20 interesting facts about Sri Lanka - buddhism in a small state
Sri Lanka is a South Asian republic located on the island of the same name. Contrary to popular stereotype, Sri Lanka is an independent state, and not part of India. However, certain similarities between these countries can still be traced, despite the fact that India was an English colony for a long time, and Sri Lanka was a Portuguese colony (however, an English one, too, but earlier).
Bemorepanda found some interesting facts:
1. The name "Sri Lanka" is translated as "Blessed Land".
2. Sri Lanka has two capitals - one official, the other de facto.
3. Sri Lanka is a bilingual country, the majority of the population here speaks two languages, Tamil and Sinhalese. Interestingly, the Sinhalese language is spoken only in this country.
4. About seven hundred and fifty species of medicinal plants grow in Sri Lanka, so traditional medicine is very popular here.
5. About 14 percent of Sri Lanka's territory is occupied by parks and reserves.
6. The most popular sport in Sri Lanka is cricket.
7. Full moon days in Sri Lanka are days off, along with Saturday and Sunday.
8. The people of Sri Lanka celebrate Christian, Muslim and Buddhist holidays with equal enthusiasm.
9. The star lotus is considered the national symbol of Sri Lanka.
10. Sri Lanka is the birthplace of the famous Ceylon tea. Because until 1872 the island of Sri Lanka was called "Ceylon".
11. By the way, this country accounts for about one tenth of the world's tea production.
12. About 70% of Sri Lankans are adherents of Buddhism.
13. Trains in Sri Lanka do not close their doors while driving. However, they travel very slowly due to their advanced age and the mediocre quality of the railroad in general.
14. Sri Lanka has approximately the same temperature all year round, plus or minus five degrees.
15. Many services for tourists in Sri Lanka are voiced excluding taxes, which will amount to about 10 percent of the amount.
16. Unlike other Asian countries, traders in Sri Lanka are extremely reluctant to bargain.
17. Ice cream and yoghurts are extremely popular in Sri Lanka, and the latter are usually sold not in plastic cups, but in clay pots.
18. Smoking in public places in Sri Lanka is prohibited and subject to a fine.
19. The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala.
20. Sri Lanka has a tropical maritime climate, which means it is hot and humid all year round.
India is one of the oldest countries on the planet. The history and culture of India are rooted in such a deep past that even professional scientists, culturologists and historians still cannot fully understand them. True, the real picture is less rosy. India is an overpopulated, poor and sometimes rather polluted country, not at all reminiscent of the wonderful place that is usually described in fairy tales and shown in films.
India is a country with a rich culture and amazing traditions, Bemorepanda presents some interesting facts.
1. India ranks second in the world in terms of the number of people living on its territory after China (the country's population is about 1.3 billion people).
2. The territory of modern India was inhabited by the ancestors of modern people about 500 thousand years ago. Just think - half a million years ago!
3. In the 2014 elections, 668 women and five transsexuals were elected to the Indian Parliament.
4. India has an amazing variety of animal and plant species. At the same time, about 33% of the plant varieties growing in Indian forests are not found anywhere else on the planet.
5. The Indians were the first to season food with black pepper.
6. The national sport in India is field hockey, and the most popular is cricket, inherited by the Indians from the British colonialists. India has won more Olympic medals in field hockey than any other country in the world.
7. India is the birthplace of yoga.
8.In the Indian capital New Delhi, every year there is International Mango Festival.
9. One of the main architectural symbols of India, the Taj Mahal mausoleum, was built for almost 30 years by more than 20 thousand workers and artisans. Now this unique structure is gradually covered with cracks and turns yellow due to extremely dirty air - the complex has to be regularly cleaned using special white clay.
10. In 2010, a luxury train called the Maharajah Train began operating between New Delhi and Mumbai. Passengers on the train can admire India's most famous landmarks from the cool of the five-star carriages.
11. India leads among all countries in the world in the number of homicides and abortions per thousand population.
12. People in India speak 780 languages and more than a thousand dialects derived from these languages (see interesting facts about languages).
13. The Indian authorities have legally banned the import of its national currency, the Indian rupee, across the border. Both the import of rupees into India and the export of local money from it are prohibited. True, usually no one checks anything anyway.
14. In India, it is customary to celebrate weddings on a grand scale - even not too wealthy families invite up to one and a half thousand guests to the wedding and organize a festive feast for them.
15. Indians consider cows to be sacred animals, so they do not eat beef and allow cattle to roam freely along the city streets and beaches. However, this does not apply to the state of Goa - they even eat beef here, since the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of Goa are Christians, not Hindus.
