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Old 04-14-2014, 04:46 AM
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,238,353 times
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I've visited Sri Lanka and had mostly positive experiences and I am dying (hopefully not literally in India lol jj) to visit india. I've always wondered about exactly this: the differences between the two, aside from the obvious: that Sri Lanka is predominantly Sinhalese with some Tamils (the conflict much publicised), Buddhist (the majority Sinhalese ethnic group are mostly Buddhist), has been culturally distinct and independent from India for a long time.etc. So it was interesting to hear it from an Indian perspective.

Certainly, they are positive: women have more freedom to move in public without being harassed, less dirt and poverty, less income inequality (less ostentatious wealth or the huge income gap). Also Sri Lanka seems more equal, with a higher standard of living (but still poor).

I haven't been to India to compare but yes, it seemed quite open for a South Asian country. Still conservative, of course. I spoke to a British couple who'd travelled to both Kerala (the wealthiest and reputedly most liberal state in India with the highest gender equality) and they said they preferred Sri Lanka and felt women were more emancipated there than Kerala.

I wonder if Buddhism and the lack of the class system plays a role here? Sri Lanka has been Buddhist since the very early days, it was the first place outside India itself where the teachings of Gautama arrived, and like SEA women play a larger role in public life. It also boasted the world's first female head of state.

I did notice some poverty/beggars, but it wasn't too overwhelming - just like what you see in poor SEA.

Of course the Sinhalese are distinct, from their ancestral origins in Kerala, and probably absorbed substrate Veddoid as well as Tamil and other Indian influences. Some of their costumes also bespoke of more distant Raj influences, as well as Western influence.

Anyone been to both? Would be interesting to hear your comments.

Last edited by The Postman; 04-14-2014 at 05:11 AM..
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