Only My Half: Achieving Harmony In Marriage In Spite of Spiritual Differences
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Again, like the Ionians, they devoted themselves to astronomical and geometrical speculation. Combining, as it does, a rationalistic theory of number with a mystic numerology and a speculative cosmology with a theory of the deeper, more enigmatic reaches of the soul, Pythagoreanism interweaves rationalism and irrationalism more inseparably than does any other movement in ancient Greek thought. The problem of describing Pythagoreanism is complicated by the fact that the surviving picture is far from complete, being based chiefly on a small number of fragments from the time before Plato c.
In spite of the historical uncertainties, however, that have plagued searching scholars, the contribution of Pythagoreanism to Western culture has been significant and therefore justifies the effort, however inadequate, to depict what its teachings may have been.
The belief in the transmigration of souls provided a basis for the Pythagorean way of life.
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Pythagoras himself seems to have claimed a semidivine status in close association with the superior god Apollo ; he believed that he was able to remember his earlier incarnations and, hence, to know more than others knew. Research in the 20th century emphasized shamanistic traits deriving from the ecstatic cult practices of Thracian medicine men in the early Pythagorean outlook. The rules for the religious life that Pythagoras taught were largely ritualistic: refrain from speaking about the holy, wear white clothes, observe sexual purity, do not touch beans, and so forth. He seems also to have taught purification of the soul by means of music and mental activity later called philosophy in order to reach higher incarnations.
Salvation , and perhaps ultimate union with the divine cosmos through the study of the cosmic order, became one of the leading ideas in his school. Contact with the visible manifestations of God's love can awaken within us a feeling of joy born of the experience of being loved. But this encounter also engages our will and our intellect. Idem velle atque idem nolle  —to want the same thing, and to reject the same thing—was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one becomes similar to the other, and this leads to a community of will and thought.
The love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God's will increasingly coincide: God's will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments, but it is now my own will, based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself.
Ps 73  Love of neighbour is thus shown to be possible in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus. It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ.
His friend is my friend. Going beyond exterior appearances, I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern. This I can offer them not only through the organizations intended for such purposes, accepting it perhaps as a political necessity. Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.
Here we see the necessary interplay between love of God and love of neighbour which the First Letter of John speaks of with such insistence. If I have no contact whatsoever with God in my life, then I cannot see in the other anything more than the other, and I am incapable of seeing in him the image of God. Only my readiness to encounter my neighbour and to show him love makes me sensitive to God as well. Only if I serve my neighbour can my eyes be opened to what God does for me and how much he loves me. The saints—consider the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta—constantly renewed their capacity for love of neighbour from their encounter with the Eucharistic Lord, and conversely this encounter acquired its real- ism and depth in their service to others.
Love of God and love of neighbour are thus inseparable, they form a single commandment. But both live from the love of God who has loved us first. Love grows through love. Jn , Zech , recognizing the plan of the Father who, moved by love cf. Jn , sent his only-begotten Son into the world to redeem man.
The Spirit, in fact, is that interior power which harmonizes their hearts with Christ's heart and moves them to love their brethren as Christ loved them, when he bent down to wash the feet of the disciples cf. Jn and above all when he gave his life for us cf. Jn , The Spirit is also the energy which transforms the heart of the ecclesial community, so that it becomes a witness before the world to the love of the Father, who wishes to make humanity a single family in his Son.
The entire activity of the Church is an expression of a love that seeks the integral good of man: it seeks his evangelization through Word and Sacrament, an undertaking that is often heroic in the way it is acted out in history; and it seeks to promote man in the various arenas of life and human activity.
Love is therefore the service that the Church carries out in order to attend constantly to man's sufferings and his needs, including material needs. And this is the aspect, this service of charity , on which I want to focus in the second part of the Encyclical. Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: from the local community to the particular Church and to the Church universal in its entirety.
As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community. Acts As the Church grew, this radical form of material communion could not in fact be preserved. But its essential core remained: within the community of believers there can never be room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life.
A decisive step in the difficult search for ways of putting this fundamental ecclesial principle into practice is illustrated in the choice of the seven, which marked the origin of the diaconal office cf. In the early Church, in fact, with regard to the daily distribution to widows, a disparity had arisen between Hebrew speakers and Greek speakers. In other words, the social service which they were meant to provide was absolutely concrete, yet at the same time it was also a spiritual service; theirs was a truly spiritual office which carried out an essential responsibility of the Church, namely a well-ordered love of neighbour.