16. More than a million people in India are dollar millionaires.
17. In India, practically no one uses washing machines - wealthy Indians prefer to hire a housekeeper who takes care of the laundry, while poor families simply wash their clothes in a nearby pond.
18. Indian women do not address their husbands by their first names, as this is considered disrespectful.
19. India has more vegetarians than any other country in the world.
20. Indian Post has the largest mail delivery network in the world. On the territory of the country there is a post office located at an altitude of 4400 meters above sea level, there is also a floating post office, and several decades ago, the Indians were served by mobile postmen on camels.
21. The sacred city of Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
22. India ranks second after the United States in terms of the number of English-speaking residents.
23. The Indian town of Cherrapunji is considered one of the wettest places on Earth.
24. Jaipur has the world's largest sundial.
25. Indians prepare over 140 types of traditional national desserts.
The Indian state of Goa is perceived by many as heaven on earth. It is warm and inexpensive, and this is exactly what the mass of downshifters of all stripes who come here from various countries need. In many other aspects, this state compares favorably with other parts of India, although there is also an opinion that this place is already too Europeanized, and there is a lack of local flavor, which, in general, is also a fact. In any case, it is better to look at this wonderful place with your own eyes - it's worth it. Bemorepanda collected interesting facts for you.
1. Most of India for a long time was under English rule, but the state of Goa was previously owned by Portugal. Therefore, there are enough Catholics here along with Hindus, and Catholic churches have survived (see interesting facts about Portugal).
2. It is noticeably cleaner than in most other states of this vast country.
3. Prices are really low here. For some expats, $ 500 a month is enough.
4. The water temperature on the coast of Goa all year round is kept in the region of 28-30 degrees.
5. Unlike the rest of India, it is quite possible to order beef in a restaurant here. Yes, again, because there are many Catholics here who do not consider a cow a sacred animal.
6. Among all Indian states, Goa is the smallest in area.
7. The difference between the northern and southern parts of Goa is pronounced. The north is a paradise for party-goers and downshifters, and the south is full of respectable hotels, and the older and richer public generally rest here.
8. The total length of the beaches in Goa is about 100 kilometers.
9. Almost 30% of the state is covered with impassable tropical jungle.
10. Officially, more than 7 thousand licensed bars function in Goa. In fact, this number is higher - not everyone has a license.
11. It is here that Kopi Luvak coffee is produced - the most expensive sort in the world. It is made from coffee beans that have passed through the digestive tract of local animals (see interesting facts about coffee).
12. Bargaining in Goa is possible and necessary, it is a part of local life. Moreover, prices for tourists are always inflated initially, sometimes five times.
13. There are very, very, very many insects. You can escape from them in your own home only if you rent a room on a higher floor in some expensive hotel.
14. Here is the village of Morjim, which bears the unofficial title of "Russian". There are more expats from ex-USSR countries than local residents. A similar situation has emerged in recent years in the Vietnamese surfer village, Mui Ne.
15. Due to the abundance of Russian tourists, many cafes and restaurants in Goa offer Russian cuisine, but in the overwhelming majority of cases local chefs cook them, let's say, mediocre.
16. Nobody goes on foot here - everyone drives motorbikes. Those who are poorer - on bicycles. As, however, in all of India.
17. Despite the humid tropical climate, such a dangerous disease as malaria is very rare.
18. Agriculture remains a mainstay of the Goa economy, with rice, fruits (such as mango), coconuts, legumes (legumes), cashews, betel (areca nuts) and sugar cane among the most important crops. The main forest products include teak and bamboo. The state has an active fishing industry along its coast, although sustainability has been a growing concern in the 21st century. The state exports a number of agricultural goods.
19. Goa is rich in minerals. Mining began in the middle of the twentieth century and, in the following decades, emerged as a central component of the state's economy.
20. The service sector in the Goa economy has grown in importance since the end of the twentieth century. This is largely due to the rapid growth of the tourism industry.
The Marshall Islands is a small state lost in the endless ocean. Few people in our country were closely interested in him, and it was completely in vain - this is the land of insane beauty.
The islands were discovered by the Spanish in the first half of the 16th century and were explored by British Captain John Marshall (1788), from whom they received their name. Between 1885 and 1914 they were under German protectorate, and during World War II the area was part of the Japanese first line of defense. In 1944 the islands were conquered by the Americans, who administered them until 1990, when the country gained its independence. On Bikini and Enewetak Islands, the U.S.A. they conducted nuclear experiments.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is an island state in the Pacific Ocean, north of the Equator, between the Caroline and Hawaii archipelagos, with an area of 181 km.
The territory of the country occupies several hundred islands (32 atolls, 867 reefs), arranged in two rows: Ralik in the west and Ratak in the east.
