Maldives won its independence from the British in
1965 and has been a republic since 1968. The Maldives is a member of the UN,
the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement and it maintains a very cordial
relationship with the international community. The population of the country
currently stands slightly in excess of a quarter of a million. The common
language (Dhivehi) and religion (Islam) unite the people into a cohesive and
peaceful society. Tradition is valued though not at the expense of development
and modernization. Maldivians are generally not race conscious, perhaps because
the country has been inhabited for centuries during which visitors from as far
apart as China, Africa, Arabia and Persia have been assimilated into the society.
Maldivians have a proud heritage and a rich culture adapted to island
life. For thousands of years the Maldivian people have been host to travelers from
far corners of the world and their kindness and hospitality are impeccably renowned.
It is with the same enthusiasm and hospitality that they welcome all tourists who
come to share the beauty of these islands
A proud history and rich culture
evolved from the first settlers who hailed from different parts of the world.
The Maldives has been a melting pot of different cultures as people from different
parts of the world came here and settled down in ancient times. Some of the local
music and dances for instance resemble African influences, with hand beating of drums
and songs in a language that is not known to any but certainly represents that of East
African countries. As one would expect, there is great South Asian influence in some
of the music and dancing and especially in the traditional food of the Maldivians.
However many of the South Asian customs, especially with regard to women - for instance
the Sub Continent's tradition of secluding women from the public - are not tenets of life here.
In fact women play a major role in society - not surprising considering the fact that men
in rural islands spend the whole day out at sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly
related to the sea, as life is dependent on the seas around us.
It is a very
phonetic language with the vowels below and above the letters in the form of dashes.
There is no exact correlation between the Thaana and Roman script, which leads to the same
word or name being spelt in many different ways. In the 1940s, the 20 administrative units,
which are also known as atolls, were each assigned a letter of the Dhivehi alphabet.
For example North Maalhosmadulu is usually referred to as Raa atoll according to the
Just above 300,000 - ,origin of the
Maldives are not exactly known. According to history, the
islands have been populated for over 3000 years. Early
inhabitants were from indus valley civilization and
travelers on the silk route.
People of Maldives are inherently warm,
friendly and hospitable. It is easy to mingle with the
Maldiveians. They are generous and helping minded.
Many traditions are related to the
sea-women play a major role in the Society while men spend
most of their day time out at the sea for fishing south
Asian influence in traditional food.
East African and South Asian influence in drums dance and
music – BoduBeru is the3 most popular form of music and
dance- Bandiyaa Jehun is a much popular dance performed by
young women. Western pop and Indian music are quite popular,
yet traditional forms survive.
the language spoken in all parts of Maldives. English is
widely spoken by Maldiveians which enables the visitors
communicate easily and get around.
The people of the Maldives embraced Islam in 1153.
Except for a few brief spells, the country has remained independent throughout its history.
A strong community spirit and an ability to rise to the challenges that they have faced have
helped the people remain free. Their lifestyle shows an industriousness and ingenuity that makes
the most of their limited natural resources, and a remarkable adaptability to changing circumstances.
These are traits, which have helped Maldivians thrive amidst the changing cultural and political
tides that have washed the shores of these islands from time immemorial.