To fully appreciate a visit to the Maldives, one needs to gain an understanding of its distinctive culture and the points below will help you do just that.
The State Religion
While the Maldives was once a Buddhist nation, it converted to Islam in 1153 which marked a new chapter in its history. Islam became the state religion and is linked to the laws and regulations; thus, you can’t bring alcohol into the country and must dress conservatively on inhabited islands. Interestingly, some rules don’t apply to luxury Maldives resorts on private islands where for instance, alcohol can be served.
Fishing is the main traditional livelihood here with boats known as dhonis being used and people gathering on the beach to collect the day’s catch; each inhabited island will have a small, close-knit community working together. At premium all-inclusive resorts like Heritance Aarah, you will find a model Maldivian village showcase offering an ideal chance for guests to gain more insights into local culture.
The local cuisine is part of Maldivian culture that’s great to experience by savouring some of the country’s delectable dishes! It’s no surprise that fish, especially tuna, is used for culinary creations, as well as coconut in many forms and various spices. Local favourites include fish, meat and vegetable curries, a fish soup called garudhiya and mas huni, a tuna dish eaten at breakfast.
Music, Dance & Handicrafts
The music and dance of the Maldives have a distinct African influence; this can be seen in the typical Boduberu music which features drums accompanied by dancing and singing. Also noteworthy are local handicrafts for which the skills have been passed on from generation to generation; it includes making lacquered wooden ornaments, reed mats and jewellery.