As the years went by and the Church spread further afield, the exercise of charity became established as one of her essential activities, along with the administration of the sacraments and the proclamation of the word: love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to her as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel. The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word.
A few references will suffice to demonstrate this. Those who are able make offerings in accordance with their means, each as he or she wishes; the Bishop in turn makes use of these to support orphans, widows, the sick and those who for other reasons find themselves in need, such as prisoners and foreigners. Here it might be helpful to allude to the earliest legal structures associated with the service of charity in the Church.
By the sixth century this institution had evolved into a corporation with full juridical standing, which the civil authorities themselves entrusted with part of the grain for public distribution. In Egypt not only each monastery, but each individual Diocese eventually had its own diaconia ; this institution then developed in both East and West.
But charitable activity on behalf of the poor and suffering was naturally an essential part of the Church of Rome from the very beginning, based on the principles of Christian life given in the Acts of the Apostles. As the one responsible for the care of the poor in Rome, Lawrence had been given a period of time, after the capture of the Pope and of Lawrence's fellow deacons, to collect the treasures of the Church and hand them over to the civil authorities. He distributed to the poor whatever funds were available and then presented to the authorities the poor themselves as the real treasure of the Church.
As a child of six years, Julian witnessed the assassination of his father, brother and other family members by the guards of the imperial palace; rightly or wrongly, he blamed this brutal act on the Emperor Constantius, who passed himself off as an outstanding Christian.
The Christian faith was thus definitively discredited in his eyes. Upon becoming emperor, Julian decided to restore paganism, the ancient Roman religion, while reforming it in the hope of making it the driving force behind the empire. In this project he was amply inspired by Christianity. He established a hierarchy of metropolitans and priests who were to foster love of God and neighbour.
In one of his letters,  he wrote that the sole aspect of Christianity which had impressed him was the Church's charitable activity. He thus considered it essential for his new pagan religion that, alongside the system of the Church's charity, an equivalent activity of its own be established. They needed now to be imitated and outdone. In this way, then, the Emperor confirmed that charity was a decisive feature of the Christian community, the Church. These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable.
For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being. In this family no one ought to go without the necessities of life. Yet at the same time caritas- agape extends beyond the frontiers of the Church. Lk , whoever they may be. Without in any way detracting from this commandment of universal love, the Church also has a specific responsibility: within the ecclesial family no member should suffer through being in need.
Since the nineteenth century, an objection has been raised to the Church's charitable activity, subsequently developed with particular insistence by Marxism: the poor, it is claimed, do not need charity but justice. Works of charity—almsgiving—are in effect a way for the rich to shirk their obligation to work for justice and a means of soothing their consciences, while preserving their own status and robbing the poor of their rights.
Instead of contributing through individual works of charity to maintaining the status quo , we need to build a just social order in which all receive their share of the world's goods and no longer have to depend on charity. There is admittedly some truth to this argument, but also much that is mistaken. It is true that the pursuit of justice must be a fundamental norm of the State and that the aim of a just social order is to guarantee to each person, according to the principle of subsidiarity, his share of the community's goods.
This has always been emphasized by Christian teaching on the State and by the Church's social doctrine. Historically, the issue of the just ordering of the collectivity had taken a new dimension with the industrialization of society in the nineteenth century. The rise of modern industry caused the old social structures to collapse, while the growth of a class of salaried workers provoked radical changes in the fabric of society.
The relationship between capital and labour now became the decisive issue—an issue which in that form was previously unknown. Capital and the means of production were now the new source of power which, concentrated in the hands of a few, led to the suppression of the rights of the working classes, against which they had to rebel. It must be admitted that the Church's leadership was slow to realize that the issue of the just structuring of society needed to be approached in a new way. Faced with new situations and issues, Catholic social teaching thus gradually developed, and has now found a comprehensive presentation in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church published in by the Pontifical Council Iustitia et Pax.
