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Culture and Lifestyle in the Maldives

Apr 17, 2008
Culture in the Maldives is at once eclectic and cohesive. The scenic archipelago boasts not only of more than a thousand coral islands, but of cultural roots dating back to ancient times. For thousands of years, the islands have nurtured a range of civilizations and influences, from the Mesopotamians, Phoenicians and Egyptians to the British and Portuguese colonisers.

In the last few decades that the nation has opened its doors to tourists, culture and lifestyle in the Maldives has continually developed to accommodate an even more global perspective while keeping its heritage intact. Maldivian culture is normally classified as a blend of South-East Asian, Indian, East African, and Middle Eastern traditions.

Technically and despite its long history, the Maldives can be considered a young nation, having only gained its complete independence from British government in the last 40 years. But since then, the Maldives has made huge leaps in terms of progress, especially after it began to truly develop it's most marketable features a natural beauty that is perfect for tourism.

Currently there are almost a hundred resorts exclusively set up on different islands, and the tourism industry proudly makes up 20% of the Maldives' economy.

This thriving industry is further helped by the impressive 98.2% literacy rate and the high level of proficiency in English and European languages of tourism workers. This too, notwithstanding the fact that most other businesses in the Maldives use their native Dhivehi for communication.

The people of the Maldives are Sunni Muslim. The Maldivian government prohibits drinking and selling alcohol, except in the hotel or resort bars for tourists. Alcohol is strictly for tourists only. During the holiday Ramadan, even tourists are not allowed to drink in public in respect of the occasion.

However, you will find that the Maldivian people are very hospitable and friendly, and their general lifestyle is very casual and relaxed. Certainly, it is the kind of lifestyle that suits island living and that will definitely suit you.

There's a lot to see in the Maldives, so an ideal vacation should last a few days. Primarily, you visit the Maldives to experience the magnificence of the islands and the surrounding Indian Ocean. Nothing really tops that. You can choose to go on a cruise to see numerous atolls but even staying in one of the single-resort islands are unforgettable enough.

In the capital Male, you can visit the old Sultan's Palace and the national museum located within. There's also the massive Grand Mosque and the Islamic Centre, as well as the Hukuru Miskiiy, a 350-year old mosque that symbolizes the conversion of Maldivian natives to Islam.

In the various tourism spots, you'll enjoy different kinds of entertainment. Music ranges from folk to pop and modern jazz. You can try out different restaurants for their global cuisine or go on special Maldivian Nights where they serve traditional food.

If you want to further immerse yourself in local culture, you can even drop by one of the villages. Before going home, don't forget to take home a little souvenir of the Maldives by buying quaint masks, native hand-woven mats, carvings, and other native products.
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Travel Collection offer a selection of package tour holidays to destinations all around the world. maldives has all the information you need to help you select the destination and package holiday that is right for you.
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