Maldives is the stuff dreams are made of — those impossibly perfect pictures that float across your screen, a place you dream about vacationing in and those pesky fantasies of quitting your day job to move there forever. And, of course, it’s all true, but the islands are also home to a very different culture and lifestyle.

The Maldivians are a close knit, warm and welcoming people with strong family ties. Music and dance are an important part of their heritage and are used as a form of entertainment, celebration and storytelling. The Bodu Beru is a traditional drum dance that celebrates various occasions. Women also participate in a cultural dance called Bandiya, where they take turns dancing with traditional water collecting containers in rhythmic harmony and balance.

Food is central to the country’s culture with fish, coconut and taro (yam) as staples. Influences from India, Sri Lanka and Arabia have enriched local cuisine with spices, wheat and rice. Traditionally, most food was cooked at home but many resorts now serve a variety of world cuisine.

Islam is the state religion of Maldives and all citizens are Sunni Muslims. However, other religions are practiced in private homes or on islands where they have a significant population. A diverse mix of influences is evident in local music, dance and crafts; lacquered wooden ornaments, finely woven reed mats and coir rope making are a few examples. Local folklore is filled with tales of sea demons and spirits.

Share this blog post: