Maldives is a nation of Islands in the Indian Ocean that is comprised of about 1200 small coral islands that stretch along a length of approx. 800 kms from north to south and approx. 130 kms from east to west and the islands are grouped into a double chain of 26 atolls.
Maldives is home to about 5% of the planet’s reefs that comes with an explosion of various colored soft and hard corals that form them and home to a thousand species of fish.
The local scholars and historians believe that Maldives is an ancient city and its existence and history is well over 2500 years old. The Maldivian language is Dhivehi, an Indo-Aryan language with its origins in Sanskrit. The livelihood of Maldivians traditionally depended on the seas, fishery being the main source of sustenance. While fishery still contributes significantly to the economy in terms of employment and income however tourism is the main source of income for the Maldivian economy today.
Although Maldives is home to just over half a million people, the country has its own unique culture and traditions. While heavily influenced by various cultures around the edge of the Indian Ocean, the Maldivian culture, Maldivian arts and crafts, lacquered wooden ornaments, intricately woven reed mats and coral carvings are the crafts that have been passed down through several generations. The traditions have been shaped by the island environment and the seas that surround them.
The traditional cuisine is heavily based on fish and coconut, with several dishes that have no parallels anywhere in the region.