Wednesday, April 30, 2008

San Marino

San Marino is an old place- the official date of independence from the Roman Empire is September 3rd, 301.

San Marino is a constitutional republic. The constitution was put in place in 1600 and modified in 1926.

In the early 19th Century, Giuseppe Garibaldi allowed San Marino to remain independent during the unification of Italy.
They have a strong military tradition and one of the smallest military forces in the world.

The military is actually mainly ceremonial. The Italian army is actually charged with protecting San Marino.

During WWII, San Marino initially declared was on Britain, then when Italy declared surrender San Marino declared neutrality. In September 1944 San Marino declared war on Germany.

FYI: San Marino does not have a US Embassy nor does the US have a San Marino Embassy.

Secretary Rice meets with The Honorable Fiorenzo Stolfi, Secretary for Foreign and Political Affairs and
for Economic Planning of the Republic of San Marino and President of the Council of Europe.

The Roman Catholic Church is the main religion.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Most Serene Republic of San Marino

Welcome to the Most Serene Republic of San Marino!

Not to be confused with Dan Marino- I am sure the people of San Marino love that one.

San Marino is a European Microstate.

San Marino is completely surrounded by Italy.

It is located in the Apennine Mountains and is home to 29,615 San Marinans.

The largest city is called!

I am guessing they love that pun too!

Friday, April 25, 2008

some quick final facts about Sri Lanka

then I am off on a little road trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin!

National Tree: The “Na Tree”, botanically known as “Mesua Nagassarium”

National Flower: The “Nil Mahanel” flower, botanically known as “Nympheae Stellata”

There are 11 Universities in Sri Lanka.

University of Sri Jayewardenepura

Education is free in Sri Lanka, an thus Sri Lankans are educated! Sri Lanka's population is highly educated with a literacy rate of 92%, higher than that expected for a developing country. Sri Lanka has one of the highest literacy rates of South Asia.

Sri Lanka! Sports! Arts! Fun!

Sports are a big in Sri Lanka. People surf, golf, swim, hike, play rugby, and play football/soccer.

The biggest sport is cricket!

And look what I found:

Elephant polo...Poor elephants.

Dance and music are a traditonal part of everyday Sri Lankan culture. Traditionally, a hard days work is followed by music and dance.

Drums are used in religious worshp and also used in rituals during harvest time.

Pop, rick and R&B music has found a place in Sri Lanka too. The most famous group in the country is Bathiya and Santhush, an Sri Lankan R&B group.

Fine arts in Sri Lanka include pieces like these:

Kusum Reading, oil on canvas, 1968, by Jeorge Keyt

Traditional Folk Theater Mask


Sri Lankan Folk Art Salesman

Sri Lanka has an active history in the film arts beginning in 1901.

Kollywood is a term used for the Tamil film industry in northern Sri Lanka. Kollywood films have the widest overseas distribution and the industry is prolific: 106 films released in 2007.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sri Lanka Eats!

Oh food! This should probably have been the first stop on our journey to Sri Lanka!

Food in Sri Lanka is SPICY! The staples of diets around the country are rice and curries.

The way foods are prepared vary by region, but across the country Sri Lankans eat many vegetables and fish (especially in the coastal regions). The Sri Lankans are fond of eating wafers, pickles and chutneys with their food

Mallung is a traditional dish fondly eaten with curries. Prepared from finely shredded green vegetables and dried shrimps, it is mingled with grated coconut and spices.

Seeni Sambol is a dish that is both hot and spicy. It has Maldive fish, curry and coconut milk.

Sri Lankan Love Cake has a chewy exterior and a soft interior. The popular cake has an English name and is thought to originate from Portuguese colonists. It is served on special occasions.

Sri Lanka is one of the topmost producers of tea in the world. They serve it with sugar, milk and crushed ginger.

One Sri Lankan alcoholic beverage is Arrack. It is made from from fermented fruits, grains, and palm sap. It is traditionally drank straight and is generally distilled to between 33% and 50% alcohol by volume (66 to 100 proof).

Sri Lanka, War, and the scope of this blog

I am so sad because I read this article on terrible fighting in Sri Lanka today.

I am also sad because prior to researching for this blog I had no idea Sri Lanka has such strife and conflict. I feel so, so, so.......American!

I have been thinking about this a lot the last few days, I started this blog strictly to learn where countries were and some basic facts about them. I mean, just getting all that information is overwhelming enough without learning all the political issues and other problems around the world.

I feel sort of glib not discussing The civil war in Sri Lanka at greater length. War is nothing to take lightly. I wish and pray and dream for peace for all!

At the same time, I feel there is a time and a place for different kinds of information. There are international news and politics blogs where people get in depth on these issues. I do not feel I have the knowledge to fairly or accurately e-publish on that information.

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a multi ethnic and multi religious population.

The majority of the people in Sri Lanka are Sinhalese. This ethnic group of is said to have originated in the north-east section of India and later settled to Sri Lanka. They speak Sinhala , an Indo-European language and number approximately 15 million people.

Sinhala written characters

The largest ethnic minority in Sri Lanka are the Tamils. Their language is Tamil and it is a Dravidian based language.

Tamil Celebration

English is spoken by around 10% of the population and 8% speak other languages.

About 70% of the population practices Buddhism.

Other major religions include Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.

The government is officially a republic and the capitol is Colombo.

Sadly, Sri Lanka has been going through some terrible times in regards to religious and cultural freedoms since 1983. Civil war has been active and ever increasing up into the present time. I am going to defer to other sources to provide details. In short, the two largest ethnic groups do not like each other and people have been treating each other ways that word cannot do justice.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean southeast of the tip of southern India.

Sri Lanka has a dense population. The island is about the size of West Virginia, but 21,128,773 people live there. Only 1,818,470 people live in West Virginia!

The terrain of Sri Lanka is mostly low, flat to rolling plain and there are mountains in south-central interior.

In Sri Lanka, it is monsoon season 3/4 of the year. They also have the occasional cyclones and tornadoes.

Gutsy and tolerant people must live there!