Fiction Map of the World - Sri Lanka

by Travelbag on 30 October 2014, 10:10AM


Situated in the northern part of the Indian Ocean off the coast of southern India, Sri Lanka is an island with a deep cultural history as there has been documented civilisation for the past 3,000 years. Originally part of the ancient “Silk Road” or ancient trade route from Asia to Europe, Sri Lanka is an island paradise that really deserves to be visited and admired.

Essential Holiday Reading
What better way to connect with Sri Lanka’s maritime history than reading a good old-fashioned adventure novel? Treasure Island written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1883 is a prime example of the book that is perfect for a trip to Sri Lanka. Telling the story from a number of characters viewpoints, the novel follows the hunt for treasure by Long John Silver and his crew. The novel is also unusual in the sense that it portrays morality as ambiguous from the obvious viewpoint of a pirate in Long John Silver. Something that is quite unusual in what is effectively a popular piece of children’s literature.


Notable Sri Lankan Books
There are many Sri Lankan writers and the island is considered one of the hotspots for the production of literature throughout the region. Prominent books produced by Sri Lankan authors include The English Patient written by Michael Ondaatje that tells the story of a mysterious English man who lies burned in an Italian villa at the end of World War II and while there are inter-connecting stories, the story lies in who he is. The book was so successful it was made into an award-winning movie starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche.

Another noteworthy Sri Lankan novel is Cinnamon Gardens written by Shyam Selvadurai. Set within 1920s Sri Lanka, the story tells the tale of two young Sri Lankans and their struggle to prevent their happiness affecting anyone else.


Notable Sri Lankan Authors
There are many Sri Lankan authors who have contributed to many different types of literature including poetry and novellas. A large amount of Sri Lankan literature is dedicated to short stories, mostly written in local languages such as Pali and Sinhala. However, there are a number of Sri Lankan authors with English heritages who have written and published a number of successful novels. One is Michael Ondaatje who wrote and published the English Patient in 1992 and was subsequently awarded the Booker Prize for the work. Another Booker Prize-award winning author is Romesh Gunesekera whose novel Reef was published in 1994.

Notable Sri Lankan Films
Sri Lankan cinema has seen a number of ups and downs throughout its history, which is unique as the Sri Lankan film industry only began in 1947. Many films of this period were produced and funded in southern India and this continued for a 10-year period. However, Hollywood shot several films on the island including 1954’s Elephant Walk starring Elizabeth Taylor and Dana Andrews. The best Sri Lankan film as identified by a Sri Lankan government committee in 1997 is Nidhanaya, directed by Lester James Peiris and released in 1972. They voted it as the most notable Sri Lankan film of modern history.


Holiday Listening
Sri Lanka has a lively music scene and it has been influenced through four mediums; ancient folk, Buddhist themes, European colonisation and Indian culture. The primary genre present in Sri Lanka at the moment is folk music and in particular traditional folk music influenced by native Sri Lankan instruments such as the Gatabera and Yak-bera.

Notable Sri Lankan Musicians
Currently, Sri Lankan musicians are influencing musical movements throughout the world, particularly in the folk genre. A notable Sri Lankan composer is Nadeeka Guruge and he is considered to be at the forefront of the Sri Lankan music movement.

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