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The Maldives archipelago is one of the most tourist-friendly countries in the world that although expensive, receives a high number of international visitors each year.
A large number of foreign tourists visit Maldives every year to enjoy a family vacation at one of the spectacular island resorts, a rewarding dive trip or an exotic beach holiday with their partner. However even though Maldives is such a popular holiday destination, there is so much that we are not aware of or understand about the cultural nuances and social customs of the local islanders.
We decided to do a bit of scouting around and have come up with our own compilation of cool facts and trivia about the culture and traditions of the Maldives. Knowing these facts will help you to understand and appreciate the cultural heritage, traditions and customs of the Maldivian people better.
In earlier days local Maldivians used corals not for making jewellery or as decorative pieces. In fact they built their entire houses out of corals since they lived in a country that is made up of coral reefs. Isn’t that an amazing fact? If you look around carefully in the capital Male, you can still see some of the old Maldivian houses that have been built of corals. However this practice stopped once the coral reefs started facing environmental damage and became endangered.
It may come as a surprise to many that one is not allowed to purchase, possess or drink alcohol freely in the Maldives, a location which has all the ideal settings for living it up at a fun and ideal beach holiday. Alcohol is only permitted inside the resorts and hotels and not in public. This is in respect of Islamic culture, customs and traditions because the Republic of Maldives is a strict Islamic country that bans the public sale and consumption of alcohol. Visitors should be extra careful of abiding by this rule particularly during the holy month of Ramadan.
Although the Maldives is such a tiny and fairly remote group of islands in the Indian Ocean, the country can boast of an almost 100% literacy rate for its citizens. Over the past few decades, concerted efforts were taken by international organisations such as the UNICEF to implement education programmes including the use of technology and modern teaching methods. This ensured the cent per cent enrolment of Maldivian children in schools. Of course the fact that the Maldives is made up of some 1200 odd islands of which only about 200 are inhabited did not make the task easier and this achievement even more commendable.
Fishing naturally is integral to Maldivian culture. The locals in Maldives have a refreshingly simple and interesting tradition of welcoming the New Year. They take out their traditional dhonis or fishing boats in the night and go out into the ocean for an all-night fishing trip. The catch that they bring back in the morning is then barbecued and enjoyed fresh right on the beach amongst them.
Being culturally aware and informed about your destination is not only fun and fascinating; it is actually a good trip preparation, especially if this is your first visit to the Maldives.
Check out our travel guide to find out more about Maldives, best beach resorts, thrilling water adventure sports, best time to visit and such travel information so that you can plan your holiday accordingly. There is so much to see and so many exciting things to do in these stunning tropical islands. Before you set out on your vacation to Maldives, make sure that you purchase travel insurance. After all the Maldives is not a cheap country to visit and it is best not to take any financial travel risk. Having international travel insurance is essential to protect you financially from a mishap such as your luggage getting lost or misplaced, a medical emergency that could occur while in Maldives or even if your trip gets cancelled. It is always advisable to stay covered with travel insurance when travelling abroad.
Make sure you try some of the traditional Maldivian specialities during your stay there.
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