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A string of pearls scattered over the deep blue Indian Ocean. From the air they look like a thousand shimmering jewels in a sea of velvet; an artist's fantasy or a photographer's dream. The Maldives, meaning 'garland of islands' has occupied a special place in the hearts of its visitors, reflected even in the very first writings about it. Marco Polo called it 'flowers of the Indies' others believed it was 'one of the wonders of the world'.

The Maldives consists of 1190 island grouped into 26 natural atolls. The atolls and islands of the Maldives are scattered over an area of 90,000 sq km in the Indian Ocean, straddling the equator between latitudes 7 6" North and 041" South and longitudes 72 32" and 73 45" East.No more than 200 islands are inhabited, the rest includes the 87 tourist resorts and uninhabited islands, some of which are used for drying fish or other agricultural activities.

The capital Malé, the seat of government and the centre of trade, commerce, business, health and education, is located in the middle of the atoll chain, a small island buzzing with the sounds and activities of about 75.000 people which is about one third of the population.
Today the country is better known as an exotic tourist destination. Over few decades Maldives has gained tremendous growth in Tourism industry with over 500,000 (five hundred thousand) tourists to Maldives every year

 

General Information

Fast Facts
Maldives history
Maldives Culture
Maldives Geography
Music and Craft
Maldives Climate
Environment
Male the Capital
Shopping
Interesting Places
Maldives People

 

 

 

 

 

Maldives People
         
 

Little information is available on the ancient people and their way of life. Evidence suggests that The Maldives has been populated and thriving as early as the 4th century BC. It is argued that the earliest settlers migrated from Arabia, eastern Africa and the Indian subcontinent among other places. Today, the Maldivians are a mixed race. An estimate for 1997 estimate puts the total population at 263,189 out of which about 48.5% are women. It is expected that the figure would rise to 288,800 by the year 2000

The people of the Maldives are its own unique character. They are a small, kindred society unified by common history, the Dhivehi language, and the Islamic faith. Islam has given strength to the society and the faith is taken very seriously. The ties and obligations felt by individuals to their community, to their President, to a whole nation reflects the tradition of strong family ties. Intelligent, as well as devout, the people of The Maldives are tolerant and respectful of each other and of visitors to the country Maldivians have been able to blend tradition and modernity.

Hardworking, but unhurried, playful and respectful, Maldivians have been able to blend tradition and modernity. All Maldivians have open access to education. All have the opportunity to play significant roles in the economic life of the nation. Great respect is felt for the head of the national 'family' as well as for the head of each household. The family unit is strong

A population of little over 200,000 people is spread over the islands with over a quarter of them living in Male’, the capital. To foreigners the village people on some islands may seem shy. Curious of outsiders, they prefer to observe newcomers from a distance at first. One soon learns of their hospitality when the island chief provides a cold coconut drink and a healthy snack, usually made of seafood.

Athletic, the Maldivians are either soccer players or soccer fans, natural swimmers and divers, aggressive players in tennis, cricket, or badminton, the young people are encouraged to develop physically as well as intellectually and morally. Friendliness and honesty are taken for granted in The Maldives where old customs and Muslim traditions are respected.

The government is dedicated to improving the life of the people on the islands. Young people are encouraged to strive for higher education. Under government sponsorship young students are given grants to study abroad and they return to The Maldives to give service to the country.

Brilliant young women hold key positions in the government, working tirelessly to serve their country and people. Fishermen unload their silvery haul. Women attired in traditional dress sweep the grounds of a school readying it for a special Independence Day celebration. Five times a day finds a nation expressing religious devotion in prayer at one of the many mosques. Festivals give way to fun-loving, talented men and women singing and dancing

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