A lot of people ask us where our products are manufactured. Our 100% natural Pure Green toppers and cores are made in Sri Lanka, where many of the world’s rubber trees are grown. When we tell people this, many of them aren’t sure exactly where Sri Lanka is! This made us realize that we should write a blog post about this beautiful tropical country, and just go over some broad details about its history and culture. Hopefully we can help some customers understand more about it!
Sri Lanka used to be called Ceylon when it was under colonial European rule. It is an island, slightly larger in area than West Virginia, and it is very close to the Southeast border of India. It’s so close to India, in fact, that there is an old myth saying that you used to be able to walk all the way to India from Sri Lanka along a narrow land bridge. Sri Lanka’s largest export is Ceylon tea, but it also exports gemstones, cinnamon, and of course, latex!
Sri Lanka was ruled by various dynasties over the last several thousand years. Buddhism arrived in 250 BC and spread rapidly. The introduction of Buddhism affected the country dramatically and the religion is still practiced by the majority of people in Sri Lanka today. The teachings of the Buddha were first put into writing in Sri Lanka after being preserved orally for around 450 years. This was an incredibly important event in Buddhist history.
Another important contribution made by ancient Sri Lankans includes the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, pictured here:
The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Elaborate aqueducts and intricate dams were also built on the site. Sri Lanka is also the first country in the world to build a hospital. Sri Lanka was at the height of its medieval power between 1100 and 1200 AD.
Sri Lanka also has a long history of colonization by European countries. It was an important link in the Silk Road, making it very appealing to European colonial powers. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to colonize Sri Lanka, from the early 1500’s to the early 1600’s. The Dutch attacked in 1638 and controlled the country by 1660. They maintained control for many years, until the British took over in a series of violent military campaigns between 1796 and 1818. Coffee was one of the main exports when the British occupied the country, until a disease killed the coffee plants. Coffee was replaced with tea, and in the twentieth century, rubber plantations were established as well. Sri Lanka achieved independence from all the British on February 4, 1948, but the industries left there remain very important to Sri Lanka today.
Sri Lanka has endured great hardship recently, most notably in the form of a 26-year long civil war that lasted from 1983 to 2009. It was also affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, which killed 35,322 people in Sri Lanka and displaced 516,150. The recovery process for both of these events has taken a long time, and in many ways is still happening. The negative impacts that these events have had, however, are shrinking all the time. Currently, Sri Lanka is the only country in Southeast Asia that is marked “high” on the Human Development Index, and it has the fastest growing economy in the world. It also has the highest biodiversity density in Asia.
The more we learn about this beautiful country, the more proud we feel of selling products that are manufactured there.
All of these pictures were taken while touring Sri Lanka with Beauty Lanka Travels. Their contact information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/beautylankatravels