Marxism had seen world revolution and its preliminaries as the panacea for the social problem: revolution and the subsequent collectivization of the means of production, so it was claimed, would immediately change things for the better. This illusion has vanished. In today's complex situation, not least because of the growth of a globalized economy, the Church's social doctrine has become a set of fundamental guidelines offering approaches that are valid even beyond the confines of the Church: in the face of ongoing development these guidelines need to be addressed in the context of dialogue with all those seriously concerned for humanity and for the world in which we live.
In order to define more accurately the relationship between the necessary commitment to justice and the ministry of charity, two fundamental situations need to be considered:. Mt , in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere. For her part, the Church, as the social expression of Christian faith, has a proper independence and is structured on the basis of her faith as a community which the State must recognize. The two spheres are distinct, yet always interrelated.
Justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics. Politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life: its origin and its goal are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. The State must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now. But this presupposes an even more radical question: what is justice? The problem is one of practical reason; but if reason is to be exercised properly, it must undergo constant purification, since it can never be completely free of the danger of a certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effect of power and special interests.
Here politics and faith meet. Faith by its specific nature is an encounter with the living God—an encounter opening up new horizons extending beyond the sphere of reason. But it is also a purifying force for reason itself. From God's standpoint, faith liberates reason from its blind spots and therefore helps it to be ever more fully itself.
Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. This is where Catholic social doctrine has its place: it has no intention of giving the Church power over the State. Even less is it an attempt to impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to faith. Its aim is simply to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just.
The Church's social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church's responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest.
Building a just social and civil order, wherein each person receives what is his or her due, is an essential task which every generation must take up anew. As a political task, this cannot be the Church's immediate responsibility. Yet, since it is also a most important human responsibility, the Church is duty-bound to offer, through the purification of reason and through ethical formation, her own specific contribution towards understanding the requirements of justice and achieving them politically.
The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper.
A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply. There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable.
We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces: she is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ.
This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something which often is even more necessary than material support. Dt —a conviction that demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human.
We can now determine more precisely, in the life of the Church, the relationship between commitment to the just ordering of the State and society on the one hand, and organized charitable activity on the other. We have seen that the formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the Church, but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use of reason.
The Church has an indirect duty here, in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run. The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society, on the other hand, is proper to the lay faithful.
As citizens of the State, they are called to take part in public life in a personal capacity. The Church's charitable organizations, on the other hand, constitute an opus proprium , a task agreeable to her, in which she does not cooperate collaterally, but acts as a subject with direct responsibility, doing what corresponds to her nature.
The Church can never be exempted from practising charity as an organized activity of believers, and on the other hand, there will never be a situation where the charity of each individual Christian is unnecessary, because in addition to justice man needs, and will always need, love. The multiple structures of charitable service in the social context of the present day. Before attempting to define the specific profile of the Church's activities in the service of man, I now wish to consider the overall situation of the struggle for justice and love in the world of today.
Despite the great advances made in science and technology, each day we see how much suffering there is in the world on account of different kinds of poverty, both material and spiritual.
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Our times call for a new readiness to assist our neighbours in need. On the other hand—and here we see one of the challenging yet also positive sides of the process of globalization—we now have at our disposal numerous means for offering humanitarian assistance to our brothers and sisters in need, not least modern systems of distributing food and clothing, and of providing housing and care.
Concern for our neighbour transcends the confines of national communities and has increasingly broadened its horizon to the whole world. The solidarity shown by civil society thus significantly surpasses that shown by individuals. Church agencies, with their transparent operation and their faithfulness to the duty of witnessing to love, are able to give a Christian quality to the civil agencies too, favouring a mutual coordination that can only redound to the effectiveness of charitable service.
Significantly, our time has also seen the growth and spread of different kinds of volunteer work, which assume responsibility for providing a variety of services. For young people, this widespread involvement constitutes a school of life which offers them a formation in solidarity and in readiness to offer others not simply material aid but their very selves. Lk et passim for others. In the Catholic Church, and also in the other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, new forms of charitable activity have arisen, while other, older ones have taken on new life and energy.
In these new forms, it is often possible to establish a fruitful link between evangelization and works of charity. Here I would clearly reaffirm what my great predecessor John Paul II wrote in his Encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis  when he asserted the readiness of the Catholic Church to cooperate with the charitable agencies of these Churches and Communities, since we all have the same fundamental motivation and look towards the same goal: a true humanism, which acknowledges that man is made in the image of God and wants to help him to live in a way consonant with that dignity.
