The Dutch Burghers are largely descendant from the Dutch people. They are mixed of Dutch people, Portuguese Burghers and Sri Lankan descent (either a Dutch father and a Sri Lankan mother, or a Sri Lankan mother of Dutch descent and a Sri Lankan father).
In the 17th century, Dutch East India Company (VOC) took over Coastal Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) from Portuguese. During the VOC rule, the Dutch and Portuguese descendants intermarried.
In the 18th century, the Eurasian community (a mixture of Portuguese, Dutch, and Sinhalese as well as Tamil, known as the Burgher, grew, speaking Portuguese or Dutch.
At the 1981 Census, the Burghers (Dutch and Portuguese) were almost 40,000 (0.3% of the population of Sri Lanka). Many Burghers emigrated to other countries. The Burgher population worldwide is approximated to be around 100,000, concentrated mostly in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Dutch Burghers's lifestyle is mixed of Sri Lanka & Western Civilization, and they practice the heritage through Dutch Burgher Union.