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September 12, 2016 will be the first day of Eid Al Adha

Eid in the Maldives, an islamic Celebration of Generosity

The Muslim festivals of Eid can be said to be the Islamic equivalent of Christmas. They are the most important religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide. Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and Eid al-Adha celebrates the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. All over the world, Islamic nations celebrate Eid in their own unique ways, but one quality shared by all of them is the importance of the traditions of generosity and hospitality in Islam.

In the Maldives, while Eid customs have seen significant changes with time – modern music concerts and shows held in the capital city of Malè and other islands – there is a renewed focus on reviving traditional sports such as Baibala , now held annually as a competition during which local teams vie for a grand prize.

Throughout the years, though, the one thing that has not changed about Eid festivals is that they are a way to transcend the mundane tasks of everyday life and look beyond, for the ultimate truth and light of humanity.

A Day of Prayer and Feasting

Eid is celebrated throughout the small island nation of Maldives, which converted to Islam in 1153. Local celebrations begin soon after sunrise with the citizens – men, women and children – dressing up in their newest and finest clothing to attend the Eid prayer in a large congregation to seek divine blessing. The prayer is followed by the khutbah, or sermon, reminding everyone in the community about their responsibilities and obligations, like the need for goodwill, kindness, mercy and generosity toward their fellows and humanity as a whole.

After the Eid prayer, everyone heads home to elaborate feasts consisting of biriani and similar rice dishes, as well as different varieties of spicy curries, all followed by a helping of mouthwatering local desserts such as bondibai. Friends and loved ones are more than welcome to join; one may enjoy a hearty meal at two to three houses for breakfast alone. Most of the morning and afternoon is then spent visiting friends and distant relatives, exchanging greeting and gifts.

An Evening of Dance

Evening is a time for dances and other festivities held especially in the islands, including Boduberu, which is a traditional Maldivian mix of songs and dances for both men and women, all performed by beating drums. There is a distinctly African influence to it.

Dhadi Jehun is another traditional Maldivian stick dance performed in a smooth rhythmic fashion. Each dancer holds a 90-centimetre-long stick, called a dhandi, which he knocks against that of a partner. The dancing is done to the rhythm of the music and the sticks.

Finally, there is Kadhamaali, during which people of all ages participate enthusiastically in a fun and exciting traditional game. Each performance, which begins with banging on drums and a kadhaa (a copper instrument) usually involves around 30 men who don different costumes representing evil spirits and ghosts, called maali.

In the capital city of Male’, National Security services accompanied by brass bands and cadets parade through the streets.

 

Article from http://www.thetravelword.com/2010/12/12/eid-in-the-maldives-an-islamic-celebration-of-generosity/

Dhumashi Book of Maldivian Recipes

Dhumashi is a book of recipes co-authored by Aishath Ali Naaz and Soba Ahmed and is a result of sharing a kitchen for over an year. The book has over a hundred maldivian recipes in it.

Gabulhi Faroshi Boakiba

Ingredients

3 cups faroshi powder (rusk powder)

6 eggs

200 grams butter

200 grams sugar

10 almonds (cut lengthwise)

4 drops almond essence

1 cup grated young coconut (gabulhi)

1/2 cup fresh milk

Preparation

1. Beat butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat thoroughly

2. Add the faroshi or dry rusk powder. Gently Mix.

3. Add the milk, grated young coconut and almond essence.

4. Grease a baking tray and pour the mixture. Smoothen the top and spread the almond on top.

5. Bake in a preheated oven.

6. Cut into pieces and serve.

I am sure you will love this! My family did!

Read more recipes: https://dhumashi.wordpress.com/

Diving the Maldives is out of your budget?

So you think diving the Maldives is out of your budget? Think again!

There aren’t many holiday destinations that are as synonymous with luxury as the Maldives. Mention the country and you immediately evoke images of glamourous resorts on private islands catering to the world’s rich and famous. Heavenly exotic? Check. Prohibitively expensive? Double check.

For most, the Maldives is either a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon destination or simply relegated to the bottom of an unrealistic bucket list. And although many divers drool over the diversity of the coral reefs and marine wildlife in the country’s waters, many assume that the destination is just simply out of their price range, especially those not looking to join a liveaboard.

One country, two worlds

And until 2011, that assumption would have been a fair one. Because until then, Maldivian law dictated that there be a strict divide between islands that welcomed tourists, and islands where locals lived. This set up was in large part due to the 100% Muslim country being under a mix of common and sharia law. Whereas in local islands, alcohol and pork are banned and modest clothing traditions are followed, none of these laws apply in resort islands. So until five years ago, tourists would fly into the country, be greeted at the airport and then whisked off to their private resort island. They would remain there for the entirety of their stay (bar excursions) and local Maldivians continued to live on their inhabited islands. And never the twain did meet.

