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BY COCO COLLECTION<br />

A FAMILY OF ECO-WARRIORS<br />

NAARUH’FALUDHA: A SWEET<br />

BREADFRUIT SENSATION<br />

EVOLUTION OF THE DHIVEHI<br />

LANGUAGE<br />

BODU NIYAMI THAKURUFAANU<br />

AND THE FIRST TUNA<br />

KALHUVAKARU MISKIY: THE<br />

TRAVELLING MOSQUE<br />

August 2019 <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>009</strong><br />

www.cococollection.com<br />

1


2


The Coco Spa at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu offers a special<br />

experience, hand-picked by our talented therapists,<br />

every day of the week.<br />

Monday - Shiro Abhyanga Massage<br />

Tuesday - Take Time for a Facial<br />

Wednesday - Pick & mix<br />

Thursday - Asian Touch<br />

Friday - Journey to Maldives<br />

Saturday - Nourishing Coco<br />

Sunday - 3 Day Spa Journey<br />

For bookings, please contact the Coco Spa at Ext. 165 or<br />

visit the Reception<br />

3


CONTENTS<br />

10<br />

The Illustrious<br />

March of Kings<br />

Hihchah Vadaigathun, the illustrious<br />

march of Kings, is a ceremonial celebration<br />

dedicated to the royalty.<br />

08<br />

Coco<br />

News<br />

What’s cooking at Coco? These are news<br />

of recent events and happenings at Coco<br />

Collection’s properties.<br />

20<br />

Dhiyamigili: The Origin of the Long-Foregone<br />

Kings<br />

We made a visit to the now diminishing ruins of the palace in Dhiyamigili Island in<br />

Thaa Atoll, to traverse on the origins of the long-foregone kings—the fifth great dynasty<br />