The increase in diversified organizations engaged in meeting various human needs is ultimately due to the fact that the command of love of neighbour is inscribed by the Creator in man's very nature. It is also a result of the presence of Christianity in the world, since Christianity constantly revives and acts out this imperative, so often profoundly obscured in the course of time. The reform of paganism attempted by the emperor Julian the Apostate is only an initial example of this effect; here we see how the power of Christianity spread well beyond the frontiers of the Christian faith.
For this reason, it is very important that the Church's charitable activity maintains all of its splendour and does not become just another form of social assistance. So what are the essential elements of Christian and ecclesial charity? The Church's charitable organizations, beginning with those of Caritas at diocesan, national and international levels , ought to do everything in their power to provide the resources and above all the personnel needed for this work. Individuals who care for those in need must first be professionally competent: they should be properly trained in what to do and how to do it, and committed to continuing care.
Yet, while professional competence is a primary, fundamental requirement, it is not of itself sufficient. We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern. Those who work for the Church's charitable organizations must be distinguished by the fact that they do not merely meet the needs of the moment, but they dedicate themselves to others with heartfelt concern, enabling them to experience the richness of their humanity.
As a result, love of neighbour will no longer be for them a commandment imposed, so to speak, from without, but a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which becomes active through love cf. Gal It is not a means of changing the world ideologically, and it is not at the service of worldly stratagems, but it is a way of making present here and now the love which man always needs. The modern age, particularly from the nineteenth century on, has been dominated by various versions of a philosophy of progress whose most radical form is Marxism. Part of Marxist strategy is the theory of impoverishment: in a situation of unjust power, it is claimed, anyone who engages in charitable initiatives is actually serving that unjust system, making it appear at least to some extent tolerable.
This in turn slows down a potential revolution and thus blocks the struggle for a better world. Seen in this way, charity is rejected and attacked as a means of preserving the status quo. What we have here, though, is really an inhuman philosophy. People of the present are sacrificed to the moloch of the future—a future whose effective realization is at best doubtful. One does not make the world more human by refusing to act humanely here and now. All of Sri Lanka's universities are government sponsored and attendance is free. Admission is determined by exam, so that only 2 percent of Sri Lanka's children eventually are enrolled in the universities, although children from affluent families frequently gain admittance to foreign universities.
Of those who enter the Sri Lankan university system, the majority go into the arts, which includes humanities and social sciences, a course of study taught in the vernacular languages. Unemployment following graduation is high for these students, reflecting a disjuncture between market needs and university education.
Opportunities for postgraduate education are quite limited within the country. Protests against authorities are well established among university students at all levels. New entrants to the university student community are routinely subjected to "ragging," a form of collective harassment by the senior students in an effort to create a sense of common identity and an anti-establishment consciousness.
Many of the most important rules of etiquette serve to mark differences in social rank. Both Sinhala and Tamil contain a range of linguistic markers for status as well as relative social distance and intimacy. In routine social interactions, personal names are avoided in preference to nicknames, relationship terms, or other titles.
Gender is also an important factor in determining appropriate conduct. Among all but the most urbanized, women are expected to defer to men of relatively equal status and to avoid all implication of sexual impropriety by keeping themselves well covered at all times. They are also expected to refuse all alcohol and tobacco and to refrain from direct physical contact with men.
10. Religion and Reform
Between members of the same gender and with children, however, there is a great deal of physical contact that emphasizes closeness. At meals, women usually eat last, after they have served the men and the children of the household, although visitors are served first, regardless of gender. While the more Westernized may use silverware, food is commonly eaten with the right hand, a preference that extends to other domains as well.
In public, people tend to speak in hushed tones if at all, although leaders and sellers are expected to shout. Large emotional displays of any type are uncommon in public. Greetings are often unvocalized, with broad smiles exchanged between strangers and a friendly raised eyebrow to frequent acquaintances. When new people are involved in a conversation, the mutual acquaintance is asked questions about the stranger. Seldom does direct self-introduction occur.
