While the Maldives is known to be the perfect destination for fun in the sun, sand, and surf, it has a unique culture too linked to its rich heritage; here’s more on this fascinating aspect of the country.
In 1153, the local king converted to Islam which led the whole country to adopt it as well. Today, the Maldives continues to be a Muslim nation with Islamic teachings and traditions very much a part of the local culture as well as the laws of the land. For example, one must dress modestly in public, while consuming pork or alcohol is prohibited on local islands in the Maldives; resort rooms and suites as well as private islands are not subject to these laws, however.
Arts & Crafts
The country is known for its arts & crafts which are part of traditional skills that have been passed down from generation to generation. Local artisans are skilled at lacquer work and wood carving, while also of note are the dyed mats woven from reeds, handmade necklaces, and other ornate jewellery. Those staying at resorts like Hard Rock Hotel Maldives can learn more on a visit to the Maldives Discovery Centre at CROSSROADS which provides insights into local arts and crafts and other cultural aspects.
Music & Dance
Providing more than just entertainment but a storytelling element as well, the traditional music and dance of the Maldives are also worth experiencing. The most popular form of music is known as Boduberu or “Big Drum” and is said to have been initially brought over by 11th-century sailors. Interestingly, it has its roots in the beats and rhythms of African music and not only features several drummers but singers and dancers too that make for a truly captivating performance.
A quintessential part of any culture is its traditional cuisine, and the Maldives is no exception with diverse dishes for you to savour! The cuisine here has been influenced by those from neighbouring nations like Sri Lanka and India as well as Africa, Arabia, and the Far East, because of trading from days of old. Rice and curry are perennial favourites and as you would expect from an island nation, seafood and fish, in particular, are very popular. Coconut in various forms is regularly used in cooking as are starches including tubers.