of the Maldives.<br />

16<br />

A Family of Eco-<br />

Warriors<br />

The moment you place your feet on any<br />

of the Coco Collection properties, you are<br />

immediately enclosed in habitual agreement<br />

with the greenery and blues of the islands.<br />

In this segment, we look at the family of<br />

eco-warriors behind ensuring that your<br />

journey in Coco Collection’s properties<br />

immerses you in the beauty and ecological<br />

wonders of the Maldives.<br />

24<br />

Anatolian Delights<br />

with Chef Colin<br />

Clague<br />

Award-winning Executive Chef of Rüya<br />

Dubai collaborated with Coco Collection<br />

on a very special chef residency to bring<br />

Turkish cuisine to the shores of Coco<br />

Bodu Hithi. He created two fantastic<br />

dinners for guests at the overwater seafood<br />

restaurant, Aqua, over the Eid al-Adha<br />

period.<br />

27<br />

Naaruh’faludha: A<br />

Sweet Breadfruit<br />

Sensation<br />

Deep down from the south, from the single<br />

island atoll of Fuvahmulah, we look at<br />

the sweet breadfruit sensation known as<br />

Naaruh’faludha.<br />

4


CONTENTS<br />

30<br />

Toddy: The Untold<br />

Story of Maldives<br />

It’s organic. It’s eco-friendly. It’s Fairtradecertified.<br />

It follows the Global Organic<br />

Textile Standards. And every process<br />

is laced with love and compassion. It is<br />

the home-grown souvenir apparel brand,<br />

Toddy Inc.<br />

33<br />

Evolution of the<br />

Dhivehi Language<br />

Legend has it that supernatural beings<br />

inhabiting the Maldivian waters taught us<br />

how to speak and write Dhivehi.<br />

36<br />

A Day in the Life of a<br />

Toddy Tapper<br />

Toddy has always been a part of<br />

Maldivian history, as old and ubiquitous<br />

as the life-giving palm tree itself. In this<br />

segment, we speak with a seasoned toddy<br />

tapper.<br />

40<br />

Folk Tales of the<br />

Maldives by Xavier<br />

Romero-Frias<br />

Folk Tales of the Maldives is not just an<br />

ordinary story collection. It is the first of<br />

its kind and remains the biggest written<br />

collection of Dhivehi folk tales and myths.<br />

41<br />

Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu and<br />

the First Tuna<br />

This is a retelling of the story inspired<br />

by the tale of “The First Tuna’’ written<br />

by Xavier Romero Frias in his book<br />

‘’The Maldives Islanders: A study of the<br />

popular culture of an ancient kingdom.”<br />

45<br />

Flowers of the<br />

Maldives Part II<br />

We continue our series highlighting some<br />

of the most striking flowers found in the<br />

Maldives.<br />

49<br />

Shaziya ‘Saazu’<br />

Saeed: Living the<br />

Blues as a Veteran of<br />

the Seas<br />

We follow the ambitious and courageous<br />

Shaziya ‘Saazu’ Saeed, who broke<br />

stereotypes to become one of the most<br />

famous names in water sports and diving<br />

in the Maldives.<br />

5


CONTENTS<br />

53<br />

Smartwatches<br />

Since the launch of the world’s first<br />

smartwatch, smartwatch technology has<br />

come a long way.<br />

59<br />

Kandumathi: The<br />

Collection 2.0<br />

Kandumathi is a Maldivian swimwear<br />

label that gets its inspiration from the<br />

natural environment and Maldivian<br />

culture. Here, we take a look at its second<br />

collection, inspired by seashells found in the<br />

Maldives.<br />

56<br />

Kalhuvakaru Miskiy:<br />

The Travelling<br />

Mosque<br />

This is the story of Kalhuvakaru Miskiy<br />

– translating to “the mosque made from<br />

ebony wood,” and informally known as the<br />

“travelling mosque.”<br />

64<br />

Coco Recommends<br />

Three of the must-read books, must-see<br />

flicks, must-listen-to albums and musthave<br />

apps.<br />

68<br />

Solo Travelling<br />

A decade ago there was relative scepticism<br />

on taking the road alone. However, in<br />

the present day, more people are seen to be<br />

consciously embracing the notion of taking<br />

that road; all alone. Here, we weigh the<br />

pros and cons of solo travelling.<br />

72<br />

Map of Tourist Hot<br />

Spots<br />

This map depicts some of our favourite<br />

spots in the Maldives, including some of<br />

the lesser-known attractions across the<br />

country.<br />

74<br />

Coco Facts<br />

Simple facts about Coco Collection’s<br />

properties; Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco<br />

Palm Dhuni Kolhu.<br />

6


The Illustrious<br />

March of Kings<br />

We are excited to welcome you to the ninth issue of<br />

<strong>Breeze</strong>! We are delighted to dedicate this issue<br />

to the theme of reconnecting with our roots;<br />

bringing you tales of our ancient heritage and<br />

rich culture.<br />

For the cover story, we take a walk down<br />

memory lane, reenacting the illustrious<br />

march of the Kings known as Hihchah<br />

Vadaigathun. Following this theme, we look at<br />

how the local Dhivehi language evolved over the years,<br />

and stories about Kalhuvakaru Miskiy — the travelling mosque.<br />

Our history is filled with rich anecdotes and narratives. We explored some of these stories<br />

as we visited the diminishing ruins of the palace in Dhiyamigili Island in Thaa Atoll.<br />

We also explore the customary peaceful island life that is so unique to the Maldives.<br />

Deep down from the south, we present the recipe for the breadfruit sensation known as<br />

Naaruh’faludha.<br />

Despite the small size of our beautiful coral islands, our history books are abundant<br />

with folktales and stories of our ancestors. One such tale is about Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu and how he brought us the first tuna. We also guide you towards more<br />

such stories in our review of “Folk Tales of the Maldives” by Xavier Romero-Frias.<br />

We should never cease to celebrate the exceptional will, talent, and artistry of the men<br />

and women raising our name and value in the world. We look at the courageous Shaziya<br />

‘Saazu’ Saeed, who broke stereotypes to become one of the most famous names in water<br />

sports and diving in the Maldives. We also highlight the local souvenir apparel brand<br />

Toddy Inc. and swimwear brand Kandumathi.<br />

We hope you enjoy the issue and would love to hear from you about your #CocoMoments<br />

so please send us your photos and stories to connect@cococollection.com.<br />

Happy reading,<br />

Shafa Shabeer<br />

August 2019 / ISSUE # <strong>009</strong><br />

EDITORIAL<br />

Shafa Shabeer, Editor<br />

Mohamed Mamduh, Managing Editor,<br />

Perspective Pvt Ltd<br />

Mohamed Afrah, Associate Editor<br />

Neefeen Ibrahim, Contributing Editor<br />

breeze@perspective.mv<br />

CONTRIBUTORS<br />

Ahmed Haadhy, Aminath Ishrath, Fathimath<br />

Shafa, Fathimath Sham’aa, Rafil Mohamed,<br />

Ruby Amir<br />

DESIGN<br />

Yey Studio LLP<br />

ILLUSTRATIONS<br />

Maimoona Hussain<br />

Map of Maldives: Eatolls<br />

ADVERTISING<br />

Cristina Lago<br />

sales@perspective.mv<br />

COCO COLLECTION<br />

Lulu Aishath<br />

Sarah Hilmy<br />

Malu Hilmy<br />

Razzan Razee<br />

Sasindra Lakmal<br />

connect@cococollection.com<br />

www.cococollection.com<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY<br />

