Sri Lanka lies at the southern tip of India. The island has been known by many names throughout its history, which are Taprobane, Simundu, Salike, Sila-diva, Serendip, Zeilan and Ceylon.
The temperature on the coastal plains has an average temperature of 32oC (90oF) while in the centre at 2,000 metres (6,000 feet) it is much cooler. At this height the average temperature is 17oC (62.6oF).
The island has numerous rivers, the longest being the Mahaweli Ganga (River).
Rice is the staple diet of the people of Sri Lanka. To add flavour to the meal there are a numerous varieties of curries, sambols and accompaniments. The accepted way to eat rice and curries is with the fingers.
At meal time everything is placed on the table at once. Rice, fish curry, beef curry, vegetable curies, sambols and accompaniments. The traditional way of serving rice and curry is to place a quantity of rice in the centre of the plate and surrounding it with your favourite dishes. It is not bad etiquette to place a number of curries and accompaniments on your plate.
The meal usually ends with one or more fresh fruits.