It is an adaptation of a previously existing work in Sinhalese on the same subject, and describes the bringing of a branch of the celebrated Bo or Bodhi tree (i.e.
Introduction of Sinhalese Buddhism, with its literature and art.
Indian influence is predominant as far as Cambodia (though with a Chinese tinge), Indian alphabets being employed and the Buddhism being of the Sinhalese type, but in Annam and Tongking the Chinese script and many Chinese institutions are in use.
The chronicle of the Sinhalese kings, the Mahavamsa, however, asserts that mirrors of glittering glass were carried in procession in 306 B.C., and beads like gems, and windows with ornaments like jewels, are also mentioned at about the same date.
Of Japanese there were 3500, of Hindu and Sinhalese 4600, according to recent computation, but the policy of the Commonwealth is adverse to further immigration of other than whites.
It would seem that up to the 4th century of our era the Sinhalese had written exclusively in their own tongue; that is to say that for six centuries they had studied and understood Pali as a dead language without using it as a means of literary expression.
The Mahratta race is the dominant element next to the European rulers, but in addition to them are a great and influential section of Parsee merchants, Arab traders from the Gulf, Afghans and Sikhs from northern India, Bengalis, Rajputs, Chinese, Japanese, Malays, negroes, Tibetans, Sinhalese and Siamese.