A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, who operates from a parish church. A parish covered the same geographical area as a manor, its association with the parish church remains paramount. By extension the term parish refers not only to the territorial entity but to the people of its community or congregation as well as to church property within it. In England this church property was technically in ownership of the parish priest ex-officio, vested in him on his institution to that parish. First attested in English in the late, 13th century, the word parish comes from the Old French paroisse, in turn from Latin: paroecia, the latinisation of the Ancient Greek: παροικία, translit. Paroikia, "sojourning in a foreign land", itself from πάροικος, "dwelling beside, sojourner", a compound of παρά, "beside, by, near" and οἶκος οἶκος, "house".
As an ancient concept, the term "parish" occurs in the long-established Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran churches, in some Methodist, Congregationalist and Presbyterian administrations. The eighth Archbishop of Canterbury Theodore of Tarsus appended the parish structure to the Anglo-Saxon township unit, where it existed, where minsters catered to the surrounding district. Broadly speaking, the parish is the standard unit in episcopal polity of church administration, although parts of a parish may be subdivided as a chapelry, with a chapel of ease or filial church serving as the local place of worship in cases of difficulty to access the main parish church. In the wider picture of ecclesiastical polity, a parish see. Parishes within a diocese may be grouped into a deanery or vicariate forane, overseen by a dean or vicar forane, or in some cases by an archpriest; some churches of the Anglican Communion have deaneries as units of an archdeaconry.
The Church of England geographical structure uses the local parish church as its basic unit. The parish system survived the Reformation with the Anglican Church's secession from Rome remaining untouched, thus it shares its roots with the Catholic Church's system described above. Parishes may extend into different counties or hundreds and many parishes comprised extra outlying portions in addition to its principal district being described as'detached' and intermixed with the lands of other parishes. Church of England parishes nowadays all lie within one of 44 dioceses divided between the provinces of Canterbury, 30 and York, 14; each parish has its own parish priest and supported by one or more curates or deacons - although as a result of ecclesiastical pluralism some parish priests might have held more than one parish living, placing a curate in charge of those where they do not reside. Now, however, it is common for a number of neighbouring parishes to be placed under one benefice in the charge of a priest who conducts services by rotation, with additional services being provided by lay readers or other non-ordained members of the church community.
A chapelry was a subdivision of an ecclesiastical parish in England, parts of Lowland Scotland up to the mid 19th century. It had a similar status to a township but was so named as it had a chapel which acted as a subsidiary place of worship to the main parish church. In England civil parishes and their governing parish councils evolved in the 19th century as ecclesiastical parishes began to be relieved of what became considered to be civic responsibilities, thus their boundaries began to diverge. The word "parish" acquired a secular usage. Since 1895, a parish council elected by public vote or a parish meeting administers a civil parish and is formally recognised as the level of local government below a district council; the traditional structure of the Church of England with the parish as the basic unit has been exported to other countries and churches throughout the Anglican Communion and Commonwealth but does not continue to be administered in the same way. The parish is the basic level of church administration in the Church of Scotland.
Spiritual oversight of each parish church in Scotland is responsibility of the congregation's Kirk Session. Patronage was regulated in 1711 and abolished in 1874, with the result that ministers must be elected by members of the congregation. Many parish churches in Scotland today are "linked" with neighbouring parish churches served by a single minister. Since the abolition of parishes as a unit of civil government in Scotland in 1929, Scottish parishes have purely ecclesiastical significance and the boundaries may be adjusted by the local Presbytery; the church in Wales is made up of six dioceses. Parishes were civil administration areas until communities were established in 1974. Although they are more simply called congregations and have no geographic boundaries, in the United Methodist Church congregations are called parishes. A prominent example of this usage comes in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, in which the committee of every local congregation that handles staff support is referred to as the committee on Pastor-Parish Relations.
This committee gives recommendations to the bishop on behalf of the parish/congregation since it is the United Methodist Bishop of the episcopal area who appoints a pastor to each congregation. The same is true in the Af
A bus terminus is a designated place where a bus or coach starts or ends its scheduled route. The terminus is the designated place. Termini can be located at bus stations, bus garages or bus stops. Termini can both start and end at the same place, or may be in different locations for starting and finishing a route. Termini may not coincide with the use of bus stands. For operational reasons and passenger routes to be their bus garage, where the legal terminus is just outside or nearby. For the purposes of integration of different public transport modes, termini may be located in a transportation hub or'interchange'. Minor termini may be a bus stop or loop in a residential street, used by few or just one. While it may be of prime importance to the passenger, the location of a terminus may be made for reasons other than convenience of passengers. In rare cases, where the bus operator is commercially separate from the bus station owner, the bus company may choose to terminate services outside the station, so as not to incur usage fees.
