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Sri Lanka

  • By: Justin Corfield
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

This south Asian island nation, as Ceylon, achieved independence from Britain in 1948, and has a population of 20,242 million (2009 estimate).

Mothers in Society: Then and Now

In traditional society, the divide between wealthy and poor families, and their attitude to women, was marked. In legend, Sita, the mythical princess from the Ramayana, is kidnapped to Sri Lanka by Ravanna, the King of the Demons. Although Sri Lanka is now overwhelmingly Buddhist, the influence of the Hindu epic continues in many parts of the island, especially in the mainly Tamil north. The oldest known purpose-built hospital in the world dates from the 4th century B.C.E., and is located at Mihintale, near the city of Anuradhapura.

It has different buildings for people with varying ailments, which would have ...

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