Language Essay: Maldivian Culture

The Maldivian culture, language and literary traditions are a few things one simply does not get uninterested in too easily. One of our most loved literary traditions is “raivaru”, this is a form of reciting poetry that is traditional or even our own with a unique rhythm to it. In the previous centuries and even now people would use raivaru as a way of expressing feeling for another it is also used in marriage proposals. One man who I most admire in this field of work is my great uncle, Abdulla Sodiq who is also known as “Saodu Be”, which in translation means ”Saodu brother”. Abdulla Sodiq is a songwriter, author of countless short stories, poet and novelist, inventor of words and writer of the Maldivian dictionary. He is most known for his romantic ballad, one of my favorite is “Dhon Hiyala & Alifulhu”, which is the “Romeo and Juliet” of the Maldivian society.

The most treasured and traditional dance that is still used till this day by Maldivians is “Bodu beru”, which literally means big drum, the drumming routine are said to have Africans origin, believe it or not the Bodu beru dance when done correctly takes the dancer into a trace, not knowing exactly what they are doing at the moment . Bodu beru is commonly sung after a hard day of work experienced by the locals. Currently , Bodu beru is seen as an essential element of entertainment at stage shows, festivals and celebration. The most adored traditional musical instrument in Maldives is called the “bulbul” which is a horizontal accordion. In a Maldivian household you may notice the elderly watching Indian television drama or even listening to Indian songs, this is because there is huge Indian influence on us Maldivians.

Maldives was a series of islands that ships would anchor at when travelling, sooner or later it became an island where trading was held between people from all over the world. The culture of Maldives is the result of many sources mainly Sri Lanka and South India. If you look carefully you can see that Dhivehi, the Maldivian language and Sinhalese, the Sri Lankan language are both very similar because they are closely related. Dhivehi is an Indo-Aryan language and Sinhalese belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language.

The cuisine of Maldives is includes mainly fish since the fishing industry is very large. One of the traditional dishes of Maldives is called “Garudiya ya batha”, which is fish broth and rice. Garudiya which is a type of fish broth made with tuna is a very basic and tradition dish on its own, curry leaves, chilies and onions are used to favorite the dish. What makes this dis so great is the use of the fresh Maldivian fish you can only find in Maldives. Garudiya has been a Maldivian favorite for generations and still is. When garudiya is cooked to the point where the water evaporates it creates a thick brown paste called “Rihaakuru” which is a loved Maldivian diet, you can eat this with rice or even “Roshi” which in India is known as “Roti”. Roshi is a type of soft and thin pita bread.

The clear ocean that shares all the types of blue you could ever imagine existed and the white sandy beach that surrounds every island is my personal favorite. The view from under the ocean is similar to a garden filled with treasure and different kinds of sea creatures it will change your definition of beauty. What I find most fascinating is how the locals find a way to use every resource available on the island and waste nothing they really understand how valuable resources are which makes them true islanders. The frenzy atmosphere that surrounds Maldives is heartwarming, I adore how everyone has respect and love for another they really are kindhearted people which is just another reason I am a proud Maldivian.