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The two single biggest influences on Sri Lankan music are from Buddhism and Portuguese colonizers.
Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka after the Buddha's visit in 300 BC, while the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century, bringing with them cantiga ballads, the ukulele, and guitars, along with African slaves, who further diversified the musical roots of the island.
Sri Lankan culture is internationally associated with cricket, a distinct cuisine, an indigenous holistic medicine practice, religious iconography such as the Buddhist flag, and exports such as tea, cinnamon, and gemstones, as well as a robust tourism industry.
Sri Lanka has longstanding ties with the Indian subcontinent that can be traced back to prehistory.
Most western parts of Sri Lanka follow western dancing and music.
The movie Kadawunu Poronduwa (The broken promise), produced by S. Nayagam of Chitra Kala Movietone, heralded the coming of Sri Lankan cinema in 1947.
Undoubtedly, the most influential and revolutionary filmmaker in the history of Sri Lankan cinema is Lester James Peiris, who has directed a number of movies which received global acclaim, including Rekava (Line of destiny, 1956), Gamperaliya (The changing village, 1964), Nidhanaya (The treasure, 1970), and Golu Hadawatha (Cold Heart, 1968.)There are many cinemas in the city areas.
Buddhism had a significant influence on Sri Lankan architecture, since it was introduced to the island in 3rd Century Many forms of Sri Lankan arts and crafts take inspiration from the Island's long and lasting Buddhist culture which in turn has absorbed and adopted countless regional and local traditions.Nevertheless, the ancient traditions and festivals are still celebrated, mostly by the conservative Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamil people of the island, together with other minorities that make up the Sri Lankan identity.The Tamils, primarily Hindus, claimed the northern section of the island and the Sinhalese, who are predominantly Buddhists, controlled the south.The culture of Sri Lanka mixes modern elements with traditional aspects and is known for its regional diversity.Sri Lankan culture has long been influenced by the heritage of Theravada Buddhism passed on from India, and the religion's legacy is particularly strong in Sri Lanka's southern and central regions.