Food choices and eating habits of the residents of Maldives were restricted as most of their sandy soil is uncultivable. The staple diet consists of fish and rice and the national dishes are fried fish, fish curry and fish soup.In the Maldives, meat and chicken are meant only for special occasions. Arecanut with betel leaf, cloves and lime is consumed after dinner. The locals have their own homemade brew, Raa which is a sweet and delicious toddy tapped from the trunk of the palm tree.
The national language is Dhivehi and 3 newspapers and several magazines are published in it. Over a period, Hindi, Western and Oriental influences have modified not only the Dhivehi way of living, but also the traditional music and dance too.
Yet the contemporary Dhivehi culture is strong and adaptive. You can see rock bands, singing in Dhivehi and multi-storey buildings and island houses with local and non-Maldivian influences.
The traditional music and dance form is bodu beru, meaning a big drum. A group of four to six drummers and dancers begin with a slow African style rhythm, casually swaying and swinging their arms. As the tempo increases, they synchronise the speed of their movements to increase with the tempo and end up in a rhythmic frenzy of dancing and drumming.