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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 26, 2020
Headline for Six Things You Didn't Know About the Maldives- The more you know.
Joanna James Joanna James
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Six Things You Didn't Know About the Maldives- The more you know.

The Maldives is one of the most popular destinations on the planet among travellers. It is more than the beautiful blue skies, turquoise beaches, and white sands. Here are some facts to pique your interest.


The world's first underwater cabinet meeting

The Maldives is not new to the risks of climate change and as of late, has been suffering the brunt of some intense rainfalls, surges of storm, cyclone, and floods. The country has many low-lying islands ( in fact, they are the lowest and flattest nation in the world), some which have disappeared. Therefore, they take climate change quite seriously and strive to make an active impact. To emphasize this, in October 2009, The President, shifted the cabinet meeting to the bottom of the ocean. There were 13 government officials donning the scuba suit, seated at a desk. The meeting further discussed strategies to reduce carbon footprints by promoting a more sustainable form of tourism.


It is made of about 1190 islands

You read that right- one thousand, one hundred and ninety islands that comprise the Republic of Maldives. 200 of these are inhabited islands while about 80 are private resort islands that target the tourism industry. The rest are uninhabited islands. The islands are categorized into Atolls- about 26.


Alcohol is available only in resorts

The Maldives is an Islamic country, is conservative and has strict laws prohibiting alcohol and pork. Therefore, alcohol is only available at resorts like Kurumba Maldives, which is a great example of all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives. However, pork is strictly not allowed. You are not allowed to bring it to the country either as customs will claim it. During the Ramadan month, it is generally expected for tourists to also follow the customs pertaining to the fast by consuming no alcoholic drinks and smoking. However, some restaurants are tucked further away from the local villages and main roads.


Has a literacy rate of 98%

The country boasts a literacy rate of 98% among adults. In 1978, the rate was 70% and this prompted UNICEF to come up with a unified education system and have resource centres for teachers. The program targeted not only the school going children but also their parents and caretakers. This resulted in all children being enrolled in schools and about 99% graduating.


The weekends are different

While the rest of the world celebrates and looks forward to the weekend which is Saturday and Sundays, in the Maldives, the weekend is considered to be Friday and Saturday. While this may garner quite a few cheers followed with "Thank God it's Friday", the idea of having to start your work or school on a Sunday may need some getting used to. Fridays are dedicated to religious activities in the mosques and thus, are given a day off.


The first colonizers came from India

History suggests that it was first colonized by Indians who had no government and only worshipped the Water and Sun Gods. The first kingdom rose with the arrival of Sri Soorudasaruna Adeetitiya, a Prince of the Kalinga King who banished his son to the Maldives. It was the Prince who ruled, and his era was known as the Solar Dynasty.

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