This Acrylic Fridge Magnet Shows an Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka
The island of Sri Lanka (also known as Ceylon) is located off the southeast coast of India and has a rich cultural and natural history. The Indian Elephant, which features so prominently in this souvenir fridge magnet, is a part of both sides of the island's history. In cultural history, the elephant has been an important symbol of power (understandably!) as well as a crucial draft animal. On the natural history side, they have an important place in the nation's ecology - being one of the three surviving subspecies of Asian elephants. This image shows the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation to protect the nation's dwindling elephant population.
Sri Lanka's Rich Buddhist Heritage Brings in Many Visitors
Sri Lanka is a land with many religious traditions: Hindu Tamils, Muslims, and Roman Catholics amongst them. However, it is best known as one of the traditional heartlands for the Mahayana Buddhist faith, which it shares with Thailand, Cambodia and Burma. The Singhala people, who make up the island's majority, are traditionally Buddhist. Over the centuries, they have constructed numerous stupas and monasteries, as well as famous Buddha statues, which adorn the island. One of the most important artifacts in all of Buddhism - one of the Buddha's teeth - is protected within the island and brought out only for the most important ceremonies. The tooth is considered a symbol of royal power in Sri Lanka, which lost its sovereignty during the colonial era, and is today thus an important icon of national independence and identity. Visitors can enjoy much of this vibrant, colorful religious traditions during their stay on the island, and of course it makes for great souvenirs as well!