Additionally, counter to the idea of integration, competing bus operators may use different locations as intermediate termini, to discourage passengers use of competitors services. A factor in the location of a terminus is how to turn the bus around to start the route in the other direction, which may be difficult in areas where road space is an issue, or the road layout prevents U-turns; this does not apply for true circle routes, where buses operate permanently in the clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Termini in bus stations will include reversing/run-around space, negating the turning issue. Another consideration about the location of a terminus is the need to lay over before resuming in service. In busy locations, such as main streets or bus stations, allowing the bus the space to lay over may not be appropriate, the bus may have to run out of service, to a quieter layover point, before returning to the terminus to start the route again. To allow layover at a terminus, many routes run through busy centres terminating either side in quiet termini, where a bus can lay over without causing an obstruction.
In the one-stop case, this can cause problems for passengers when an in-service bus parks at a bus stop with the doors closed, waiting until the timetabled departure time, or when an arriving bus is not forming a departing service. This can be mitigated by using a bus stand. In the two-stop type, the arrival stop can be used as the layover point. Layover time is time built into a schedule between arrival at the end of a route and the departure for the return trip, used for the recovery of delays and preparation for the return trip. Terminus location may be positioned to allow driver changes, although this may be less of a factor than the location of the bus garage. Centrally located termini may be more convenient for driver changes; some operators operate pool cars to allow drivers to drive to and wait at a quiet terminus, swapping the car with the bus when it arrives. Many routes avoid the need to accommodate turning by having the end of the route form a small circuit as an official part of the route.
The terminus is designated as one stop on this circuit, with the bus starting and finishing in the same orientation. This is necessary in many town centres with one-way traffic systems. Space permitting, the terminus may be a purpose built run-around Bus turnout, which allows the bus to change direction by entering and leaving the turnout; the infrastructure for this remains from a previous tram or trolleybus system. In rare cases, to allow a one stop terminus, routes may be arranged to start and finish at the same terminus, with buses arriving as one scheduled route, leaving as a different route; this can be done to allow a formal midpoint to split up a long route, reducing the knock-on effect of delays. As opposed to a one stop arrangement, some routes that need to reverse direction at a terminus will start and finish in different stops, the pair of stops locations forms the terminus; this necessitates running the bus out of service along other streets in order to position in the bus for the reverse direction.
In the UK this is achieved by locating the terminus near a roundabout. In this case, the arrival point can be designated as a'set down only' stop, where passengers are not permitted to board. One bus route will follow a core main route, but towards the termini, the bus may branch off and terminate in different locations; this may be indicated by different route numbers, or with the same route number but a different destination name on the headsign/rollsign. Routes may have a number of different termini on the same numbered route, again shown only by different destinations; these may be used at different times according to operational need to reflect different demand at the different times of the day. Bus station Bus garage Bus stop Dead mileage Train terminus Inter State Bus Terminals
Districts of Norway
The country Norway is divided into a number of districts. Many districts have deep historical roots, only coincide with today's administrative units of counties and municipalities; the districts are defined by geographical features valleys, mountain ranges, plains, or coastlines, or combinations of the above. Many such regions were petty kingdoms up to the early Viking age. A high percentage of Norwegians identify themselves more by the district they live in or come from, than the formal administrative unit whose jurisdiction they fall under. A significant reason for this is that the districts, through their strong geographical limits, have delineated the region within which one could travel without too much trouble or expenditure of time and money, thus and regional commonality in folk culture tended to correspond to those same geographical units, despite any division into administrative districts by authorities. In modern times the whole country has become more connected, based on the following: Communication technologies such as telegraph, telephone, radio and TV, in particular Televerket and NRK.
The construction of mountain crossings, tunnels through mountains, undersea tunnels. Establishing a coastal express route of combined passenger and cargo ships, like the Hurtigruten, sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes and back again, stopping by at a host of cities and towns along the western and northern coast; the construction of railroads between distant parts of the country. The opening of dozens of new airports all over the country through the 1960s and 1970s; the release of private cars from government rationing and import restrictions from the 1950s onwards. A concrete display of the Norwegian habit of identifying themselves by district can be seen in the many regional costumes, called bunad connected to distinct districts across the country. City dwellers proudly mark their rural origins by wearing such a costume, from their ancestral landscape, at weddings, visits with members of the royal family, Constitution Day, other ceremonial occasions; the following list is non-exhaustive and overlapping.