Unusual behavior of any kind draws unconcealed observation. Religious Beliefs. Buddhism, the religion of the majority of people in Sri Lanka, is given a place of preference in the national constitution and public life, although Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are also practiced by significant portions of the population. The census reported that 69 percent of the population considered themselves Buddhists, 15 percent Hindus, 8 percent Muslims, and 8 percent Christians. In practice, however, there is a degree of blending between these practices as well as an incorporation of ancient indigenous and astrological beliefs.
Sri Lankan Buddhists and Hindus, in particular, share a number of foundational beliefs and ritual practices. The moral codes of both of these religious traditions recommend moderation and restraint, Hindus stressing the discipline of one's behavior and Buddhists advocating "the middle path. While both Buddhism and Hinduism also propose that one can escape the cycle of rebirth, a goal that is highly elaborated within Buddhism, the acquisition of spiritual merit to gain a better rebirth either for one's self or one's loved ones generates much of the religious activity of the laity.
Among the participants in both of these religions, there is also a belief in a broad pantheon of gods, spirits, and demons, into which many local deities have been absorbed. These beings may be male or female, benevolent or malevolent, moral or amoral, but they are all considered subject to the same laws of death and rebirth as other beings. Devotees, including some Muslims and Christians, appeal to these gods to assist them with a variety of mostly worldly concerns.
Religious Practitioners. In Sri Lanka, each of the four major religions are served by native religious leaders, although not exclusively; the island is home to training institutions for specialists in each of its organized religions. The largest and most active group of religious specialists are the members of the Buddhist monkhood, or Sangha, who are ordained for life to follow a path of celibacy committed to the disattachment from worldly life.
As temple monks, they provide spiritual guidance to the laity, serve as role models, and act as a source of merit acquisition for those who support them. They do not, however, traditionally play a role in secular matters or life-cycle rituals, except the death rites. Well organized and often in control of fair amounts of property, the Sangha have considerable influence in society, both historically and today.
The priests of the various gods are more independently organized. The ethnicity of the priests depends on their clientele more than the origin of the gods they serve. Tamil Hindu priests are born into their roles, almost traditionally but not exclusively coming from the Brahman caste. Sinhala Buddhist priests, who serve many of the same gods, are drawn from the laity and are increasingly likely to be women.
Members of both the Buddhist and Hindu laity also play a variety of specialized religious roles as mediators, renunciates who withdraw from worldly pursuits, and other kinds of adepts. Rituals and Holy Places. Sri Lanka is home to many sacred sites visited by foreigners and locals alike. During this temple's annual perahera season, the Tooth Relic is paraded through the torch-lit streets, accompanied by dancers, drummers, and elephants. While this is the island's largest perahera, or religious procession, other temples around the island host their own at different times of the year.
Pilgrimage is an important religious activity for many Sri Lankans. Kataragama, the most popular and elaborate of the pilgrimage centers, is primarily dedicated to the deity, although it is visited by members of all four of the island's religions. The summit of Sri Pada, or Adam's Peak, another important Wading in a pool of brackish water, a man pans for rubies, sapphires and other gems using a basket at one of Sri Lanka's many pit mines. A large rock at the top is believed by Buddhists to have been imprinted with the footprint of the Buddha during one of his legendary visits to Sri Lanka and by Muslims to hold the footprint made by Adam as he was cast out of paradise.
The ancient temples, especially of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, are also important pilgrimage sites. Death and the Afterlife. Death ceremonies are quite elaborate in Sri Lanka, usually conducted by the families of the deceased in conjunction with religious officiants. Bodies are first embalmed in a secular, medical process and then returned to the families for funeral rites involving the gathering of extended family and the sharing of food, followed by either burial or cremation.
Among Buddhists and Hindus the body is kept in the ancestral home for as long as a week while a variety of rituals are performed to give merit to the deceased in order to ensure a good rebirth. A series of purification rituals are also performed to protect the family members from the pollution from the body.
White is the color associated with funerals, except for monks whose death is marked with yellow. Following a death, white banners, flags, and other decorations are put up according to the status of the deceased. Anniversaries of a death are also marked by rituals performed by family members. The quality of life in Sri Lanka is among the highest in the developing world based on indicators such as its average life expectancy of seventy years, a relatively low infant mortality rate, and a well-developed infrastructure that provides safe drinking water and latrines to at least two-thirds of its inhabitants, an adequate food supply, and an extensive network of health-care providers.
