The Maldives has a very proud history and a rich culture that has been developed by people from a variety of cultures settling in the islands over the centuries. The music and dance of the country has strong influences from East Africa, India, and Arabia, while the language has elements of Tamil and Sinhalese.
The country has a very strict Muslim culture and the religion can be seen all over Male, especially outside resorts, but it is less evident in more remote areas where there are fewer visitors and locals. In general, the Maldivian society respects its elders and encourages close bonds with immediate family members. Most families are nuclear in nature and women maintain their maiden names after marriage. Polygamy is illegal and underage sex is frowned upon.
There are numerous religious and national festivals celebrated in the country, with each region celebrating its own unique traditions. The most well-known are Eid and the independence day that marks the date in 1965 when the Maldives became independent from Britain.
There is an abundance of wildlife to see in the Maldives, particularly on resorts where the islanders take great care in keeping their environments friendly to animals and plants. Hermit crabs are very common and you’ll often find empty shells on the beaches – but watch out as they can pinch your fingers! Whales and dolphins are also a sight to behold as are a number of species of sea turtles. Moray eels are found in the coral reefs and can pose a threat to snorkelers or divers as they hide amongst the corals to ambush prey.