A change in the law

But no longer. In 2011, the law officially changed to allow for tourist establishments in local islands, and while the same laws still apply, the increasing number of tourist arrivals to these islands each month show that visitors are happy to go without a bevvy or bacon butty for a week or two. For the past five years, these local island guesthouses have been cropping up throughout the country at an extraordinary rate. And although they’ll never be comparable to the backpacker prices of other parts of South East Asia, the rates are extremely competitive relative to the resort market, with some charging as little as 40$ per room per night. Naturally, the quality you’ll find varies from place to place but although these local islands establishments are referred to collectively as ‘guesthouses’ in the Maldivian tourism industry, some would be better described as boutique hotels, with spacious rooms, in-house restaurants serving top-notch food, and a handful even have their own pools.

So why is this relevant for divers?

Well, thanks to the influx of tourists, most of these islands are now home to a PADI dive centre, and in some cases (such as guesthouse-capital Maafushi Island) there are several. Many of the guys running these centres have had years of experience in the resort industry, meaning that the service is of a high standard. Dive rates tend to be cheaper than in the resorts too, so if you’re on a tight budget it’s a great option. Most centres dive with traditional Maldivian dhoni boats so the level of comfort is similar – and of course the dive sites are the same regardless of how much you’ve paid to get there!

Why not just join a liveaboard?

True. Before the advent of the guesthouse industry, divers looking to spend the majority of their budget on diving had to join a liveaboard cruise. Which is fantastic if you and your spouse are both divers. But a non-diver on a diving liveaboard? They’d soon understand the meaning of cabin fever. This is why a local island stay is a fantastic choice for budget-conscious divers looking to travel with a non-diver. Whilst in some resorts snorkelers and divers normally join separate excursion boats, in local islands both tend to go out together because operations are smaller. This means that you’re not away from your loved one for very long – you can enjoy the cruise there together, looking out for dolphins, enjoying the sun (bliss!) – but when you reach the dive site, you can descend for your dive whilst your non-diver companion can stay at the surface to snorkel. And if they don’t fancy the boat, they can always stay on the island and enjoy the beach with most local islands having now reserved portions of their beaches for guests, so that they can sunbathe in bikinis.

The local island experience

Staying in a local island has a lot advantages. It’s much cheaper and there are some great accommodation choices. A much larger portion of your budget can go on diving, which is always a plus. But travellers should not expect the same experience as being on a resort. On a local island, guests are expected to live amongst the islanders and respect cultural norms, covering from shoulders to knees when away from the beach. As mentioned there’s no booze – but then if you’re diving you should be restricting that anyway. Food is more limited but still delicious – think lots of fresh fish, barbecues and coconut water. So if you’re looking to experience the real Maldives, away from the glitz of the resorts, to discover the warmth of local hospitality and a way of life that has changed little for centuries, a local island is a great place to start.

 

Article by http://padiproseurope.com/so-you-think-diving-the-maldives-is-out-of-your-budget-think-again/

Surfing season 2016 opening in Maldives

SURFING AT BEACH HEAVEN MALDIVES

The North Male Atoll contains well known breaks such as Lohis, Cokes, Chickens, Sultans, Jailbreaks, Honkys and Ninjas and breaks best from March to mid October during the SW Monsoon with June – August being the peak season. Huraa is situated in the Kaafu Atoll of Maldives (North Malè Atoll), where Beach Heaven Maldives Guest House is.

You can have there a really comfortable accomodation for a good price, forget about expend big amounts of money in resorts, and with total comunication to the local people and the local life, a new experience with also the possibility of surf in one of the most paradisiac places in the world. But if that is not enough, you can easily be taken to 6 of the best pointbreaks in all Maldives, which are Sultans, Honky’s, Ninja’s, Jailbreaks, Pasta Point and Jail Breaks, just a few minutes away!

You will be taken by boat from them either early in the moning, for the breakfast surf or in the afternoon, to enjoy the awesome sunsets. Food and drinks will be also available while surfing if you want to have a rest in the boat and see your friends surfing while you chill!! Feel yourself in the proper surf environment surrounded by palm trees, white sand, and clear crystal water.

Come and surf in one the world’s best surf spots! Sultan’s, Honkey’s, Pasta Point, Jails, Ninjas, Lohi’s. Beach Heaven Guest House in Maldives Huraa Island will provide full day surfing time from 6 AM to 6 PM!

SURFING OFFER 100 US$/day: Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner, bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages). INCLUDED IN ROOM PRICE:

– all day surfing from 6 AM to 6 PM,

– transfers to surf spots and back.

Beach Heaven Guest House in Maldives Huraa Island has 15 rooms in 4 local houses side by side, (3+5+4+3 rooms) with double bedrooms and additional beds, bathroom ensuite, air conditioning, ceiling fan.