Island Cricket

Thursday, November 29, 2007

10 Things You Didn't Know About Sri Lanka


10 Things You Didn't Know About Sri Lanka -
:With England waltzing around the island, it's time we all got better acquainted with some of Sri Lanka's lesser-known facts...

1) The island is supposedly a hotbed for alien activities, which have been investigated by professor Chandana Jayaratne of the University of Colombo. Don't believe us? Check out this page
full of reports...

2) When a person shakes their head from side to side in Sri Lanka with a slight wiggle, he is actually saying "yes".

3) English historian James Emerson Tennent theorized Galle, a southern city in Sri Lanka, was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory, peacocks and other valuables.

4) "The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence", a pudding offered by a hotel in Sri Lanka, became the world's most expensive dessert in September 2007. With an asking price $14,500, the dessert is a gold leaf Italian cassata flavored with Irish cream, served with a mango and pomegranate compote and a champagne sabayon enlighten (no, we don't know what this involves either). It is decorated with a chocolate carving of a fisherman clinging to a stilt, an age old local fishing practice, and an 80 carat aquamarine stone. Shockingly, no one has actually ordered the dessert yet. Cowards.

5) Despite cricket being the most popular game on the island, the national sport of Sri Lanka is actually volleyball.

6) Geoffrey Dobbs is the man credited with taking elephant polo to Sri Lanka, which now hosts an annual tournament. The elephants are brought from all over Sri Lanka and are specifically trained for the game, which was originally played using a soccer ball. Normal polo balls were only employed after the elephants trod on too many footballs, puncturing them in the process.

7) The island plays home to the Slender Loris (Loris tardigradus), a chipmunk-sized nocturnal animal that feeds on bird eggs, insects, lizards, fruits and leaves. A "shy and intelligent" primate, the Slender Loris is an endangered species.

8) The early Sri Lankans, dating back from the 5th century BC, were great masters of managing water. One king supposedly said that no drop of water flowing to the ocean shall go unused, so they built giant reservoirs that were used to irrigate fields, manage drinking water, etc.

9) Sri Lanka exports 9 million kilograms of tea to Japan alone every single year, but tea is not the country's biggest export. That particular honour goes to textiles and apparel, while spices, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, coconut products, rubber manufactures and fish also feature highly.

10) As 80% of Sri Lankans are Buddhist, animals are given freedom to move as they wish. It is normal to see dogs, cows, water buffaloes and monkeys on the side of the road or even in the middle of it, while England already know about the snakes.

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