The first name is the name in the second Nynorsk. Helgeland Lofoten Ofoten Salten VesterålenSee Finnmark, Hålogaland and Troms. Agder Kristiansandregionen Lister Setesdal Fosen Gauldalen Innherad Namdalen Orkdalen Stjørdalen Dalane Hardanger Haugalandet Jæren Midhordland Nordfjord Nordhordland Nordmøre Romsdal Ryfylke Sogn Sunnfjord Sunnhordland Sunnmøre Voss Follo Glåmdalen Grenland Gudbrandsdalen Hadeland Hallingdal Hedmarken Land Numedal Ringerike Romerike Toten Upper Telemark Valdres Vestfold Østerdalen ØstfoldSee Viken and Vingulmark. Regions of Norway Counties of Norway Metropolitan regions of Norway Subdivisions of Norden Traditional districts of Denmark Districts of Norway in 1950 – From the documentation project at the University of Oslo Regionalization and devolution: Proposed new regions of Norway Map showing regions of Medieval Norway
Pakistan the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, China in the far northeast, it is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, shares a maritime border with Oman. The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent; the ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Turco-Mongols and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and, most the British Empire.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a diverse geography and wildlife. A dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector, it is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, poverty and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; the name Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It alludes to the word pāk meaning pure in Pashto; the suffix ـستان is a Persian word meaning the place of, recalls the synonymous Sanskrit word sthāna स्थान. The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym referring to the names of the five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Kashmir and Baluchistan; the letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation. Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.
The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro; the Vedic period was characterised by an Indo-Aryan culture. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre; the Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab, founded around 1000 BCE. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE; the Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander, prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world, established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis; the ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE. At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh ruled the surrounding territories; the Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan. The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE; the Pakistan government's official chronol
Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a municipality. Founded in the year 1040 as Ánslo, established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 reduced its influence, with Sweden from 1814 to 1905 it functioned as a co-official capital. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour, it was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. The city's name was spelled Kristiania between 1897 by state and municipal authorities. In 1925 the city was renamed Oslo. Oslo is the governmental centre of Norway; the city is a hub of Norwegian trade, banking and shipping. It is maritime trade in Europe; the city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are among the world's largest shipping companies and maritime insurance brokers.
Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission intercultural cities programme. Oslo is considered a global city and was ranked "Beta World City" in studies carried out by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network in 2008, it was ranked number one in terms of quality of life among European large cities in the European Cities of the Future 2012 report by fDi magazine. A survey conducted by ECA International in 2011 placed Oslo as the second most expensive city in the world for living expenses after Tokyo. In 2013 Oslo tied with the Australian city of Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living study; as of 1 July 2017, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 672,061, while the population of the city's urban area of 3 December 2018 was 1,000,467. The metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.71 million. The population was increasing at record rates during the early 2000s, making it the fastest growing major city in Europe at the time.
This growth stems for the most part from international immigration and related high birth rates, but from intra-national migration. The immigrant population in the city is growing somewhat faster than the Norwegian population, in the city proper this is now more than 25% of the total population if immigrant parents are included; as of 1 January 2016, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 658,390. The urban area extends beyond the boundaries of the municipality into the surrounding county of Akershus; the city centre is situated at the end of the Oslofjord, from which point the city sprawls out in three distinct "corridors"—inland north-eastwards, southwards along both sides of the fjord—which gives the urbanized area a shape reminiscent of an upside-down reclining "Y". To the north and east, wide forested hills rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant amphitheatre; the urban municipality of Oslo and county of Oslo are two parts of the same entity, making Oslo the only city in Norway where two administrative levels are integrated.
Of Oslo's total area, 130 km2 is built-up and 7 km2. The open areas within the built-up zone amount to 22 km2; the city of Oslo was established as a municipality on 3 January 1838. It was separated from the county of Akershus to become a county of its own in 1842; the rural municipality of Aker was merged with Oslo on 1 January 1948. Furthermore, Oslo shares several important functions with Akershus county; as defined in January 2004 by the city council ^ The definition has since been revised in the 2015 census. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour; the old site east of the Aker river was not abandoned however and the village of Oslo remained as a suburb outside the city gates. The suburb called Oslo was included in the city proper. In 1925 the name of the suburb was transferred to the whole city, while the suburb was renamed "Gamlebyen" to avoid confusion; the Old Town is an area within the administrative district Gamle Oslo.
