7 Interesting Travel Trivia About Maldives
Comprised of 1,200 coral islands and over 26 atolls, the Maldivian archipelago is best known as a couple’s paradise thanks to its dreamy landscape, idyllic surroundings and lazy tropical weather. What most of us do not realize is that the tropical paradise is shrouded in interesting facts that seem improbable at the first glance. Here are 10 amazing trivia on Maldives that most people are not familiar with.
- Maldives was Formed by an Exiled Indian Prince –Right from the early days of civilization, Maldives has always been an important stop in the old trade route. The first foreign settlers arrived here from India sometime during early 269 BC. According to legend, the early settlers worshipped the Sun and Water. It was only after the arrival of Sri SoorudasarunaAdeettiya, an exiled prince from the kingdom of Kalinga,that a community was established. Scriptures about the history of Maldives is rare. Some details regarding the formation of modern civilization can be found at the National Museum in Male.
- Maldives Hosted the World’s First Underwater Cabinet Meeting –Global warming and its effects are a major threat to Maldives’ existence. The country could be wiped from the face of the Earth by the ever-rising water levels.In fact, a number of islands have been vacated due to salt water interfering with fresh water sources in the past. To bring global attention to the rising concern, President Mohamed Nasheedtransferred the Cabinet Meeting to the ocean floor in 2009. The President, along with 13 government officials dressed up in scuba gear and sat on desks placed below the water surface to draw media attention to the nation’s woes.
- It is the Flattest and Lowest Nation on Earth –The average Maldivian ground level is 1.5 meters or 4.11 feet above sea level. The highest point in the country is 2.3 meters or 7.7 inches above sea level. The nation faces a serious risk of drowning due to the lack of higher ground.
- Smallest Muslim Nation on Earth – The smallest nation in Asia is also the smallest Muslim nation in the world. The country is known for its orthodox practices, and the Constitution drafted in 1997 specifically criminalizes the practice of any other religion. Maldivian citizens are Muslims by law.
- Sundays are a Working Day –Like most other Muslim nations, Friday is a religious holiday followed by Saturday, which means the week officially begins on Sunday. Hence, the work culture in Maldives is from Sunday to Thursday.
- The Literacy Rate is a Whopping 98% – According torecent metrics, 35% of Maldivians are below the age of 18,which is a major boost to the country’s economy. Over 70% of the country’s population was literate back in 1970. The massive improvement is a feather on the government’s philosophical hat due to the logistical hurdles that had to be overcome. There are a total 200 inhabited islands in the country. Implementing a literacy program across such wide geographic boundaries was a challenge that the authorities had to overcome. UNICEF helped the government initiate the program back in 1978.
- Alcohol is Available Only on Private Islands – Being a Muslim nation it is illegal to serve or consume alcohol in the country. However, the law does not apply to resorts on private islands. Due to this reason visitors are advised not to carry alcohol while visiting Maldives, as the customs authorities will confiscate all illegal substances.
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