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Indian Subcontinent >> Maldives >> Culture of Maldives

Culture of Maldives

Traditionally a sea-faring community, the Dhivehin place a lot of importance on harmony with nature. Most islanders are engaged in the fishing industry (and many have been recruited by the tourism industry which too is exceedingly sensitive to the environment.) Sun-worshippers till their mass conversion, Islam is only a millennium old here. It’s polite to use the greeting "assalam alaikum" and you will be considered appreciably sociable if you follow it up with "kihineh?" (‘How are you?’).

Strong African overtones colour the music of the Dhivehin. Bodu Beru i.e. Big Drum lends its name to the local song and dance routine. It begins with a slow lyrical swaying to slow thumping beats and builds up to furious crescendo.

Native crafts include wood and stone carving, boat building, mat weaving and jewellery crafting.


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