The Maldives is the world’s lowest-lying country, so its sea level rise presents a real danger in the future. But a visit will reveal this archipelago of coral islands as a true paradise on earth, with sandy beaches, sparkling blue waters and thriving marine life.

Despite the lack of farmland, agriculture remains a part of daily life in the Maldives, along with the second largest industry of fishing. Rice is the staple, and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, cassava, and breadfruit are grown. A wide range of fish is available, and meat other than pork is consumed on ceremonial occasions. The cuisine reflects both Indian and Arabic influences, with spices such as cumin and cardamom being key ingredients in most dishes.

Traditional crafts include lacquered wooden ornaments and woven reed mats. The Maldives also has a long tradition of music and dance, with the former displaying influences from East Africa, India and Arabia.

Education is a major priority in the country, and both modern and traditional schools exist side by side. The government provides free and compulsory primary education, while secondary education is offered in private schools. Tipping is not common, though if you are exceptionally happy with service, a small gratuity would be appreciated.

The main language is Dhivehi, an Indo-Iranian language related to Sinhalese. The vast majority of the population adheres to Sunni Islam. Other religions are Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. The capital city is Male. The country is a republic with the president as head of state and head of government. The executive branch consists of the cabinet and a unicameral parliament called the Majlis. The judicial system is based on sharia, Islamic law.

Share this blog post: