Culture

The population of the Maldives is 394,451 as of July, 2012 which is relatively small compared to the United States. People inhabit around 200 of the Maldives nearly 1200 small islands which are grouped into 26 atolls. Some of these islands are uninhabitable because of their small size.  In the capital city of Male, the population is 120,000.

Their major agriculture products are coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes, and fish. Fishing is second in economic activity only to tourism although agriculture has dropped in recent years due to a lack of cultivable land. So much so that their staple foods have to be imported at times even though their diets consist of a lot of fish; rice is also a staple food.

Tourism is the economic leader in the Maldives accounting for over 90% of government tax revenue. 80 of the 200 inhabitable islands contain tourist resorts. The white sandy beaches and mid 80s year round weather are huge tourist attractions.

Surfing came to the Maldives in the 1970s and is a very popular activity among locals and tourists alike. The Maldives have been an Islamic country since 1153 and the Islamic festival of Eid is of importance to its people. Special drumbeats and the official Sultan to the Eid prayer are included and has been accompanied of late by music and military display. The circumcision of small boys is a cultural celebration in the Maldives as well. Fishing is also very accustomed to the people of the country and is also a way of life because of how large the fishing industry is there. The culture of fishing and surfing is definitely related to its geography and climate but the festivals and celebrations could happen anywhere.

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