one would expect, there is great South Asian influence
in some of the music and dancing and especially in the
traditional food of the Maldivians. However, many of
the South Asian customs, especially with regard to women
- for instance the Indian tradition of secluding women
from public view - are not tenets of life here. In fact,
women play a major role in society - not surprising
considering the fact that men spend the whole day out
at sea, fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly
related to the seas and the fact that life is dependent
on the seas around us.
‘Dhivehi’ is the native language of the Maldives. However,
English is widely spoken throughout the country, and
in the resorts, a variety of languages including English,
German, Italian, French and Japanese are spoken by the
The Maldivian economy has been growing at an annual
average of over 10 percent during the past two decades.
Tourism, the main industry, contributes close to 20
percent of the GDP, and traditional fisheries and trade
follow close behind.