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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.


Countries of Asia

Continuing on my trip around Asia, I head to Sri Lanka next.  There’s a cricket match in Colombo, the capital, going on between India  (see 21 must-know facts about India) and the tiny country that sits about 20 miles off the southern tip of India. The match might hardly be considered fair considering India has more than 50 times the number of people to choose from to be on her cricket team and is 50 times bigger in land area. It’s kind of like Major Leaguers playing against a single A ball team. Anyway…

21 things everyone should know about Sri Lanka.

1. Sri Lanka is just 7 degrees north of the equator. Good places to play cricket and very strategically located near major Indian Ocean sea lanes between West Asia and South East Asia. The island served as a base for the Allied Forces fighting against Japan in WWII.

2. Sri Lanka (#53 in the world) has just over 21 million people about the same as Australia, though the um, large island of Australia is 120 times bigger than the small island of Sri Lanka.

3. Sri Lanka is about the size of West Virginia and a little bit smaller than Ireland, though SL has 5 times as many people as Ireland does. SR has the population of Ohio and Michigan combined.

4.  The average age of a Sri Lankan is 30.4 years. One in fifty babies dies at birth. One in four Sri Lankans is 14 years old or younger.

5. Sri Lanka is made up of Sinhalese 73.8%, Sri Lankan Moors 7.2%, Indian Tamil 4.6%, Sri Lankan Tamil 3.9% and they are Buddhist 69.1%, Muslim 7.6%, Hindu 7.1%, Christian 6.2%. Buddism (called Theravada) has been in SL for a long long time.

6. 90% of all females and males over 15 can read and write.

7. About one in ten Sri Lankan is competent in English and English is used in government.

8. February 4th, 1948 is when Sri Lanka gained independence from the UK.

9. One in three Sri Lankans can work. 5.8% are unemployed.

10. Sri Lanka’s Inflation is over 20%.

11. Sri Lanka’s major industries are rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco.

12. Sri Lanka’s export partners are – US 25.5%, UK 13.2%, India 6.7%, Germany 5.7%, Italy 5.1%

13. Sri Lanka’s import partners are – India 23.1%, Singapore 9.9%, China 8.2%, Iran 7.5%, Hong Kong 6.4%.

14. Sri Lankans have one telephone for every nine people, one cell phone for every three.

15. Just one in three Sri Lankans can go online.

16. Sri Lanka suffers from human trafficking, going and coming.

17. Colombo is the place to go in Sri Lanka when not visiting an elephant orphanage.

18. About one million Sri Lankans are displaced 360K due to civil unrest and 550K because of tsunamis.

19. You can read news updates about Sri Lanka in English.

  • Daily News – state-owned, English-language daily
  • The Island – private, English-language daily
  • Daily Mirror – private, English-language daily

20. If you are looking for some real serendipity, Sri Lanka is “known as “Serendip” to Arab geographers.

So, what did I forget? What do you think everyone should know about Sri Lanka?

Have you been there?

Please Sign My Sri Lanka Guestbook.

source, source, source, source, source, source, source,


Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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Growing Up Aimi Series