An orphanage for elephants
More than 3000 elephants live in Sri Lanka. They are protected in national parks, but also occur outside of them. The residents appreciate and worship their pachyderms. In Pinnawela, not far from the famous royal city of Kandy, there is even an orphanage for elephants, where little baby elephants find a home. They lost their dams and were found somewhere and rescued. This orphanage is also an attraction for tourists. You can visit it and watch the elephants.
Sri Lankan Elephant
The elephants in Sri Lanka belong to the Asian elephants, which are often – not quite correctly – called Indian elephants. Asian elephants are smaller than their African relatives. The Sri Lankan elephant, however, is the largest of the three subspecies of the Asian elephant. It can be up to 3.50 meters tall.
In Sri Lanka there is not only an orphanage for elephants, but also a farm that is used to protect turtles. It was created in 1979 and campaigns for the sea turtle species in Sri Lanka.
The turtles lay their eggs in the sand on the beaches. However, these eggs are also often sold as medicine. Poor people in particular collect these eggs and sell them to earn a few rupees. The turtle station is now buying the eggs from the collectors. They still earn a little money, but the eggs are hatched and not eaten.
What are stilt fishermen?
At sunrise and sunset you can find men on the beach of the Indian Ocean sitting on stilts in the sea. What are you doing there? They are stilt fishermen. On the south coast of Sri Lanka they sit for hours on poles or stilts, hang their fishing rods in the sea and wait until a fish finally takes a bite. They sit on a thin crossbar on which they have to keep their balance.
Their prey are usually very small fish, such as mackerel or sardines. They earn a little money with it, often only a few rupees a day. Some stilt fishermen have turned this into a business idea. Because the tourists love taking pictures of the fishermen, they make them pay for it. You can make a lot more money with it at the end of the day than with fishing. Necessity makes you inventive.
The tea business
Tea was already being grown in Sri Lanka during the British colonial times. This tea is Ceylon tea. The island was once called Ceylon. It was not renamed Sri Lanka until 1972. The name for the famous tea stayed, however.
This tea is exported from Sri Lanka to many countries around the world. There are three major tea growing areas, all of which are in the central highlands. The best types of tea grow in Sri Lanka at different times because the island’s climate is very different. Certain varieties are harvested from June to September, others again from December to March. In some regions, the tea can be harvested all year round. For more information about Sri Lanka and Asia, please visit pharmacylib.
The tea is available in different qualities. Those who travel to Sri Lanka can also visit such a tea factory. Of course, there is a smell of fresh tea here, which can also be tried on site. The quality of the tea is measured in different leaf grades. Incidentally, you also collect the tea dust and pack it, like the leaves, in tea bags. This tea dust, which is created during production, is then also sold.
Sri Lanka is famous not only for its tea, but also for its spice gardens. Due to the climate, many types of spices can grow here, some of which you may already be familiar with. There is cinnamon, for example, which you probably only know as cinnamon powder. This spice is obtained from the dried bark of the cinnamon tree. With us you can buy cinnamon as a powder, but also as a rolled stick. Especially at Christmas, we like to use the cinnamon spice when baking cookies.
In a herb garden in Sri Lanka you will also find lemongrass, spiced vanilla, cocoa plants and many other spices.
Pepper grows on a bush and, by the way, doesn’t always have to be black or white. The peppercorns can be green, white or red, depending on when they are harvested. Incidentally, the pepper plant climbs up trees and can reach heights of up to ten meters. You can buy pepper in all shapes and colors at markets in Sri Lanka. Many dishes are seasoned with pepper.
As in many other Asian countries, ginger also grows in Sri Lanka. By the way, it is not exactly known where the ginger originally came from. Ginger is often used as a culinary herb or spice and it is said to have healing properties because it has an antibacterial effect, i.e. it destroys bacteria.
Ginger is often used in drinks. Ginger tea is very healthy. To do this, you have to peel the ginger plant, cut it into small slices and pour hot water over it. You already have a delicious and healthy drink. It might be a little hot for kids, but give it a try anyway. You may also know ginger ale, which is a sweet drink that tastes like ginger. However, the proportion of sugar here is higher than the proportion of ginger. You can find a recipe for ginger lemonade here.