Burghers of Ceylon

Burghers of Ceylon

 

the offspring of the mixed marriages of the first European settlers (Portuguese and Dutch) on the island of Ceylon with the Sinhalese and Tamil peo-ples. They live in Colombo and the coastal cities of southern Ceylon and number 50, 000 (1967 estimate), of whom 45, 000 are Dutch burghers of Ceylon. They are engaged in commerce and handicrafts and constitute an important stratum of the intelligentsia. They speak English (some speak Dutch); the overwhelming majority also know Sinhalese. The Portuguese burghers of Ceylon are Catholic, and the Dutch, Lutheran.

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