Saturday, April 5, 2008

All about Maldives


Brief Introduction

The Republic of Maldives - in local, Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa is the official long name
Maldives - in local, Dhivehi Raajje’ is the conventional short name

The historical finding from the Maldives archipelago shows that there was civilization as early as BC.


People and Language

The origin of the first settlers in the Maldives is unknown. However an anthropological survey of the Maldives which was carried out at the end of the 19th century showed that at that time there were inhabitants in the Maldives who were descendants of people from the Indian subcontinent, Arabian peninsula, Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia and the main tribes of Maldivian's are Singhalese, Dravidian, Arab and African.

Dhivehi is the local language which is believed as an indigenous language spoken only in the Maldives. Maldivian language is said to be derived from Sanskrit and a mix of Arab and Singhalese.
The people of the Maldives are a descendent of and early race


Location and Area

Maldives located in the northern part of the Indian Ocean is 7° 6’ 35” by 0° 42’ 24” S and 72° 33’ 19” and 73 46’ 13 E
The area 118000 sq km of which land is 298 sq. km. (115 sq. mi.)
There are around 1200 islands in the country (Unable to obtain exact figure as islands form and deform) among 200 are inhabited.
The closest neighbors of Maldives are India (595 km) to the north, Sri Lanka (670 km) to the northeast and the Chagos group of islands (550 km) directly to the south.
The islands are formed in 26 natural atolls and for administrative purposes they are divided into 20 atolls


Weather and Climate

Sub-Tropical, there are two season in Maldives. The monsoon periods;
Iruvai, the northeast monsoon from November to April is the hot season dry and humid
Hulhangu, the southwest monsoon from May to September is the rainy season with more occasional winds and storms
Temperature varies from 26'C - 29'C through out the year


Arts, Tunes and Culture

The Arts, Tunes and culture of Maldives is based on the ancient tribal descendents.

The famous 'Bodu Beru' has been a local traditional dance short of music with an early tribal taste. The word 'Bodu Beru' means big drum in local language. These drums are made of coconut trunk, hollowed and shaped with a smaller dimension at one end than the other. Skins used on these drums are made from cleaned, shaved and dried goat skin which has no smell at all and easy to tune.
A group may consist of 4 to 6 drummers and 2 to 4 singers and 2 to 4 dancers. An observer would say that the Bodu Beru dance is a tribal dance and the patterns change towards the last quarter of the songs.

Another form of dance was performed by playing a tune and a beat using a metal or copper urn type of pot in local language know as 'Bandiyaa' in general these are the items used to have water at residence on the islands. Even today these Bandiyaa's are used to have water at houses used as jars. The Bandiyaa are made in India and used widely in India.
A group would have 8 to 10 members who are dancers and singers and performed in two rows facing each other.

'Thaara' is another form of drum played widely in the early days. Even today these drums and performance are done on occasions.
This amazing drum is related to an Arabic instrument and these drums would look more like a modern day snare drum with and open bottom, thin in depth and smaller in dimension.

On early sultanates and presidential parades these Thaara, Bodu Beru and Trumpets were played and performed. Even today there are groups who perform Bodu Beru, Bandiyaa and Thaara. These are used as percussions on some local music tracks.

Very local and original tunes from Maldivian were gathered and recorded by the famous Zero Degree Atoll, the Dhoni album was the first, one and only till today of this type made of local ambience, percussions and sounds from the island life and modern instruments.
The album would take you on a smooth sail through the atolls and island of Maldives.
The soundtrack was recorded for a second time on CD in France and holds a record of most performed arts of the modern Maldivian tunes.

Maldives culture is mixed as much as Maldivian's. Arab, African, Indian, Singhalese and Indonesian influence are all within the culture.



Religion

100% Muslim.
Historical finding shows that Buddhism was practiced before conversion.


Education

Arabic and English Medium
Secondary and Advance level


Government

Republic
President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom since 11 November 1978 and serving the 6th term
Monarchy and Sultanate was practiced before Republic

Upon Conversion in 1153 AD, the Maldives was declared a Sultanate and the ruling monarch adopted the name of al Sultan Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Siri Bavanaadittiya Mahaa Radhun, popularly known as Dharumavantha Rasgefaanu
- website of Maldives Information Ministry -

Moroccan traveler and historian Mohammad Abdullah Ibn-Battuta, visited the country in 1343 AD., and served as the Chief Justice, for four years.
- website of Maldives Information Ministry -

At the time of Ibn Battuta’s visit, the country was carrying on a flourishing trade in cowry and other sea shells, tortoise shells, dried fish, copra, coir rope and ambergris to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Arabia, India, China and the Persian Gulf. Sultana Khadheeja Rehendhi Kambaidhi Kilege, the reigning monarch, was one of the most colorful personalities to grace the country’s throne. She died in 1380, having ruled the country for a total of twenty nine years, in three separate reigns.
- website of Maldives Information Ministry -



Economy, Resources and Industry

Maldives economy depends on the limited resources. Tourism and fisheries are the two main resources generating foreign currency

Boat building: Ferry boats, fishing vessels
Fishing: Industrial fisheries, pole and line, dried fish, salt fish, frozen fish, canned fish, live fish
Shipping: National shipping line, private shipping lines, container terminals, bunkering, cruise ships, luxury and pleasure vessels
Tourism: Guest houses, resorts, cruise vessels, tours
Agriculture: Coconuts, sweet potato, pumpkin, chilies, cucumber, lettuce, drumstick, mango, papaya, banana, lime, stone apple

Reactions:

5 comments:

Khalil said...

It's realy very nice place I like it ,I wish I'll visit it one day:)

coupdecoeur said...

Hello
a small mark at the time of my passage on your very beautiful blog!
congratulations!
thanks for making us share your moments
you have a translation of my English space!

cordially from France
¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* ~ Chris ~ -:¦:-
http://SweetMelody.bloguez.com

moonangel said...

I adore Maldives and my moonholiday will be in maldives ;)

holidaysonbudget said...

Thanks for these information on Maldives. It's a beautiful island.

Maldives Holiday Offers

ITC Classics said...

Nice pictures! I would love to go to Maldives specially at Huvafen Fushi

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