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Hidden Paradise - Adout the people who live in Sri Lanka
Adout the people who live in Sri Lanka
How to identifie a Sri Lankan
Let's go around history

The people of Sri Lanka are divided into ethnic groups. The four major ethnic groups are the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers. Historical circumstances have favored more groups at different times.

The Sinhalese are the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka. They are distinguished primarily by their language, Sinhala. The Sinhalese claim to be the descendants of Prince Vijay and his band of immigrants from northern India. The Sinhalese gradually absorbed a wide variety of casts from the Island and from southern India.

The Sinhala speakers were Buddhists, the Buddhist religion reinforced the solidarity of the Sinhalese as an ethic community. Their shared language and religion unite all ethnic Sinhalese, but there is a difference between the “Kandyan” and the “low-country” Sinhalese.


The Tamils use the Tamil language as their native tongue. Tamil is one of the Dravidian languages found in India. The Tamil speakers in Sri Lanka are divided into two groups the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indian Tamils that have quite different origins and relationships to the country.

Ethnic Tamils are united to each other by their common religious beliefs, the Tamil language and culture. Some 80 percent of the Tamils are Hindus, they have little contact with Buddhism, and they worship the Hindu pantheon of Gods.

Muslims (Moors)

The Muslims have their own separate sites of worship, religious and cultural heroes, social circles, and even languages. The Muslim community is divided into three main sections- the Sri Lankan Moors, the Indian Moors and the Malays, each with its own history and traditions.

The Sri Lankan Moors lived in coastal trading and agricultural communities, preserving their Islamic cultural heritage. The Indian Moors are Muslims who trace their origins to immigrants searching for business opportunities during the colonial period.

Malays (Ja Minissu)

The Malays originated in Southeast Asia. Their ancestors came to the country when both Sri Lankan and Indonesia were colonies of the Dutch. Most of the early immigrants were soldiers, posted by the Dutch colonial administration to Sri Lanka, who decided to settle on the Island. Other immigrants were convicts or members of noble houses from Indonesia who were exiled to Sri Lanka and never left.


The term Burgher was applied during the period of Dutch rule to European nationals living in Sri Lanka. There are two types of Burghers in Sri Lanka the Dutch Burgher and the Portuguese Burghers. They have generally remained Christians and lived in urban locations. After independence, the Burgher community lost their influence and in turn has been shrunken in size because of emigration.

We all are live in peacfully.

The hunter-gatherer people known as the Wanniyala-Aetto or Veddas are the last descendants of the ancient inhabitants of Sri Lanka, predating the arrival of the Sinhalese. They are the original hunting and gathering societies that gradually disappeared as the Sinhalese spread over the Island. Present day Veddas live in urban areas.The Vedda or Wanniyalaeto are a minority indigenous group of people in Sri Lanka who, among other sub-communities such as Coast Veddas, Anuradhapura Veddas and Bintenne Veddas, are accorded indigenous status. The Vedda minority in Sri Lanka is in threat of becoming completely assimilated.Most speak Sinhala instead of their indigenous languages which are nearing extinction. It has been hypothesized that the Vedda were probably the earliest inhabitants of Sri Lanka and have lived on the island since before the arrival of other ethnic groups in India.

Veddas are also mentioned in Robert Knox's history of his captivity by the King of Kandy in the 17th century. Knox described them as "wild men", but also said there was a "tamer sort", and that the latter sometimes served in the king's army.

The Ratnapura District, which is part of the Sabaragamuwa Province, is known to have been inhabited by the Veddas in the distant past. This has been shown by scholars like Nandadeva Wijesekera. The very name Sabaragamuwa is believed to have meant the village of the Sabaras or "forest barbarians". Place-names such as Vedda-gala (Vedda Rock), Vedda-ela (Vedda Canal) and Vedi-Kanda (Vedda Mountain) in the Ratnapura District also bear testimony to this. As Wijesekera observes, a strong Vedda element is discernible in the population of Vedda-gala and its environs.

These groups are people doesn't very popular in Sri Lanka


Gypsies or Ahikuntikas, are a small community living peacefully, surrounded by nature, moving from place to place. The Gypsies are also called Nomads since they travel from place to place. They make a living by using snakes and monkeys for tricks and palm reading or fortune telling. Most women and men enjoy illicit liquor, smoking of ganja are some of their common practice. The Gypsies are a happy bunch of people cherishing a human right of their own – ‘Born free and live as the wind blows’

Colombo Chetties

The Colombo Chetties are merchants. Majorities of Colombo Chetties community are Christians, however, historically speaking, their religion has been Hinduism. The Colombo Chetties have made great contributions to the Socio-Economic development of Sri Lanka, in trade and finance they were among the first importers and exporters of traditional and non-traditional goods. They are creditable to have introduced teak plantations in Sri Lanka. The Colombo Chetty people live in perfect harmony with all ethnic groups of Sri Lanka.

Jews in Sri Lanka

Jews in Sri Lanka have been living in the Island since the 9th century. These early Jews in Sri Lanka were forced to abandon their faith and identity by the Portuguese. Neither practicing Jews, nor people who preserved knowledge of being descendants of Jews, survived from the early period, although Jewish lineages may be Present.

Sri Lankan Blacks (Kaffirs)

The Sri Lankan Kaffirs are an ethnic group in Sri Lanka; they are descents of Portuguese traders and the African slaves. When Dutch colonialists arrived, the Kaffirs worked on cinnamon plantations along the southern coast. Both the Dutch and the British used the Kaffirs as part of the naval force and for domestic work. Baila is a form of dance music popular in Sri Lanka, originated from the Kaffirs. Sri Lanka Kaffir culture is linked back to their distant African past which is rapidly disappearing. The descendants of the Kaffir slaves are still a distinctive community found mainly in Puttalam, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Negombo..


Colombo chetties

Jews in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Blacks (Kaffirs)

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