include Veralu (Ceylon Olive), Red Bananas, Wood Apple, Cashew Apple, and Kekiri.

Pineapples in Sri Lanka are absolutely delicious. Grab them from a roadside stall, get the vendor to cut it up, and give it a nibble whenever you need some sweet, sweet deliciousness.

One of Sri Lanka's famous landmarks, known as the "World's End," is a 4,000-foot, near-vertical cliff located in the highlands

Sri Lanka was the first country in the world to have a female Prime Minister.

When traveling across Sri Lanka, you may see signs saying "hotel", but it may not be a place to stay overnight as it is common for restaurants, cafes, and bars to be named as hotels. The exact reason for this is not known.

Although marriages within the various ethnic groups are still, for the most part, arranged by the families of the couple, it is becoming more and more common for couples to arrange their own marriages in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has a literacy rate of 92 per cent, which means they have the highest literacy rate in South Asia and one of the highest rates throughout Asia.

Sri Lankan fishermen developed "stilt fishing" during World War II, when food shortages led to overcrowding on fishing beaches. Instead of standing on the beach, fishermen sit on crucifixes out in the water to fish.

Sri Lanka was the country second-worst hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. More than 30,000 people were killed with over half a million displaced.

Animals throughout Sri Lanka sensed the incoming tsunami up to an hour before it hit. Reports include elephants running away from the beach and flamingoes flying to higher ground in Yala National Park.

Sri Lanka is said to be the only country in the world where you can see the world’s largest land mammal, the elephant, and the largest marine mammal, the blue whale, in a single day.

One of the biggest crops on the island and part of the day to day diet is coconut. The coconut palm is harvested from flower to trunk. Every little bit counts. The toddy tappers are the flower sap harvesters that walk from coconut palm to coconut palm via a web of suspended ropes.

The city of Anuradhapura, an ancient capital of Sri Lanka, has ruins that are dated back over 2,000 years.

In Sri Lanka, it is common for Buddhist temples to also serve as libraries, schools, and nursing homes.

Malnutrition is one of Sri Lanka's major health problems.

The government of Sri Lanka controls all radio and television broadcasting and most newspapers.

The Sri Lankan “Head waggle” is like a secret code in daily social life, that can mean different things depending on how you do it. Basically, the head waggle can mean both yes and no, or even maybe.

Public affection is considered a private matter, and it’s typically frowned upon.

It’s considered bad luck to ignore cravings of a pregnant woman in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka people love games. At every party, recreational event or get together, there will be party games for everyone to participate in. From musical chairs to three-legged races, they will play them all. A favorite in school-aged children is to tie a bun to a string and let it hang while the kids try to eat it with their hands tied behind their back. School sports functions have all sorts of fun competitive games and so do company outings. Everyone loves playing games.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Sri Lanka... Sri Lanka is the largest exporter of tea in the world; they grow black tea, green tea and white tea. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Your Next Stamp Sprinkles Coffee & Tea stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Paper: Cougar 110# White and SU Melon Mambo CS and DP from my scrap file

Dies: MFT Stitched Rectangles and Paper Roses Stitched Circles

Embellishments: Enamel Dots from an unknown vendor


Beth Norman-Roberts said...

So cute. Love your stamps.

kiwimeskreations said...

A gorgeous card Jeanette - such a sweet image, and perfect papers to go with it. Have you ever tried white tea - it has a very delicate flavour. It's too expensive here to buy much of it, but every now and again...
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

Fabulous designer paper for your tea theme!! Adorable card!