The Maldives is a beautiful archipelago, made up of 26 atolls scattered over 90,000 kilometers. The nation is renowned for its idyllic islands, beautiful beaches and world-class diving and snorkelling.
History and Culture
The archipelago was first inhabited by Buddhist peoples from Sri Lanka and southern India. Islam was adopted in 1153 and, with the arrival of Arab traders, profoundly influenced Maldivian society and culture.
Music and Dance
Maldivian music is a blend of influences from various parts of the world. There is a wide range of traditional and folk tunes that are very popular among the locals. One of the most well-known is Bodu Beru, a form of entertainment that is performed by large groups of men, drummers and dancers.
Food and Drink
The people of the Maldives enjoy a diverse range of cuisines. Their favourite dishes include a variety of fish and seafood, rice, breads and vegetable curries. They also love coconut milk and grated coconut as an accompaniment to savoury dishes and snacks.
Religious and Holy Places
The Maldives is a Muslim nation and religion is an important part of their culture. They believe that everyone will go to heaven or hell after death based on how faithfully they adhered to the five tenets of Islam while they were alive.
Independence of Maldives
The small country gained independence from Britain in 1965 and a republic was declared three years later. The nation was ruled by the first president, Ibrahim Nasir. His reign was praised for modernising the economy and opening up the country to tourism.