The people of the Maldives are its own unique character. They are a small, kindred society unified by common history, the Dhivehi language, and the Islamic faith. Islam has given strength to the society and the faith is taken very seriously. The ties and obligations felt by individuals to their community, to their President, to a whole nation reflects the tradition of strong family ties. Intelligent, as well as devout, the people of The Maldives are tolerant and respectful of each other and of visitors to the country.
Hardworking, but unhurried, playful and respectful, Maldivians have been able to blend tradition and modernity. All Maldivians have open access to education. All have the opportunity to play significant roles in the economic life of the nation. Great respect is felt for the head of the national 'family' as well as for the head of each household. The family unit is strong.
A population of little over 300,000 people is spread over the islands with over a quarter of them living in Male’, the capital. To foreigners the village people on some islands may seem shy. Curious of outsiders, they prefer to observe newcomers from a distance at first. One soon learns of their hospitality when the island chief provides a cold coconut drink and a healthy snack, usually made of seafood.