The previous names are reflected in street names like Oslo Oslo hospital. The origin of the name Oslo has been the subject of much debate, it is derived from Old Norse and was — in all probability — the name of a large farm at Bjørvika, but the meaning of that name is disputed. Modern linguists interpret the original Óslo, Áslo or Ánslo as either "Meadow at the Foot of a Hill" or "Meadow Consecrated to the Gods", with both considered likely. Erroneously, it was once assumed that "Oslo" meant "the mouth of the Lo river", a supposed previous name for the river Alna. However, not only has no evidence been found of a river "Lo" predating the work where Peder Claussøn Friis first proposed this etymology, but the name is ungrammatical in Norwegian: the correct form would have been Loaros; the name Lo is now believed to be a back-formation arrived at by Friis in support of his etymology
Sri Lanka the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait; the legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo. Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years, it has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road. Sri Lanka was known from the beginning of British colonial rule as Ceylon. A nationalist political movement arose in the country in the early 20th century to obtain political independence, granted in 1948.
Sri Lanka's recent history has been marred by a 26-year civil war, which decisively ended when the Sri Lanka Armed Forces defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009. The current constitution stipulates the political system as a republic and a unitary state governed by a semi-presidential system, it has had a long history of international engagement, as a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G77, the Non-Aligned Movement. Along with the Maldives, Sri Lanka is one of only two South Asian countries rated "high" on the Human Development Index, with its HDI rating and per capita income the highest among South Asian nations; the Sri Lankan constitution accords Buddhism the "foremost place", although it does not identify it as a state religion. Buddhism is given special privileges in the Sri Lankan constitution; the island is home to many cultures and ethnicities. The majority of the population is from the Sinhalese ethnicity, while a large minority of Tamils have played an influential role in the island's history.
Moors, Malays and the indigenous Vedda are established groups on the island. In antiquity, Sri Lanka was known to travellers by a variety of names. According to the Mahavamsa, the legendary Prince Vijaya named the land Tambapanni, because his followers' hands were reddened by the red soil of the area. In Hindu mythology, such as the Ramayana, the island was referred to as Lankā; the Tamil term Eelam, was used to designate the whole island in Sangam literature. The island was known under Chola rule as Mummudi Cholamandalam. Ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobanē from the word Tambapanni; the Persians and Arabs referred to it as Sarandīb from Cerentivu or Siṃhaladvīpaḥ. Ceilão, the name given to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese Empire when it arrived in 1505, was transliterated into English as Ceylon; as a British crown colony, the island was known as Ceylon. The country is now known in Sinhala in Tamil as Ilaṅkai. In 1972, its formal name was changed to "Free and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka".
In 1978 it was changed to the "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka". As the name Ceylon still appears in the names of a number of organisations, the Sri Lankan government announced in 2011 a plan to rename all those over which it has authority; the pre-history of Sri Lanka goes back 125,000 years and even as far back as 500,000 years. The era spans the Palaeolithic and early Iron Ages. Among the Paleolithic human settlements discovered in Sri Lanka, which dates back to 37,000 BP, Batadombalena and Belilena are the most important. In these caves, archaeologists have found the remains of anatomically modern humans which they have named Balangoda Man, other evidence suggesting that they may have engaged in agriculture and kept domestic dogs for driving game. One of the first written references to the island is found in the Indian epic Ramayana, which provides details of a kingdom named Lanka, created by the divine sculptor Vishwakarma for Kubera, the Lord of Wealth, it is said that Kubera was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, the powerful emperor who built a mythical flying machine named Dandu Monara.
The modern city of Wariyapola is described as Ravana's airport. Early inhabitants of Sri Lanka were ancestors of the Vedda people, an indigenous people numbering 2,500 living in modern-day Sri Lanka; the 19th-century Irish historian James Emerson Tennent theorized that Galle, a city in southern Sri Lanka, was the ancient seaport of Tarshish from which King Solomon is said to have drawn ivory and other valuables. According to the Mahāvamsa, a chronicle written in Pāḷi, the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka are the Yakshas and Nagas. Ancient cemeteries that were used before 600 BC and other signs of advanced civilisation have been discovered in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese history traditionally starts in 543 BC with the arrival of Prince Vijaya, a semi-legendary prince who sailed with 700 followers to Sri Lanka, after being expelled from Vanga Kingdom (present-day Ben