Other contributing factors in Sri Lanka's way of life include ethnicity, language,
and religion. However, these groups have many similarities other than in opinion
as the way of life for many of them is quite close, although the culture may differ
significantly. For the small Muslim population there are greater variations, such
as working hours that often end Friday afternoon for Friday prayer.
Among the many similarities are the heavy reliance on farming, the rural lifestyle
for many people, and the importance of family and community placed above all else.
The people of Sri Lanka almost always identify by their
ethnicity, which is primarily broken down into the Sinhalese and Tamils. The Sinhalese
tend to define their identity on their ethnicity, language, and religion, which
is Buddhism. The Tamils also tend to define their identity on their ethnicity and
language, but not as strongly on their religion; most Tamils are Hindu. This primary
identity based on ethnicity, not nationality has created some division and tensions
in the country between these two groups. However, many of these people do identify
as citizens of Sri Lankan on some level. Despite this, the identity is defined by
more than just citizenship to some, as many argue to be Sri Lankan one must also
be Sinhalese, or Tamil, or Buddhist, etc. Fortunately, most people agree it is an
inclusive term that is defined only on citizenship and nothing more, giving the
people a united identity.