In Sri Lanka, several different types of health systems are available. The state's free and universal health-care system includes Western allopathic medicine as well as South Asian Ayurvedic treatments. In addition, there are a variety of private clinics offering Western and Ayurvedic services, indigenous herbal specialists, and ritual healers. In general, people do not see these various health systems as mutually exclusive or contradictory, simultaneously accessing different systems for the same or different types of ailments.
Dosha, which loosely translates as "troubles," is the central concept that integrates these various health systems. Within Ayurveda, the concept refers to the physical and emotional problems resulting from imbalances in the body humors of heat, coolness, and wind. But the concept of Dosha is much broader in the folk system, referring to all kinds of problems including financial, academic, and social difficulties.
Imbalances may result from food, spirit attack, or contact with some other extreme and may require different treatment approaches available from the different health systems. Although there is a certain amount of popular knowledge about illness prevention, diagnosis, and treatment derived from these different systems, each is primarily administered by trained practitioners. Doctors, nurses, and other health-care workers are trained in modern Western allopathic medicine through Sri Lanka's university system as well as in foreign institutions.
Ayurvedic doctors are trained in university-affiliated colleges in Sri Lanka and India. Indigenous herbal medical training is passed through apprenticeship from father to son. Different types of healing rituals are also conducted by experts—such as exorcists, drummers and other caste-based professionals, and priests and priestess of the gods—sometimes in consultation with astrologers.
All Saturdays and Sundays are public holidays, as is the Poya Day of each month which marks the full moon.
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During April, the island largely shuts down for a week as its Sinhala and Tamil residents celebrate the traditional new year, the exact day of which is determined by astrologers. In addition, the major Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Christian days are also reserved as public holidays. Support for the Arts. Whether nationally acclaimed or only locally recognized, Sri Lankan artists are primarily supported by the clients who commission or purchase their work. In addition, some larger corporations sponsor particular projects and the government gives some small stipends and positions of honor to notable artists.
Sri Lanka has a long and prolific history of written as well as oral literature. As early as the fifth century C. This tradition continues today as fiction writers, poets, playwrights, and journalists write in all three of the nation's languages; some of their works have been translated into other languages as well. However, Sri Lanka's university and public libraries, once reputed to be the best in South Asia, are underfunded and poorly maintained as a result of increased budgetary constraints since Graphic Arts.
Religious topics and institutions heavily influence Sri Lanka's statuary and pictorial art. Local handicrafts, encouraged during the socialist days, have been challenged by less expensive imports since Some of these traditional handicrafts, such as pottery and basket weaving, are caste-based activities and tend to be more utilitarian than decorative. Others, such as wood carving, are highly ornate and well respected in international as well as local markets. Performance Arts. Performance is the most vibrant of all art forms in Sri Lanka, particularly drumming and dancing.
All fully professional theater productions are performed in a ritual context, although there is also modern, secular theater which is semiprofessional. There are also numerous forms of music produced and appreciated on the island including traditional drumming, religious chanting, work songs, South Asian and Western classical music, as well as contemporary popular music and film songs from national artists and abroad. Although appealing to different sections of the community, performances of all types are typically well-attended in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's medical, engineering, and sociological fields are internationally respected although they are challenged by lack of funding and the loss of many of the best researchers to foreign institutions. Additionally, the switch from English to the vernacular languages in the social science departments of the universities has made it difficult for scholars to participate in an international exchange of ideas.
Alexander, Paul. Arachchige-Don, Neville S. Baker, Victoria J.
Brow, James. Daniel, E. Charred Lullabies: Chapters in an Anthropography of Violence, David, K. Dissanayake, Wimal. Gombrich, Richand F. Good, Anthony. Kapferer, Bruce. Kearney, R. Knox, Robert. An Historical Relation of Ceylon, , reprinted, Leach, E. Leach, ed. McGowan, William. Obeyesekere, Gananath. Roberts, M.
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- An Eye for An I: Living Philosophy.
- Culture of Sri Lanka - history, people, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social.
- Jack, The Young Cowboy (Illustrated): An Eastern Boys Experience On a Western Round-Up (Classic Fiction for Young Adults Book 175).
