A beautiful slice of paradise in the Indian ocean, the Maldives is a fascinating destination. Steeped in rich culture and tradition, the Maldives culture is heavily shaped by Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysia, Arab, Persian, Indonesian and even African influences. Maldivians are incredibly warm, welcoming and friendly people who will go above and beyond to make your holiday truly unforgettable. Read on to discover some interesting facts about the Maldives culture and useful information for your next Maldives holiday.
Islam is the major religion in the Maldives. This is most evident through the many beautiful mosques located on the main island of Malé as well as the lack of alcohol and pork available on the mainland. But not to worry, resorts have a special license to serve alcohol, so you can still enjoy cocktails and beachside beverages in tropical paradise.
With a predominately Muslim faith, Maldivians are quite conservative and wear traditional dress. Males wear a sarong and white cotton shirt, while females wear a traditional libaa which is a long dress with gold and silver thread. Guests must also be fully clothed while swimming at the beaches on the mainland unless swimming at a designated bikini beach. However, this rule does not apply at the resort islands and guests are free to soak up the sunshine in whatever swimming attire they please.
After tourism, the fishing industry drives the economy in the Maldives. You can expect to eat a lot of fresh tuna, snapper and lobster as well as a whole host of international cuisines on offer at your resort. Many resorts also offer all-inclusive holiday packages, so you can leave your wallet at home and indulge in a wide range of cuisines for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Traditional Maldivian food is hot and spicy and features a lot of curries, soups and dishes served with rice. Coconuts, yams, mangoes and pineapples are also locally grown and super delicious.
Music and dance are an integral part of Maldives culture and are heavily influenced by their surrounding nations. One of the most well-known Maldives performances is the “Bodu Beru”. The dance is performed by large groups of 15 to 20 men and features a range of drummers, dancers and singers. Many of the resorts organise regular cultural performances to entertain their guests, so be sure to check one out on your next Maldives holiday.