The climate is equatorial, determining a tropical (tree) vegetation, dominated by banana and palm trees, but also a fauna rich in birds, fish.
Bemorepanda collected some more interesting facts:
1. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is actually under the control and jurisdiction of the United States.
2. The archipelago, on which the republic is spread, includes 5 islands and 29 atolls.
3. The Marshall Islands were discovered in 1526.
4. The land area of this state is about 181 square kilometers.
5. Nuclear weapons were tested on two atolls.
6. There are no nature reserves in the Marshall Islands.
7. There are paved roads only on the two largest atolls of the archipelago.
8. The maximum height of the Marshall Islands above sea level is ten meters.
9. The country gained independence only in 1983.
10. It is here, on the Kwajalein Atoll, that the world's largest lagoon is located.
11. In the northern part of the archipelago, the climate is so arid that it receives about the same amount of precipitation as in the American deserts.
12. The Marshall Islands have two official languages - Marshall and English.
13. The currency of the Republic is the US dollar.
14. 98% of the population of the islands are Marshalls.
15. The Marshall Islands maintains diplomatic relations with many countries. With Russia too.
16. Also the Marshall Islands is a member of the United Nations.
17. Subsidies from the United States and other countries account for a large share of the state
18. On the territory of the Marshall Islands there are more than two thousand kilometers of highways.
19. Internet and mobile phones are available in the two largest atolls, but they are very poorly distributed.
20. The Marshall Islands publishes two newspapers, one private and one public.
21. The country's islands are significantly distant from each other.
22. In total, the Marshall Islands is home to just over fifty thousand people.
23. The most popular sport in the country is basketball.
24. In 2008, athletes from the Marshall Islands took part in the Olympic Games for the first time, but did not take prizes.
25. There are only two hospitals in the country.
Kiribati is an island country in the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest state in Oceania in terms of extent, with an area of about 5,000,000 km² covered by the ocean, but the land area is only a small fragment of it, only 811 km², in the form of 32 small islets . The country has about 100,000 inhabitants who can be proud of the official title of "land of the rising sun". taking into account the conventions that set the time zone across the planet. The Republic of Kiribati is one of the first places on Earth traversed by the first rays of the Sun every morning. The time zone is 14 hours ahead of UTC - the farthest time zone in the world.
The state comprises three groups of islands - the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands. The capital of the Republic of Kiribati is South Tarawa, and the island relief is of coral and volcanic origin, the maximum altitude in the area being only 80 meters. The climate is equatorial, and vegetation is represented by tropical trees and grassy plants. Coconut and pandanus forests occupy 50% of the territory.
The island state of Kiribati is located immediately in Polynesia and Micronesia. Currently, the small country is successfully developing, despite scarce natural resources. Bemorepanda collected some interesting facts:
1. The name of the island state of Kiribati comes from the distorted English "Gilbert Islands".
2. All the islands on which Kiribati is located are atolls.
3. Kiribati covers an area of 33 atolls.
4. The highest point in Kiribati is 81 meters above sea level. It is located on Banaba Atoll.
5. On the territory of Kiribati there are two freshwater lakes and about a hundred salt ones.
6. Kiribati is a member of the United Nations.
7. Two of the atolls of Kiribati were once used for testing atomic weapons.
8. The main problems in Kiribati are overpopulation, lack of fresh water and soil erosion.
9. The total population of Kiribati is just over one hundred thousand people.
10. About 90% of the population of Kiribati are representatives of the people of the same name. Its other name is tungaru.
11. The official language of the country is English, but very few people speak it. The majority of the population speaks the Kiribati language.
12. The writing system of Kiribati is based on the English alphabet.
13. Kiribati does not have its own army.
14. There are two official currencies in the country - the Australian dollar and the equivalent Kiribatian dollar.
15. The Kiribati one dollar coin has a dodecagonal shape.
16. Stamps issued by the country are popular with philatelists around the world and are a significant source of replenishment of the state treasury.
17. Kiribati has the second largest exclusive economic zone in the Pacific Ocean - more than three and a half million square kilometers of water space.
18. Kiribati has two radio stations - a government and a private one.
19. Kiribati is the least visited country on the planet by tourists.
20. Athletes from Kiribati take part in the Olympic Games.
21. Also, the Republic of Kiribati is unique in that it is located in all hemispheres of the Earth at once. Part of Kiribati, islands
22. Phoenix is the world's largest marine reserve.
23. On one of the atolls of Kiribati there is a city called London.
24. Christmas Island, one of the Kiribati atolls, is the largest atoll in the world. He alone occupies 48 percent of the country's total land mass..
