While the Maldives is popular for being a tropical paradise, it has a unique culture too and here are some fascinating aspects about this island nation.
While not much is known about the country’s beginnings, it’s believed it had inhabitants more than 2,500 years ago. Interestingly, over the centuries, people have settled here from other countries in the Indian subcontinent, while it was also a popular place for trade; such factors have led to diverse cultural influences too.
Fishing is a key traditional livelihood here and is still practised. Visitors can even experience this on a stay at a luxury hotel Maldives has to offer on a private island. Properties like Velassaru Maldives provide trips on a dhoni (sailing vessel) at sunset where you will use the traditional handline fishing method; your catch can even be prepared for a meal.
The Maldives was initially a Buddhist nation which was the case for over a thousand years. This all changed however in the 12th century, when the Maldivian Buddhist king converted to Islam in 1153 and subsequently, so did the whole country. Today, it is a Muslim nation and religion is an intrinsic part of the local culture.
Language & Music
Dhivehi is the Maldivian language, which is Indo-Aryan, originating from Sanskrit. Music is also part of the culture especially what is known as “Bodu Beru” or “Big Drum”; featuring drumming that has characteristic African influences, this music is even used at certain resorts to add to the charm of private island beach weddings.