The Maldives, officially known as the Republic of Maldives, is the smallest country in Asia by land area and population. It is a well-known tourist destination around the globe, but have you ever wondered about the Maldives people, their culture, or even their main economic endeavours? In this post, you can find out some core information about the Maldives islands, so let’s begin!
Maldives People: Demographics Of The Islands’ Dwellers
The people of Maldives comprised mainly native Dhivehin (translated into Maldivians). It is believed that they originate from the Malabar coast of India as well as the northwestern areas of Sri Lanka - both countries geographically close to the islands. In 2019, it was estimated that the population of the Maldives stands at 533,000 people. This number includes the various foreign immigrants from Bangladesh, Philippines, and Western countries as well.
The people of Maldives are mostly Muslim and speak the Maldivian language. However, most are well-versed in English as well. As Islam is the main religion in the islands, alcohol and pork are banned in most places except for tourist resorts. Some festivals celebrated by the Maldives people include Ramadhan (followed by Eid), Islamic New Year, Ashura, as well as other Islamic festivals.
The Geography of The Maldives Islands
The Maldives is comprised of more than 1,000 islands covering around 90,000 square kilometres of land and sea, making it a very highly spread-out country. However, the total land area of the region is only about 298 square kilometres. It is the lowest country in the world, with a maximum ground level of only 2.4 metres above sea level, which is why it is vulnerable to being submerged by rising sea levels, which may happen by the year 2100 if the current rate of climate change is not slowed down. This information about the Maldives island is why many people are rushing to visit it, and which is why you should too.
The region has a tropical monsoon climate, which means it is hot and humid all year long. The rainy season is usually between June and November, though weather patterns are often erratic. The country is host to a massive marine ecosystem thanks to the wide range of habitats available for marine species. Some of the members of this ecosystem include more than 100 species of coral, 1000 species of fish, 20 species of whales and dolphins, 140 species of crab, and so on. Because of this, many tourists often embark on diving and snorkelling trips to see whale sharks and other exquisite marine animals that can be hard to find in other parts of the world.
The Maldives has a notoriously high divorce rate, attributed to early marriage and loose marital bonds, and how polygamy is legal though not highly favoured. Women are generally held in high regard in the country thanks to a traditionally matriarchal structure in their history. Maldivian cuisine is generally fish-heavy, and other food necessities such as rice, sugar, flour, and other agricultural produce are imported from other nations. The Islamic background of the country also means that outside tourist resorts, the culture is somewhat conservative. If you are going to the Maldives as a tourist, be sure to dress appropriately especially in the capital and highly populated islands, and refrain from breaking or taunting Islamic laws and regulations. When you are respectful, the people of the Maldives are generally warm and friendly to tourists.
The main economic activity in the islands is fishing, followed closely by tourism. The tourism sector only started booming in the 1970s, where previously the country was not well known to outsiders. Tourism is the main revenue source in the republic and supplies direct and indirect jobs employment to many Maldivians. A large number of Maldivians choose places of employment within the country that are sometimes hundreds of kilometres from their island of origin, so the next time you go there, make conversation with the staff and ask them which part of the Maldives they are originally from. You may learn something new.
All this information on the Maldives islands aside, this country is an amazing place to visit both for its pristine and idyllic natural offerings as well as its unique cultural heritage. Whether you are looking for a mid-range holiday or a luxurious one, the Maldives can offer you a wonderful experience. If you are looking for an all-inclusive holiday to the Maldivian islands, then consider Club Med Kani or Club Med Finolhu Villas as the destination of your choice; be pampered with great accommodation, a wide range of food choices, and a variety of activities to choose from to take advantage of all the sea around you!