Cover Photography:<br />

Ahmed Hassaan (Hassaan Photography)<br />

Cover Costume Design:<br />

Yusriyya Waheedha (Lun)<br />

Ahmed Aleef Ali (Aleeafoto), Ahmed Haadhy,<br />

Ahmed Hassaan (Hassaan Photography),<br />

Ahmed Shuau (Obofili), Apple App Store,<br />

Apple Inc., Bigstock, Fossil, Google Play,<br />

Kandumathi, MATRIX, Muhamadh Umran<br />

(Roanu Umbe), Muse Wearables, Samsung,<br />

Shaziya Saeed (Saazu), Shutterstock,<br />

Wear Toddy.<br />

<strong>Breeze</strong> by Coco Collection is published for:<br />

Sunland Hotels by Perspective Pvt Ltd, 4th<br />

Floor, M. Loobiyaa, Ameenee Magu, Malé,<br />

Maldives<br />

www.perspective.mv<br />

© Coco Collection, 2019<br />

7


01 / COCO NEWS<br />

Island Yoga with Cat<br />

Meffan<br />

We were delighted to welcome yoga teacher Cat Meffan to<br />

Coco Bodu Hithi this June. A global yoga teacher, blogger, and<br />

YouTuber, Cat is on a mission to share her passion for movement<br />

and exploration of the body with everyone who crosses her path.<br />

Cat taught beach yoga around sunset, to acclimate our guests’<br />

body and soul to the setting sun. This playful and dynamic<br />

yoga programme included scientifically-proven poses that were<br />

excellent for beginners and seasoned students alike.<br />

According to Cat, yoga has taught her a lot about who she is as a<br />

person, how to treat her body, and how to treat those around her.<br />

As a dedicated teacher, she is always excited to share this valuable<br />

knowledge with all her students.<br />

Anatolian Delights<br />

with Chef Colin<br />

Clague<br />

Coco Bodu Hithi is excited to partner with Colin<br />

Clague, the award-winning Executive Chef of Rüya<br />

Dubai, on a very special chef residency to bring<br />

Turkish cuisine to our shores.<br />

He will be creating two fantastic dinners for guests at<br />

our overwater seafood restaurant, Aqua, on August 11<br />

and 15, as well as a special masterclass on August 13.<br />

Colin’s exclusive six-course tasting menus will reflect<br />

his creations at Rüya Dubai, showcasing Anatolian<br />

flavours with a local twist.<br />

Through the years, Chef Colin’s dedication and<br />

passion saw him acquire extensive industry experience<br />

that spans the globe. Chef Colin got his first exposure<br />

to the disciplines and rigorous of the professional<br />

kitchen in London, all the while travelling extensively<br />

throughout Europe and the Middle East.<br />

8


COCO NEWS \ 01<br />

‘In-Turtle-Ship’ of a<br />

Lifetime<br />

Coco Collection was thrilled to announce an internship<br />

of a lifetime as part of our continuing partnership with<br />

the Olive Ridley Project - a charity that works to rescue,<br />

rehabilitate, and protect sea turtles in the surrounding<br />

Baa Atoll.<br />

Portugese veterinary student Jessica Monteiro was<br />

selected as the lucky winner out of thousands of<br />

applicants from all over the globe.<br />

Jessica will be flown out to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu<br />

for two weeks in August, where she will work at The<br />

Marine Turtle Rescue Centre. She will have the chance<br />

to gain valuable veterinary experience from one of the<br />

U.K.’s leading specialist turtle veterinary surgeons, Dr<br />

Claire Petros. Her daily duties will include feeding the<br />

turtles, cleaning tanks, observing surgeries and medical<br />

procedures, and attending rescue missions to collect<br />

turtles in need.<br />

Jessica will also get to stay in a beautiful guest villa, enjoy<br />

full board meals at Cowrie, and experience wonderful<br />

activities such as a guided snorkelling trip and a sunset<br />

cruise.<br />

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu joins the<br />

Protect Maldives Seagrass Campaign<br />

As part of our dedication to protect and nurture our<br />

rich marine life, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu joined the<br />

nationwide Protect Maldives Seagrass campaign and<br />

pledged to protect 100% of the 34,000m² seagrass<br />

meadow growing within the resort’s boundaries.<br />

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu’s vast seagrass meadow can<br />

feed and shelter up to 60 green turtles. Our resort island<br />

has been a nesting site for green turtles for over two<br />

decades, and, with our partnership with the Olive Ridley<br />

Project, we opened the first and only sea turtle rescue<br />

centre in the Maldives with a qualified veterinarian.<br />

The Protect Maldives Seagrass campaign, launched<br />

on World Seagrass Day on March 1, brought together<br />

resorts, international advocacy and conservation groups<br />

such as Greenpeace and Manta Trust, all advocating for<br />

its protection.<br />

9


02 / COVER STORY<br />

Photos: Maldivian kings escorted by their<br />

entourages to various ceremonial occasions<br />

in the capital Male’, the royal guards<br />

and militia.<br />

10


COVER STORY \ 02<br />

Hihchah<br />

Vadaigathun<br />

A walk of Kings among Commoners<br />

Aminath Ishrath<br />

Through the blurred pages of Maldivian history, the island of Coco Bodu Hithi is somewhat<br />

linked to the reign of kings, sultans, and their celebrations. Hihchah Vadaigathun is a<br />

ceremonial celebration that takes place during the month of Ramadan in the capital city<br />

Malé. The ceremony is dedicated to the royalty as they take part in praying, celebrating, and<br />

eventually coming out to join a parade-like walk that also served as entertainment for the<br />

public.<br />

It is said that Bodu Hithi was one of the islands nearby Malé where royalty met to discuss<br />

important affairs, entertain, and retreat away from prying public eyes. Favoured by kings and<br />

queens back then, the island is now a resort still fit for an exceptional experience. This is the<br />

