Something’s happening in Laamu; it’s old and new at the same time, and it’s big business.
Shipwrecks, like this one in Vaavu atoll, have long played a significant role in the destiny of Dhivehi culture
Bonfire of the Atolls
All cultures find some excuse to light the fires on special occasion, but why do Maldivians do it?
Ladies of Libaas
The timeless image of Maldivian women’s dress is synonymous with Dhivehi culture, but today it’s more likely to be found in your pocket than on the street.
Innes and Islands
Hammond Innes is the only author to have written a novel based in Addu atoll…but when did he visit, and what did think about life in the United Suvadive Republic, 1963?
Stranger than Fiction
With little in the islands committed to writing, fact, fantasy and fanditha still converse regularly to produce the atolls’ stories.
Maldivian medicine has changed a lot over the years, but the old knowledge is needed for a little beys balance
Still drawing on tradition after 88 years, a few may follow in Maamaa Beyya’s trade, but none will have stories as sweet
Spirits of Saafu
In 21st century Maldives, there’s more junk and less jinn, but old habits die hard (if at all)
While much of the Maldives history starts and finishes in Male’, one man’s story goes much further
Very little of the country’s ancient history is on display, but this doesn’t mean it’s not there
Darkness & Didis
Three Didis and countless versions of the dark events that saw the Maldives most famous sorcerer executed in 1953
Weeks of feverish preparation precede the month ramadan, to ensure everything is ready for the roadha
The Sangu’s iconic image has come to symbolise an island life which sounds far different in reality
Searching for the stupa that confirmed the Maldives’ Buddhist ancestry can be tough, unless you really know where to look
The Maldives will never be famous for its agriculture but, true to form, Fuvahmulah is different
Message in an Atoll
Over a million a year hope to receive enlightenment in these isles, but who put the message in the bottle?
Long before the Maldives hit it big with tourism, coconuts and fished lubricated the economies. Could the kaashi theyo craze create some new cottage kunfuni ?(VIDEO INCLUDED)
More than a century after being offered as a coronation gift, what can we learn from this sultan’s swing?
Clues Over Koattey
Following clues left by HCP Bell 94 years ago, we set out to discover the secrets of Hithadhoo’s cultural reserve (VIDEO INCLUDED)
The lights dimmed and the moon took over. The creatures of the island shuffled for cover, and there he was
While the Maldives will never be famous for its street food, the gaadiya stalls of the capital offer authentic island eats for the inquisitive
Blending their own mixture of leaves, dried fruit, palm sugar and even tea, the Maldives’ matriarchs still take comfort in the reliable flavours of tradition
Long before foreigners started using the country’s beaches for relaxation and release, Maldivians were doing the same…sort of
A Tale of Two Islands
Even in the Maldives’ pristine isles, feuds tend to fester, but could Hulhumeedhoo’s environmental challenges have elevated its fighting into folklore?
The Maldive Shark
Inspiring millions of tourists and one famous writer, were today’s friendly fauna once fearsome?
Swimming is key for life and leisure in the islands, though modern developments mean people are increasingly confined to the land
Iceland to Islands
A visit to the end of the world brings home the reality of climate change and its unpredictable consequences for an island nation
Secrets of Seenu
Firaq’s cave of wonders waits for a time when history and politics can find space to co-exist in the tiny islands
Diving is Free
While resorts have recently begun teaching tourists how to hold their breath, for most Maldivians (in the atolls, at least) free-diving is second nature.
Pariah of Paradise
Revered in Tamil Nadu and eaten in parts of Polynesia, Maldivian fruit bats are regarded with disdain – neither sacred nor snack
Keeping Time in Meedhoo
Ibrahim Didi keeps watch in the Maldives’ oldest cemetery as the sun and history still burn brightly
With resorts on their way to outnumbering island communities, a ‘local’ culture of five stars and foreign guests will soon be more common than five prayers and fishermen
The importance of the house in Maldivian politics and identity may be declining, but they’re still much more than bricks (coral) and mortar
Straight roads cutting through the islands are an example of development policies that can often leave islanders unsure as to where they’re heading
The Maldives’ idyllic mystery has attracted a variety of explorers and academics whose patchwork of prose explains the country behind the fantasy
Perhaps there’s hope for us all in the fate of finolhu, though the waves will always be watching.
Coke: Taste the Desalination
Visitors to the Maldives can literally taste the Indian Ocean thanks to perhaps the world’s most unusual Coke factory
Few foreigners have learned the Maldivian language and for those who try, mistakes are inevitable
The Seenu Fairy
Truth is usually stranger than fiction, but this is a bird with more than a whiff of myth
While Abu al Barakat is said to have converted the Maldives to Islam, a competitor for his title lies below the equator
Tunny Side of Life
‘Maldive fish’ tourism has been a mainstay for centuries, with travellers of the dried sort heading overseas in exchange for basics commodities
Holding Back the Waves
After centuries of seclusion, Maldivian surfers are struggling now that their secret is out
The Beautiful Game
Football is played on every island, though modern artificial turf pitches are still a rarity
Water, Water, All Around…
The pleasure of plentiful fresh water in the Indian Ocean is a privilege enjoyed by a select few
Marrying into the Maldives
Marriage between Maldivians and foreigners is more common than ever, though officials ensure the course doesn’t run too smooth
If any man was likely to introduce Addu atoll to English literature it was Hammond Innes
A Drop in the Ocean
Land makes up just one percent of sovereign territory in the ‘ocean nation’. How big is the Maldives?
Pride of Maldives
Stooped at 90 degrees, backs straight as a board, the women of the atolls rise early and sweep, sweep, sweep