A melting pot of mariners!


The faces of todays Maldivian display the features of various faces that inhabit the lands around the Indian Ocean shipping and maritime routes. The Maldives has long been a melting pot for African, Arab and South East Asian mariners.

The language of the Maldivian population, Dhivehi, is strongly influenced by the major languages of the region. Given the wide dispersion of islands it is not surprising that the vocabulary and pronunciation vary from atoll to atoll, with the difference being more significant in the dialects spoken in the southernmost atolls.

Family and religion

As for the family system, the close-knit island communities practice mutual aid to survive difficult circumstances. An extended family system provides a safety net for members of a family going through a difficult period. Traditionally men go out fishing during the day and women are responsible for looking after the affairs of the family. This remains so even today in smaller island communities.

Since the Maldives embraced Islam in 1153, it has been central to the life of the Maldivians. The main events and festivals of Maldivian life follow the Muslim calendar. Religious education is provided both at home and at school where it is taught concurrently with other subjects.