story of Hihchah Vadaigathun.<br />

11


02 / COVER STORY<br />

A total of four main Hithi days arrive in Ramadan,<br />

with the first being marked on the 22nd day of the<br />

month and referred to as the Henveiru Bodu Hithi,<br />

and the 2nd marked on the 24th of the month,<br />

known as the Maafannu Bodu Hithi. Henveiru and<br />

Maafannu are two wards at the opposite ends of the<br />

island and this is where the bulk of the celebrations<br />

took place.<br />

It is ambiguous as to when these celebrations started<br />

and became somewhat of a ritual among royals. But<br />

it is said to have been initiated by Sultan Mohamed<br />

Mueenuddin I, who ruled from 1799 to 1835. It all<br />

began on the 22nd day of Ramadan when Sultan<br />

Mueenuddin’s eldest son Mohamed Imaaduddin<br />

made a visit to Habsheegefaanu Ziyaaraiy, a tomb<br />

dedicated to the memory of an important figure<br />

in history. During his visit, the public came out in<br />

support and offered him shells and money as a sign<br />

of respect.<br />

On the 24th of Ramadan, Imaaduddin made a<br />

similar visit to the tomb of Alirasgefaanu, the<br />

national hero martyred in a battle against the<br />

Portuguese. Seeing this, the public once again came<br />

out and paid respects with gifts of money and shells.<br />

Hearing of the public turnout, Sultan Mohamed<br />

Mueenuddin initiated the ceremony of Hihchah<br />

12


COVER STORY \ 02<br />

Vadaigathun on the same days of the month on<br />

which his son made the visits to the tombs, adding<br />

in entertainment and rituals for the benefit of the<br />

public.<br />

To start off the Hithi announcements, the town<br />

crier begins his day early at seven in the morning.<br />

He walks the streets that will be graced by the kings<br />

later in the day, and calls out for children, adults, and<br />

the elderly to join the Hithi celebrations. He calls<br />

out to pray, he calls out which streets to stay on to<br />

watch the celebrations, he calls out to listen to the<br />

recitations of the day, and he calls out to urge family<br />

and neighbours to join the rituals.<br />

A Hithi ge, which is a temporary house, is built for<br />

the sultans on the day itself. Made out of thatch, this<br />

house serves as a resting place for the sultans and<br />

their men to wait while the recitations go on. There<br />

are also separate areas for the people who recite the<br />

prayers and another area for them to break their fast<br />

when the time comes. The houses are draped with<br />

fabric all around, with mats and throne-like chairs,<br />

recreating a similar environment to the palace.<br />

13


02 / COVER STORY<br />

After the third of the five daily prayers at the<br />

minaret, the Hithi Beru begins; the drumbeat<br />

alerting the public that the recitations are about to<br />

begin. The reciters and spectators make their way<br />

to the road, all in their finest attire to mark the day.<br />

The recitations begin at the Hithi ge constructed for<br />

the day, and some of the public joins in, creating an<br />

almost chant-like environment.<br />

At nine in the evening, the sultans prepare to make<br />

their way into the public. At the sound of seven<br />

gun salutes, the people once again make way back<br />

to the roads. The sultans walk among the roads,<br />

with the beating of drums, chanted poetry, blowing<br />

of the conches, waving of the flags, surrounded by<br />

the palace men carrying guns, swords, and adorned<br />

parasols.<br />

It is quite a feast for the eyes too. For the public,<br />

it is rare to see the sultans and their soldiers out<br />

on the roads. For them, details right down to the<br />

clothing worn by royalty are fascinating. It’s a look<br />

into a world that is so far from reach. The sultans<br />

wear shoes pointed at the toes and adorned with<br />

gold. The hemline of their wide flared pants is also<br />

adorned with expensive gold or silver threads. The<br />

tops are usually made of silk with embroidered<br />

patterns in high-quality threads. The turban is made<br />

of high-quality material and adorned with more<br />

gold. Hithi days are the closest to royalty that most<br />

commoners could get.<br />

14


COVER STORY \ 02<br />

There are questions about the origin of the words<br />

Hichah Vadaigathun as the Dhivehi word Hithi<br />

literally translates to “bitter”. H.C.P Bell, who wrote<br />

a historical account of Maldives, states that the name<br />

was derived from the taste of the curries that are<br />

prepared as part of the celebrations’ feast. A side<br />

dish called “Hithi” is prepared in time for the feast<br />

and is of soup consistency made to eat with rice.<br />

It’s common for Maldivian ceremonies to be named<br />

after food served at feasts, and historians are inclined<br />

towards this version of how the name came to be.<br />

The traditions of Hichah Vadaigathun came to an<br />

end with the abolishment of the sultanate and the<br />

declaration of the republic. It is said that the last<br />

of these celebrations were seen in the early 1960s.<br />

There are very few people who can relive the days of<br />

Hichah Vadaigathun and even fewer who are clear<br />

on the rituals that took place within the celebrations.<br />

Today, these rituals are revived in the form of grand<br />

welcomes for visiting dignitaries, welcoming guests<br />

onto resort islands, and during drama depictions<br />

of the olden days to pay homage to Hichah<br />

Vadaigathun. In the days of the Maldivian sultans<br />

and kings, this was surely one of the most colourful<br />

and largely celebrated days. When the royals come<br />

out among the commoners.<br />

15


03 / COCO FAMILY<br />

A Family of Eco Warriors<br />

Ruby Amir<br />

