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The Maldives has been a melting pot of different cultures as people from different parts of the world came here and settled down. Origin of the Maldivians is lost in antiquity, but history reveals that the islands have been populated for over 3,000 years ago. Early settlers were travelers on the Silk Route and from the Indus Valley Civilization. Inherently warm, friendly and hospitable by nature, it is easy to feel comfortable with Maldivians.
Some of the local music and dance for instance resemble African influences, with hand beating of drums and songs in a language that is not known to any but certainly represents that of East African countries.

As one would expect there is a great South Asian influence in some of the music and dancing and especially in the traditional food of the Maldivians. However many of the South Asian customs especially with regard to women - for instance the Sub Continent’s tradition of secluding women from public view - are not tenets of life here.

In fact women play a major role in society - not surprising considering the fact that men spend the whole day out at sea fishing. Many of the traditions are strongly related to the seas and the fact that life is dependent on the seas around. Dress is generally casual. T-shirts and cotton clothing are most suitable. In Male’, the capital island and other inhabited islands, it is recommended that women wear modest clothing without baring too much.
 
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