Moving to Sri Lanka
Foreign nationals moving to Sri Lanka will find that the lifestyle in this country is very different from what they are used to. Nevertheless, living in Sri Lanka will open one’s eyes to the exotic and unusual beauty hiding in the ancient sites of the country. In general, expats need to obtain a residence visa if they plan to reside in the country for work purposes.
Sri Lanka is a luring, a pear-shaped country that sits just below the southern tip of India and goes by a variety of names such as Taprobane, Serendib, Ceilao, and Ceylon.
About 31km off the southern coast of India and to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal is this exciting haven of exotic beaches.
This South Asian continental island has a tropical climate with its fair share of the chilly months, usually from January through March. May is the hottest period as it precedes the summer monsoon rains that are typical through August and from November to December.
The Rama's Bridge connects Sri Lanka to the Indian Mainland and is a very popular historical attraction which, according to the Hindu Mythology, was constructed by the Vanara architect Nala during the ruling time of Rama. Today, it only amounts to a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level and is often referred to as Adam's Bridge, which was eventually wiped out by a violent storm in 1480.
In the city of Colombo, one can see the grandest hotels with plenty of legends and history that are very much worth a visit. Colombo's biodiversity is a highlight of many of its attractions, one of which is a zoo where expats stand in awe as they appreciate a fine collection of animals, birds and reptiles from all over the world in a showcase of the magnificent wide-ranging fauna of the island. Sri Lankans take pride in a mega aquarium that is now home to over 500 varieties of Asia's aquatic life forms. A walk-through aviary, reptile closure and butterfly park also provides great pride to Sri Lankans and pleasure for expats who are happy for the chance of being able to experience nature this close. Of course, top attractions of the city are its elephant shows that take place every afternoon.
Expats moving to Sri Lanka are going to have to get used to tipping as a culture in the services sector. For native Sri Lankans, this is merely a way of appreciating the services given to them. A 10% service charge is also commonly billed in restaurants. Taxi drivers no longer expect tips.
Sri Lanka is another melting pot in Asia, and this is evident in the variety of religions being practiced in the country today. Most Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists, followed by Hindus while Muslims and Christians more or less make up the same percentage of the religious population. Most natives are deeply beholden to their religious beliefs, and they are, in fact, regarded as the third most religious country in the world by a 2008 Gallup poll.
The racial diversity in the nation is also responsible for the mix of languages being used. However, Sinhala remains the national language while Tamil and English are also being used mostly by tourist establishments.
Sri Lanka is one country of no great size, but expats who have come to seek a home in it have felt the nation grow bigger with its multiple diversities from natural to religious. Its most treasured finds are its genuinely warm and accommodating people who will not think twice about welcoming any expatriate to be treated just like one of their own.
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