From the moment<br />

you place your<br />

feet on any of the<br />

Coco Collection<br />

properties, you<br />

are immediately<br />

enclosed within the greenery and<br />

blues of the islands. Coco Bodu<br />

Hithi takes you on a promising<br />

island journey, full of nature’s<br />

beauty bounded by contemporary<br />

luxury. Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu<br />

takes its progression towards<br />

immersing you in the beauty and<br />

ecological wonder of the Maldives.<br />

The Coco Family is warmly spirited<br />

towards taking necessary steps for a<br />

greener future.<br />

The Coco Family truly cares about<br />

the beautiful, yet fragile ecosystem<br />

of the Maldives, as sustainability<br />

is embedded in their culture and<br />

ethos. The Coco Family is active<br />

in promoting awareness amongst<br />

themselves, being involved with<br />

their surrounding communities, in<br />

addition to engaging their guests to<br />

be more mindful in their presence<br />

on the islands.<br />

From all levels, be it of different<br />

nationalities, different designations,<br />

or different personalities, the<br />

Coco Family has long-embraced<br />

sustainability for generations to<br />

come. Every individual from the<br />

Coco Family is precious in their<br />

roles, and the story of sustainability<br />

evolves with the differences each<br />

individual can make. Here, we tell<br />

a few stories from profound ecowarriors<br />

within the Coco Family,<br />

whose different backgrounds come<br />

together to form a narrative of their<br />

love for their surroundings, together<br />

with sustaining it.<br />

Mohamed Abul Hussain<br />

A stroll on the beach at Coco Palm<br />

Dhuni Kolhu finds you at the Beach<br />

Bar where you will meet the captain<br />

of the bar, Mohamed Abul Hussain.<br />

A Bangladeshi, he has been on the<br />

island from its pre-developmental<br />

stages. He’s seen it bare; he’s seen<br />

it with just a handful of people to<br />

what it is today. A green, thriving<br />

island, that makes you want to<br />

protect it to keep it forever that<br />

way. Abul fondly remembers how<br />

he was gently pushed towards<br />

becoming who he is today by Bruno,<br />

a Canadian who was his previous<br />

manager. He learnt everything by<br />

observing, by practising, and by<br />

engaging with the guests.<br />

Today he is at the top of his game<br />

of swiftly preparing delightful<br />

drinks but he continues to learn<br />

everyday. On the reason he loves<br />

working in nature, he says we all<br />

should love nature. He reasons that<br />

if we take something from nature,<br />

we should also give back to nature.<br />

Being surrounded by the ocean,<br />

we should take care of it as much<br />

as it’s taking care of us. He urges<br />

industrial factories to eliminate the<br />

release of harmful gases to the<br />

environment and to produce more<br />

environmentally-friendly products.<br />

“We can use only what we need, we<br />

can think of ways how we can give<br />

back to nature,” he says.<br />

Mohamed Zihan Bushry<br />

Leading the team at the front of<br />

house, you can find Mohamed<br />

Zihan Bushry, who is better known<br />

as Teddy. He has worked in the<br />

hospitality field for five and a half<br />

years, previously having worked<br />

with Tree Top Hospital. His love for<br />

nature prompted him to work in a<br />

resort; he feels most content when<br />

he is surrounded by nature. Being<br />

in the front of house, they promote<br />

environment-friendliness around,<br />

creating unique Coco moments for<br />

their guests. For him, sustainability is<br />

the process of maintaining changes<br />

in a balanced environment.<br />

He muses that hydro planting<br />

could be useful for the Maldives<br />

in the long run. Back home in<br />

Addu City, he says that their food<br />

waste is used as compost for his<br />

16


COCO FAMILY \ 03<br />

mother’s beautiful garden. He<br />

vividly remembers the day that<br />

deeply affected him and made<br />

him think about how as humans,<br />

we aren’t respecting the beautiful<br />

natural habitats along with its<br />

inhabitants. On that day, a group of<br />

friends along with him embarked<br />

on a fishing trip. Having caught a<br />

huge Red Snapper, they wanted to<br />

barbecue it right away on the boat<br />

itself.<br />

They cleaned up the fish,<br />

subsequently cutting it up for<br />

marinating purposes. What<br />

they found inside the stomach<br />

of the poor fish were pieces of<br />

microplastics along with a discarded<br />

cigarette filter. This moment has<br />

been to this day, etched in his<br />

mind. He has grown to be more<br />

intuitive towards nature. “Let us<br />

put our hands together for a better<br />

environment. If we do not work<br />

right now, our future generations<br />

will not be able to see what we see<br />

right now,” he adds.<br />

- MT Højgaard, he has always<br />

been fond of nature, so, working<br />

in nature comes naturally to him.<br />

When the island faced erosion,<br />

he was appointed to find a way to<br />

counter it. Mulla has also been a<br />

strong proponent for protecting and<br />

conserving seagrass. He believes<br />

conservation of the seagrass is<br />

vital for the island to perform in its<br />

natural habitat.<br />

The Olive Ridley Project’s<br />

programme of fighting ghost nets<br />

and protecting turtles is closest<br />

to his heart. He points out, the<br />

biodegradable sacks lining the shore<br />

of the beach around the island are<br />

there for a useful purpose. In time,<br />

algae will form on it which will<br />

attract more marine life, in turn,<br />

creating a more vibrant snorkelling<br />

