A Brief History of Maldives – A small country with a big history.

The intriguing and beautiful Maldives is made up of one thousand one hundred and ninety one picturesque islands. The warm breezes, powdery sands and palm fringed beaches are only made more delectable from the deck of your own private over water bungalow. In Maldives all you need is your beachwear and sunscreen, leave it to Anantara Veli Maldives Resort to take care of the rest.

The Maldivian people however live a very different life, the country is one of the poorest and the people make their living off fishing or tourism. The early immigrants are thought to have arrived from South India and Sri Lanka bringing with them their way of life, cuisine and religion. The Maldives was predominantly Buddhist until sailors from East Africa and Arab countries came to settle in the 12th century AD. Islam is the only religion followed in the country today, contributing to close knit communities and a low crime rate. The local cuisine draws influence from Sri Lankan, Indian and Arabian: rice is widely eaten, along with fish and coconut; flavours are enhanced with spices and chili. English is commonly used but the official language Dhivehi, which is derived from Sinhalese, the mother tongue of Sri Lanka.

Early Maldivian history is largely based in legend. The story goes that a Sinhalese prince by the name of KoiMale was stranded in a Maldivian lagoon with his princess bride from Sri Lanka. He decided to stay on and rule as the first sultan of the islands. Many years prior to the settlers arriving from Arab countries, the Portuguese colonized the islands fifteen years. It was governed as an independent Islamic sultanate from 1153 to 1968 but it was a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965. Following independence from the British in July 25, the country returned to the sultanate rule. This method of governance was discontinued in 1968 and a republic was established in its stead. The country took on its present name at this point in time.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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