Ryan, Bryce F. Schalk, P. Silva, Kalinga Tudor. Spencer, Jonathan. Sri Lanka: History and Roots of the Conflict, Tambiah, S. Buddhism Betrayed? Religion, Politics, and Violence in Sri Lanka, Yalman, Nur. Toggle navigation. Culture Name Sri Lankan. Alternative Names Ceylonese, Lankan. Sri Lanka. History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space In the precolonial period, only the ruling elite and religious establishments were permitted to have permanent buildings.
Food and Economy Food in Daily Life. Social Stratification Classes and Castes. Political Life Government. Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations Since , foreign-supported nongovernmental organizations have proliferated, providing welfare services and promoting social agendas such as human rights, fair elections, conflict resolution, and peace initiatives.
Marriage, Family, and Kinship Marriage. Socialization Infant Care. Etiquette Many of the most important rules of etiquette serve to mark differences in social rank. Religion Religious Beliefs. Medicine and Health Care The quality of life in Sri Lanka is among the highest in the developing world based on indicators such as its average life expectancy of seventy years, a relatively low infant mortality rate, and a well-developed infrastructure that provides safe drinking water and latrines to at least two-thirds of its inhabitants, an adequate food supply, and an extensive network of health-care providers.
Secular Celebrations All Saturdays and Sundays are public holidays, as is the Poya Day of each month which marks the full moon. The Arts and Humanities Support for the Arts. The State of the Physical and Social Sciences Sri Lanka's medical, engineering, and sociological fields are internationally respected although they are challenged by lack of funding and the loss of many of the best researchers to foreign institutions. Bibliography Alexander, Paul. A History of Sri Lanka, Rahula, Walpola. What the Buddha Taught, User Contributions: 1.
Brandi bordelon. This site is awsome it shows alot of interesting facts! If you could could you tell me what the Sri Lankan flag means? This websit eis very imformative, however, I woul sugget that you also include how a Sri Lankan table is traditionally set. I'd love to reference the information from your site -- could you send me the year it was submitted, or last updated??
I'm a proud of as a Sri Lankan. Because this is the one and only beautiful paradise in this world. This website is so imformitive!! It's very helpful, for I am doing a study on Sri Lanka, and I think it has covered almost everything i need. I also would like to know when it was last updated, and what does the flag mean, that would be helpful. Well researched article.
But needs a few corrections and updates. It talks about a caste system in the traditional part of Buddhist and Hindu society in Sri Lanka. Please note that Buddhism does not have any caste system. The caste system prevails only in the minds of the uneducated public of the country, which is a minority. I too would like to reference this page for a paper I am writing. Thanks a lot! I am loking for information about birthday celebrations in Sri Lanka.
Are birthday celebrated? If so, how? Are there any special ceremonies to celebrate the birth of a child? Thank you. This may be very informative but it needs updating What's new about Sri Lanka? What are its contributions to world? Does Sri Lanka celebrate any festival? And there's so much more about Sri Lanka. The predominant colours are Yellow and Red, yellow symbolizing 'Sila' or virtue and red life-blood and strength of the People.
The Life-blood and strength of the People is enclosed within a frame of virtue. The Lion, symbol of the Nation denotes all the qualities associated with the King of Beasts: Courage, sagacity, rulership with virtue as the foremost quality. The head and the tail being on the same level symbolize the intrinsic equality of the Ruler and the Ruled. The sword stands for the guardianship exercised on behalf of the People. The tongue, separate from the mouth stands for truth independent of bias. The mane stands for the noble qualities that should uphold the Ruler.
The original flag also had 24 tufts shown as arrowheads signifying the impartial qualities of government. There ar more details about the claws on the three legs and the fingers holding the sword and the hilt of the sword itself. The entire flag is pregnant with meaning and is a practical sermon that puts the Ruler and the Ruled on par with each other within a cloak of Sila, fundamental to good governance, duties, responsibiliities, and reciprocal obligations.
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Can somebody tell me the custom in case of the death of a husband: is it usual that the brother of the husband takes care of his sister in law and her children? I would like to know what is the term for yearly memorial of death. I am trying to search for the date based on the date they died. This is a great article, very informative and really helped me with a study I am currently doing on health in Sri Lanka.