experience closer to shore. “We are<br />

using too much carbon dioxide.<br />

We should reduce over usage<br />

of electricity as much as we can<br />

and stop using chemicals that are<br />

harmful to the environment. Protect<br />

our reefs,” says Mulla.<br />

Hussain ‘Raazi’ Manikfaanu<br />

Manikfaanu and his Food and<br />

Beverage team. Raazi has been<br />

working at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu<br />

since 2000.<br />

He is now the Outlet Manager,<br />

having a good background of Food<br />

and Beverage at various levels.<br />

He finds the resort very attuned<br />

with nature. He was involved with<br />

projects undertaken at the resort<br />

for a greener island. For Raazi,<br />

sustainability is about educating<br />

children. He is proud of the Coco<br />

eco-initiatives taken to minimise<br />

food waste and using food waste as<br />

compost for their gardening needs.<br />

“Help our planet, our children, and<br />

their children,” he exclaims.<br />

Mohamed Muslim<br />

Mohamed Muslim, better known<br />

as Mulla, is the Projects In-Charge<br />

of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.<br />

Previously involved in revetment,<br />

diving, and operating of all heavy<br />

machinery at the dredging company<br />

When you sit down for your<br />

meals at the dining outlets around<br />

the resort, you will notice snack<br />

bowls made out of liqueur bottle<br />

bases, candle holders made from<br />

jam bottles, along with wipeable<br />

tablemats. These are a useful,<br />

environmentally-friendly and<br />

creative initiative by Hussain ‘Raazi’<br />

Abdulla Zameen<br />

Offering a refreshingly cold iced tea<br />

at the welcome pavilion of Coco<br />

Bodu Hithi, Abdulla Zameen,<br />

the Front Office Manager, sits<br />

down to give a little insight about<br />

himself and his evolved nature<br />

towards sustainability. He has<br />

17


03 / COCO FAMILY<br />

always had a curiosity to know<br />

why different brands come to the<br />

Maldives. He has worked with<br />

many different brands, giving him<br />

broader experience. This way he can<br />

relate more to the brand by having<br />

a higher chance of learning the<br />

methods of running the operation.<br />

Becoming more aware of how as<br />

humans we unknowingly harm<br />

the environment has changed a<br />

lot of his routine life. He reflects<br />

on how his materialistic ways have<br />

evolved to a more environmentallyconscious<br />

mindset.<br />

From an administrative perspective,<br />

he says, he is looking into a<br />

paperless world. He hopes to<br />

eliminate the unnecessary printing<br />

of paper; briefings are now digitised<br />

and referred to from the phone,<br />

instead of printing sheets. Looking<br />

into other initiatives, he notes that<br />

the resort has started to record their<br />

sand movement around the island.<br />

This paves ways to preserve and<br />

maintain their beautiful beaches.<br />

Segregation of waste and completely<br />

banning plastic is vital for the<br />

environment. He concludes the<br />

discussion by saying, “People have<br />

the tendency to not take ownership<br />

for their own wastage because<br />

someone else is doing it for them. It<br />

all starts with you, as an individual<br />

you see what you can do to protect<br />

the environment.”<br />

Peldus Antony, the Assistant<br />

Maintenance Manager is over<br />

his silver jubilee mark with his<br />

valuable work at Coco Bodu Hithi.<br />

Sporting an infectious beaming<br />

smile, he muses on the importance<br />

of keeping the environment around<br />

us, safe from harm. On his angle of<br />

work done to minimise the carbon<br />

footprint of the resort, he proudly<br />

states how they have changed their<br />

lighting systems to LED and how<br />

Peldus Antony<br />

they have fixed the water control<br />

system of the shower areas. By<br />

the end of this year, they plan to<br />

establish in-house glass bottling.<br />

At present they have pressing<br />

machines for the use of recycling<br />

plastics, after which they are sent<br />

to Parley for the Oceans. He is<br />

passionate on banning plastic,<br />

as plastic is something that does<br />

not degenerate for centuries. He<br />

goes on to say that he teaches his<br />

family what he learns every day on<br />

becoming more environmentallyconscious.<br />

He collects videos of<br />

awareness towards the environment,<br />

which he shows to his son. On a<br />

particular day, he fondly remembers<br />

how he ended up explaining the<br />

videos to his son’s classroom, to<br />

a captive audience. “Save energy<br />

wherever you can. Make an effort,<br />

even if it is small, it helps. We have<br />

to protect nature for our future<br />

generations,” he says.<br />

Priyantha Anuradha Jayasuriya<br />

Priyantha Anuradha Jayasuriya’s<br />

has always been very passionate<br />

about gardening. He developed a<br />

special liking to it as his parents<br />

were into gardening as well. After<br />

primary school, he did a course in<br />

Floriculture in the Royal Botanical<br />

Garden in Kandy. He remembers<br />

brightly the time he worked with the<br />

municipality in Malé, “We planted<br />

a lot of trees on the main roads of<br />

the capital alongside looking after<br />

the garden of the Sultan Park. Now<br />

I see that the trees have grown so<br />

big!” At present he is the Chief<br />

Gardner of Coco Bodu Hithi<br />

previously having taken the same<br />

role in Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.<br />

Day by day he says they are adding<br />

more and more trees. He goes on<br />

to say that it used to be very bare<br />

before, but now when you go<br />