25. The Republic of Kiribati as a state appeared in 1979, having gained independence from Great Britain.
26. There is not a single river in Kiribati.
27. The only diplomatic mission in the world of the Republic of Kiribati is located on the Fiji Islands. In Russia, for example, the British consulate is in charge of Kiribati's diplomatic affairs.
28. Tarawa and others of the Gilbert group were occupied by Japan during World War II.
29. The island is slowly disappearing.
30. Most of the islands of Kiribati are low-lying coral atolls built on a submerged volcanic chain and encircled by reefs.
Hardly anyone loves the New Year more than the Chinese, because they celebrate it several times. First, according to the Gregorian calendar (on the night of January 1), and then also according to the Eastern. Chinese New Year 2021 - twice a holiday!
Chinese New Year has long been the main and longest holiday in the Middle Kingdom and other countries of East Asia. Unlike its Western counterpart, there is no fixed date for the start of the Chinese New Year, and it is set at a different time each year.
The first day of the holiday in China falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (that is, after December 21). In the Gregorian calendar, this usually corresponds to one of the days between January 21st and February 21st. The celebration usually lasts 15 days.
Thus, the next year according to the Chinese calendar will come on February 12, 2021. And it is planned to celebrate its offensive in China from February 12 to February 27. However, the Chinese will officially rest for only seven days - from 12 to 18 February.
The exact time of the Chinese New Year
The second new moon after the winter solstice will occur on February 12, 2021 at 00:03 Moscow time or 05:03 Beijing time. This time will be considered the beginning of the New Year according to the Eastern calendar. By the way, in China they will not celebrate 2021, as we will do very soon, but 4719.
Symbol of the year
Each year in China is symbolized by a combination that is repeated only once every 60 years. This combination represents one of the 12 zodiac animals of a certain color, corresponding to one of the five elements (water, earth, metal, fire and wood). Chinese New Year 2021 will symbolize the animal Ox and the elements of Metal, and the main color of the year will be white.
By the way, every 60-year circle begins with a wooden Rat and ends with a water Pig. Another such circle started on February 2, 1984, and it will end on January 29, 2044.
Preparing for Chinese New Year
According to an ancient myth, at the beginning of each new year, the Chinese are forced to hide from a monster named Nian (translated from Chinese as "Year"), which is believed to appear on the first day of the holiday in order to ravage all settlements: to eat all the livestock and the harvest, and at the same time a couple of villagers.
To protect their homes from this monster, the Chinese decorate them in advance: they glue them on the outside with beautiful patterns of red paper, paired inscriptions and pictures with wishes of happiness, health and longevity, and also hang red lanterns everywhere. The legend about the origin of the holiday will again help to understand what such a love for red is connected with. So, this legend says that one day people noticed how Nian, who usually loves to feast on children, was frightened by a child in red clothes. Without thinking twice, eyewitnesses of this amazing incident came to the conclusion that it was the color that scared the monster away.
In addition, on the eve of the holiday, each family carefully cleans their homes, believing that in this way they cleanse their lives from any failures and make room for happiness.
On New Year's Eve, Chinese families usually gather around the table. By the way, in the Celestial Empire it is customary to richly set the table for a festive dinner. Housewives, as a rule, prepare the most favorite dishes in the family. Traditionally, meat and fish must be on the table, as well as dumplings (jiaozi), which are the figurative embodiment of one of the main wishes - the birth of sons.
Moreover, for a festive dinner, even those family members who work or study in other cities or countries return home. All Chinese strive to celebrate the New Year with their parents, which is why on the eve of the holiday all transport in the country is overcrowded and it is simply impossible to buy tickets.
The festive night ends with fireworks and firecrackers, which are believed to scare away evil spirits and attract the spirit of peace and happiness to the family.
The first days of Chinese New Year
In the early morning of the next day, children congratulate their parents, wishing them health and a happy New Year, and in return they receive wishes for future success and red envelopes with money.
After that, the whole family goes to congratulate relatives and neighbors. Such visits to guests usually completely take the first five days of the new year.
And, of course, it cannot do without gifts. So, in the Celestial Empire, it is customary to give gifts from paired objects symbolizing unity and family harmony (while the number four is not recommended, since the Chinese associate it with death).
In addition, when visiting, it is customary for the owners to present two tangerines, and when leaving, they receive two other tangerines from them. Thus, the hosts and guests exchange symbols of financial well-being, which, according to the Chinese, are tangerines.
Having visited all relatives and neighbors, the Chinese go out to festivities with traditional dances. As a rule, the traditional ones include the lion dance (dancers, being inside the figure of a lion, imitate the movements of this animal) and the dragon dance (a special team of people, holding a dragon made of paper on poles, moves in such a way that the snake-like body makes undulating movements).