Population and religion
According to Countryaah, most of the population of the Maldives are descendants of immigrants from the Middle East and South Asia. In addition to the Maldivians, Indians, Arabs, Pakistanis and Sinhalese live in the country. The highest population density is observed in the capital – Male.
By religion, the Maldivians are Sunni Muslims. This religion leaves a certain imprint on the life and traditions of the local population. For example, due to religious beliefs, residents of the Maldives cannot sell alcohol, alcoholic beverages can only be bought in the tourist area in a designated place. Tourists should be aware that outside the tourist area, the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places is prohibited.
Rules of conduct in mosques
In mosques, one should behave with restraint. Entering the mosque, you must take off your shoes and wash your feet in a special ritual pool. Clothing should be closed, covering legs, arms and shoulders, women should also cover their heads. Prayer services in mosques are held 5 times a day.
In the Maldives, it is forbidden by law to visit the capital Male and the islands where the local population lives in open beach clothes. Shorts and T-shirts are preferred in light clothing that covers the shoulders, arms and legs. Nudism and topless on the beaches of the country are prohibited by law (with the exception of the island of Kuramati). The best option is clothing made of cotton fabric. There is no dress code in the form of evening wear in restaurants.
The national language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, which belongs to the Indo-Iranian language group. It is considered close to Sinhalese, has borrowings from English and Arabic. The Maldivian script was based on the Arabic-Persian script and is called “thaana”. Words are written from left to right. There are practically no Russian-speaking staff in the tourist areas of the Maldives, however, almost all the staff speak English. Check agooddir for recent history of Maldives.
Rules of conduct for tourists
- It is customary to say hello by shaking hands, the official greeting is “salaam alaikum”, the greeting for an informal setting is “kihenen”.
- In the Maldives, illegal fishing near the islands and spearfishing are prohibited. It is also forbidden to take dead or living corals, shells, starfish and other marine life from the sea or collect on the shore.
- It is forbidden to litter on the islands, fines are imposed for non-compliance with this rule. In some hotels, tourists are given special garbage bags in which tourists take their garbage from the islands.
- Photographs are not allowed in mosques and places of religious shrines.
- You should not try to make contact with unfamiliar women in the Maldives, this is not accepted in Muslim countries.
- To travel to an island that is not part of the resort area, you must obtain a special permit issued by the Ministry of Atoll Administration.
Violation of the rules can result in a fine, imprisonment and even deportation from the country.
Public holidays of the Maldives:
January 1 – New Year
Beginning of January – Eid al-Fitr (end of the fast of Ramadan)
March – Eid al-Kebir (Day of Sacrifice)
Beginning of April – Islamic New Year
June 4-5 – National holiday of the Republic of Maldives
June 15 – Moolood (Birthday of the Prophet, Milad an Nabi)
July 6-7 – National holiday organized in honor of the expulsion of the Portuguese occupation in 1573
July 26-27 – Independence Day (adoption of the declaration of independence of the Maldives in 1965)
September 1 – Day Khurawi
October 28 – Martyrs’ Day
November 3 – Victory Day
November 9 – Victims Day
November 11-12 – Republic Day
In addition, the country celebrates various Muslim holidays, which fall on different dates according to the Islamic calendar. Religious holidays for Muslims begin, as a rule, at sunset and end at the next sunset.
The day off in the Maldives ah is Friday.