around the island you can notice<br />

native plants blooming nicely. He<br />

admires how the island has taken<br />

to food segregation. He remembers<br />

the time when school children from<br />

neighbouring inhabited islands<br />

were invited to plant trees at Coco<br />

Palm Dhuni Kolhu. He wishes<br />

for more initiatives like these;<br />

to create awareness within the<br />

younger generation. Green Globe<br />

18


COCO FAMILY \ 03<br />

is an international sustainability<br />

certification that is close to his heart<br />

as he feels that this will help lessen<br />

the carbon footprint in tourism<br />

businesses around the globe. “We<br />

should pay more attention to the<br />

environment. We should abstain<br />

from polluting our beautiful oceans<br />

and wasting our natural resources.<br />

We should all contribute to<br />

maintaining the ecological balance<br />

of this world.”<br />

Anaci Paulina<br />

Anaci Paulina first started as a Spa<br />

Receptionist on the gorgeous island<br />

of Langkawi, Malaysia. She loves<br />

planting trees, more specifically<br />

lemongrass which she says she<br />

particularly likes as it has a lot of<br />

beneficial properties. Naturally,<br />

she has a green thumb; she happily<br />

volunteers to plant more trees<br />

around the island whenever she<br />

can. Currently the Spa Manager of<br />

Coco Bodu Hithi, she says she feels<br />

content working in the beautiful<br />

environment around her.<br />

She continues by saying that for<br />

her, sustainability is a process, for<br />

everyone to utilise what nature has<br />

given us and not to misuse it. She<br />

recalls once when she attended a<br />

training for awareness about the<br />

plastic pollution in the oceans; she<br />

discovered that balloons are one of<br />

the worst culprits that contaminate<br />

the ocean life. “No more balloons<br />

for me or my friend’s parties for<br />

sure!” she adds.<br />

Humphrey Muhango<br />

The enigmatic Kenyan, Humphrey<br />

Muhango, who leads the Food and<br />

Beverage team of Coco Bodu Hithi,<br />

is a globetrotter in hospitality, from<br />

Dubai’s metropolis to Darussalam<br />

to the Maldives, his stance in the<br />

hospitality field is prominent. Ten<br />

months into being at Bodu Hithi, he<br />

is loving it. For him, the difference<br />

of working in nature and being<br />

in a town is, when you wake up<br />

in nature you see peacefulness all<br />

around. In a town or city, there is<br />

a lot of pollution. However when<br />

you’re on an island such as ours, the<br />

air is still clean and fresh. He feels<br />

that as humans we are the biggest<br />

culprits in our harmful ways towards<br />

the environment. Coming from a<br />

coastal area himself, he is wellaware<br />

of the fragility of our tropical<br />

environment. He believes that we<br />

all need to pull back a little and see<br />

what we can do to sustain.<br />

He states that Coco Collection is<br />

going in the right direction with<br />

its dynamic strive towards caring<br />

and protecting the environment.<br />

As part of the awareness, Coco<br />

Cares - the eco group at Coco<br />

Bodu Hithi - meets every two<br />

weeks where each person attending<br />

is given a task, which is diligently<br />

followed upon. At home, his<br />

family practices mindful portioning<br />

of food, conserving energy, and<br />

donating things that they do not<br />

need for orphanages or people less<br />

privileged. He says, “We encourage<br />

our guests to look on the brighter<br />

side of saving energy, minimising<br />

food waste, etc. The Maldives<br />

might not be here if we do not<br />

take measures now to respect the<br />

community and the nature of the<br />

Maldives.”<br />

The Coco Family believes that<br />

every day is Earth Day. As humans,<br />

we sometimes take on the idea<br />

that the Earth belongs to us. We<br />

go about disrupting the natural<br />

cycle of things with our greed<br />

of materialistic civilisation. If we<br />

discard this ideology and embrace<br />

the idea of us belonging to the<br />

Earth in harmony with its offerings<br />

and other inhabitants, we can<br />

turn around our habits for a more<br />

sustainable future.<br />

The Coco Family’s contribution<br />

to significant projects such as<br />

the Sea Turtle and Manta Ray<br />

identification projects has put<br />

them on the top list of research<br />

submitters whose passion is to<br />

identify the behavioural patterns<br />

of these fragile species. Their push<br />

towards sustainable alternatives for<br />

both guests and employees alike<br />

is in recognition with their pledge<br />

on Coco Dreams Green. Involving<br />

everyone in the Coco Family to<br />

practice sustainability, consciously,<br />

every day is something that is seen<br />

throughout its properties. The<br />

Coco Family strives on creating<br />

a future that will hold well and<br />

healthy for more generations to<br />

come.<br />

19


04 / ISLAND CULTURE<br />

Dhiyamigili<br />

The Origin of the<br />

Long-Foregone Kings<br />

Ahmed Haadhy<br />

You are met with gushes of fresh salty air the minute you step off onto<br />

the deck, leaving you gazing upon the magnificently queer little island.<br />

From where you stand at the harbour, you can see the waves crashing on<br />

the beach on the opposite side. The first thing to catch your eyes would<br />

be the boatyard, just a short walk away, and the little thatch-roofed Joali<br />

house (a hangout with a number of joali; a cross between a deck chair and a<br />

hammock) just a few metres away. Dhiyamigili in Thaa Atoll, the island from<br />

which the fifth great dynasty of the Maldives originated from, now emanates<br />

