5 things you didn’t know about Maldivian culture

5 things you didn't know about Maldivian culture

Have you ever wondered what Maldivian culture is like? It’s a fascinating mix of ancient and modern influences, making it a truly unique experience. From the traditional dhoni boats to the intricate artistry of local craftsmen, there are so many aspects of Maldivian culture to explore. In this blog post, we’ll cover five interesting facts about Maldivian culture that you may not have known before. So, if you’re ready to discover more about the wonderful Maldivian culture, keep reading!

1) Geography and History

The Maldives is an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands in the Indian Ocean, making it one of the world’s most geographically dispersed countries. This unique geography has had a huge impact on the culture of the Maldives, as it has been heavily influenced by seafaring merchants and traders from India, Sri Lanka, Africa and Arabia.

The majority of the population follows Sunni Islam, which forms the basis of many Maldivian cultural values such as hospitality and respect for elders. In terms of language, Dhivehi is the official language of the Maldives, although English is also widely spoken.

Dates Back To Ancient Times

The history of the Maldives dates back to ancient times, with archaeological evidence indicating that the islands were inhabited from as early as 2000 BC. For centuries, the Maldives was a thriving centre for trade and commerce, playing an important role in regional politics and maritime networks.

The culture of the Maldives is shaped by a combination of its geography, religion, language and history. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to relax on the beach, you can explore the rich culture of this island nation and discover something new about Maldivian culture every day!

2) Diving and Snorkelling

The Maldives are renowned for their stunning beauty, and what better way to experience it than by diving and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters? The country’s azure seas are a perfect playground for aquatic exploration. With vibrant coral gardens and an abundance of sea life, exploring the deep waters is a key component of experiencing Maldivian culture. Snorkelers will find plenty to explore with vast schools of colourful fish, while divers will have the chance to explore beautiful coral reefs and shipwrecks teeming with life. The Maldives is home to a variety of stunning marine life, including manta rays, sea turtles, and whale sharks. Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner, you can discover the wonders of the sea in the Maldives.

3) Religion

Maldivian culture has a strong Islamic faith and tradition. Islam has been the official religion of the Maldives since the 12th century and is practiced by all citizens. Over 99% of the population is Muslim, making it one of the most religiously homogeneous countries in the world. The vast majority of Maldivians are Sunni Muslims, though there are a few Shia Muslims as well. All Maldivians are expected to observe Islamic law and practice basic religious rites.

4) Language

Maldivian culture is intrinsically linked to the language spoken in the country. The language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of Indo-European languages and is closely related to both Sinhala and Divehi Bas, spoken in Sri Lanka and the Minicoy Islands, respectively.

Dhivehi is a very unique language in terms of its grammar and pronunciation, and it has several dialects. All Maldivians speak Dhivehi as their first language, however, English is also widely spoken. Other popular languages include Tamil, Gujarati and Hindi.

5) Food

Food plays an important role in Maldivian culture, with traditional dishes rooted in the country’s geographical location and cultural history. Dishes made from seafood such as fish, lobster, and crab are popular, as well as coconuts, which are widely grown in the area.

A classic Maldivian meal will typically consist of rice, tuna, and vegetables, with variations that include curries, sauces, and stews. Other traditional favourites include roshi (a type of flatbread), kulhi boakiba (spicy fish cakes), garudiya (a fish soup), and a locally made sweet called hedhika. Many Maldivian dishes are spiced with curry leaves, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. To sample the best of Maldivian cuisine, be sure to visit one of the many outdoor seafood restaurants in Malé or on a nearby island.

Arts and Crafts

Maldivian culture has a long and rich history of traditional arts and crafts. The nation is home to a variety of unique handicrafts, such as intricate lacework, woodcarving, pottery, and jewelry making. Locals have also been known to create elaborate weaving patterns out of coconut leaves, as well as beautiful hand-painted boats and masks. Each craft has its own set of traditions, stories, and symbolism that are unique to the region. The artistry of these crafts has been passed down through generations, creating a unique and beautiful expression of Maldivian culture.

Music and Dance in Maldives

Maldivian culture has a rich and vibrant history of music and dance. The traditional music of the Maldives is known as “Boduberu” and it is usually accompanied by an array of different percussion instruments such as drums, cymbals, and other small hand-held instruments. Boduberu is typically performed in villages during celebratory events such as weddings, religious holidays, and other festivals.

Contemporary Styles

In addition to Boduberu, there are also some more contemporary styles of music that are popular in the Maldives. These include folk songs, Reggae and R&B. There are many local bands that play both traditional and modern tunes at bars, clubs, and other social events throughout the country.

Overall, music and dance are a big part of Maldivian culture and serve as an important way for people to come together to celebrate and honour their shared heritage.