Well, I am not the most informed person in any gathering. Tend to live in a dreamworld.
(If there are chances you may visit the Maldives some time, then do not let my opinions or visions of the place ruin it for you. You may refrain from reading further. I highly recommend you visit).
You hear lots of people going to Maldives for their honeymoon vacation. So I assumed(I do not research the culture of a place extensively before I go) if not vibrant or fancy, it will be exotic, even to us Indians. Shocker! it was as native as your nearest rural village that is on the fringe of modernization. That only made it imperfect and beautiful for me really.
Firstly, the country was never on my wish list. It was only because we wanted a beach holiday that is not very populated and still within close proximity to us. With a toddler in tow and all.
The places that make an ever-lasting impression for me is the contrast within itself. Like Istanbul did.
You go on the beach and you have the most beautiful colors of the ocean one hasn’t dreamed of yet and pristine white sand. Rich people in their fancy hats and goggles. And crabs! The beach is full of crabs and fish in the waves that hit the sand, there is quite an abundance of active ocean life very close to the beach. We even saw sharks near the quay. So much coral. I was more excited than my toddler at the sight of baby sharks. There are quite some phenomena we witnessed that we hadn’t seen before. Like witnessing a flurry of waves at the surface of the dead of the ocean, there are sand banks more than a hundred kilometers into ocean and atolls that are visible from up in the air. I went into a school mode wanting to read about these scientific marvels for some time. Really I would have never known about atolls if not for this vacation.
While you live this dream on the beaches and in the ocean, you take a walk on inhabited islands and you are awed again. It’s how the locals live, being disconnected from main land and how their lifestyle is on these small patches of land. It’s how their needs are very little and how they are satisfied within the bounds of their needs only. I compare that to how we live in the buzz of urban landscapes. How everything is within a stone’s throw distance. How we go to the super markets and are bombarded with new things on shelves that we know no use for yet. But still we consume. We invent uses for new items we discover each day. Its how we see something and then put a use for it Vs only consuming things available. The first thing I noticed in their lifestyle is contentment. The streets that hvn’t seen asphalt ever, the shops that only cater to needs, their homes not heavily lit.
I did witness some negatives too like even the locals polluting the very ocean they are supposed to worship, with plastic. I was alarmed that there are no rules about it. That to me is the sad story of any developing nation that is not able to contain its temptation for modernization while still dealing with population outburst.