the customary peaceful island life that is so unique to the Maldives.<br />

A lady carrying dried palm fronds on a wheelbarrow<br />

20


ISLAND CULTURE \ 04<br />

The guest house boom that has taken the<br />

country by storm has been slow to reach the<br />

shores of Dhiyamigili, but you can always<br />

find rooms in local households that are open<br />

to let you stay for a couple of days; similar to<br />

the one I stayed in. But once on the island,<br />

you would not feel a desire to stay indoors,<br />

as I quickly unpacked and sauntered off with<br />

my camera in tow.<br />

The mid-afternoon sun made the white sandy<br />

roads of the island seem even whiter, almost<br />

translucent. With hardly anyone in sight, the<br />

island offers so many amazing sights, from<br />

exposed reefs in low tide on the beach to<br />

quaint traditional limestone houses neatly<br />

stacked alongside little roads that snaked<br />

across the island, to just marvel at its archaic<br />

attractiveness.<br />

But the empty roads soon filled with women<br />

during the late afternoon, coming out with<br />

their Iloshifathi (Eakle brooms) to sweep the<br />

streets. As I struck up a conversation with<br />

one of them, they recounted to me how the<br />

island used to have a then state-of-the-art<br />

medical centre in the 1990s and about the old<br />

palace which now stood in ruins; unattended<br />

to and long forgotten.<br />

The massive boatyard located on the island<br />

shows that the main economic activity of its<br />

residents was boatbuilding. Hints of this lie<br />

hauled up on the beaches located all around<br />

the island. The boatyard houses several<br />

massive boats laid out across, all undergoing<br />

different stages of renovations.<br />

21


04 / ISLAND CULTURE<br />

Antique French doors of the palace<br />

Boxes stocked on top an old bed, beside a chair in the palace<br />

As the day starts to cool down, families come out for<br />

their evening strolls and groups of young boys hurry<br />

off to play football. One of the most eye-catching<br />

features of the island is two huge trees located on an<br />

empty grass field in the northeast side of the island.<br />

The nearly identical trees are located almost parallel<br />

to each other on two sides of the field and look to<br />

be around 50-100 years old.<br />

Waking up early the next morning to make sure<br />

that I cover as much as I could about the island<br />

and gain some amazing stories, I headed out to my<br />

first destination, the old palace of the kings. Now<br />

standing largely in ruins, the palace once had a large<br />

courtyard with the original black outer wall of the<br />

palace still standing on one side. Some parts of the<br />

palace had been renovated, removed or changed as<br />

the sands of time trickled, but the original essence of<br />

royalty is still very much prominent. The old Arabic<br />

carvings into the walls as decorations and the dusty<br />

architecture of the building still stands as a testament<br />

to its once prestigious status.<br />

Antique items made from dried palm fronds, besides some old books<br />

My next stop was a man who had served as the<br />

Island Chief of Dhiyamigli for a stunning 41 years.<br />

Hussein Hassan Manik, a man who is held in high<br />

esteem by the people of the island, explained his<br />

theories on how the kingship of the Maldives landed<br />

in the hands of a citizen native to Dhiyamigili<br />

through marriage. He also narrated a story about an<br />

age-old tradition where people of the surrounding<br />

islands - whenever they set out on a voyage - stop by<br />

A set of old books found in side the palace<br />

22


ISLAND CULTURE \ 04<br />

Dhiyamigili with gifts to the king; mostly a certain<br />

species of fish named Dhoshimas.<br />

His stories about the hardships which faced the<br />

people during the World Wars were enthralling; the<br />

residents of the island would gather at the beach to<br />

distribute food supplies, herbs and medicine brought<br />

in by vessels from other islands - Dhiyamigili was a<br />

central focal point in every way during this period.<br />

Later, Manik recalls the time when he and his fellow<br />

officials were advised to keep a lookout for people<br />

involved in a political uprising in the southern atolls.<br />

At the time, they used smoke signals and fires, and<br />

later walkie talkies, to relay information between<br />

islands. Manik explained that the boats from the<br />

southern atolls had a distinctive sail, that helped him<br />

and his companions identify them on the horizon.<br />

Another fond memory for Manik is the time when<br />

the island was transformed into a medical hub, with<br />

the establishment of the Hawwa Manik Medical<br />

Centre. At the time, it was a top-class medical facility<br />

which was beneficial for the island, and others in the<br />

region.<br />

Though the time of the kings is forgone, royalty<br />

has died down, and the once grandiose palace today<br />

rests amidst ruins, the residents of Dhiyamigili are<br />

proud of their history and heritage. The memories<br />

of times when kings and their royal courts ruled<br />

are a thing of pride for the residents of Dhiyamigili<br />

—once considered as an influential island in the<br />

country. Certainly, a place worth visiting for the<br />

historic stories that it tells, Dhiyamigili serves as an<br />

important and unforgettable chapter of the history<br />

of the Maldives.<br />

50-100 year old tree stands on the side of the football stadium<br />

A Dhoni being renovation in a shed<br />

A lady pushing a wheelbarrow on a field<br />

23


05 / COCO RECIPE<br />

Anatolian Delights by<br />

Chef Colin Clague<br />

Malu Hilmy<br />

Chef Colin Clague, the award-winning Executive<br />

Chef of Rüya Dubai, collaborated with Coco<br />

Collection on a very special chef residency to bring<br />

Turkish cuisine to the shores of Coco Bodu Hithi.<br />

He created two fantastic dinners for guests at the<br />

overwater seafood restaurant, Aqua, over the Eid<br />

al-Adha period.<br />

In 2016, Colin joined Rüya Dubai, a new Anatolian<br />

restaurant concept with the aim of elevating<br />

Turkish cuisine to a global level. Colin said<br />

regarding his inspiration, “I first moved to the<br />

Middle East to open the prestigious Burj al Arab<br />

hotel, then later in 2007 to open Zuma Dubai, and<br />

never left! After Zuma, one of the restaurants I<br />

opened was the award-winning Q’bara restaurant,<br />

a modern Levant restaurant, serving modern<br />

interpretations of Middle East classics. Through<br />

Q’bara I met my future business partners, Rasim<br />

and Umut Ozkanka, who said that this is exactly<br />

what they wanted to do with Turkish food, and<br />

that’s why we created Rüya. Our aim is to put<br />

Turkish food right up there with the other great<br />

food cultures of the world.”<br />

British-born Colin got his first exposure to the<br />

disciplines and rigorous of the professional<br />

kitchen in London, all the while travelling<br />

24


COCO RECIPE \ 05<br />

extensively throughout Europe<br />

and the Middle East. Some<br />

of his notable achievements<br />

include being in charge of the<br />

pre-opening and opening of<br />

Michelin-starred restaurant<br />

Pollen by Chef Jason Atherton,<br />

before moving to Q’bara, where<br />

Colin won several awards from<br />

“Chef of the Year” to “Chef ’s<br />

Chef ” by Pro Chef Middle East<br />

and What’s On magazines.<br />

In 2018, Rüya expanded to open<br />

its sister restaurant in London.<br />

Rüya, meaning ‘dream’ in<br />

Turkish is an enticing concept<br />

that fuses a vibrant restaurant,<br />

lounge, and bar experience<br />

together by exploring the<br />

extremely rich history and<br />

diversity of Anatolian food, a<br />

cuisine that draws inspiration<br />

from a number of culinary<br />

traditions.<br />

Through the years, Colin’s<br />

dedication and passion saw<br />

him gaining extensive industry<br />

experience that spans the<br />

globe. Chef Colin’s residency at<br />

Coco Bodu Hithi was a perfect<br />

example of his work, showcasing<br />

best quality ingredients to create<br />

sublime flavours executed with<br />

simplicity and finesse.<br />

For a taste of modern Turkish<br />

cuisine, Chef Colin has<br />

graciously shared with us the<br />

recipe for his signature dish, 24-<br />

Hour Slow Cooked Short Ribs<br />

with a Turkish Chilli BBQ Glaze.<br />

This incredible dish requires a bit<br />

of extra advance preparation but<br />

is well worth the time and effort<br />

to create a stunning main course<br />

for a very special dinner.<br />

TURKISH BBQ SHORT RIBS<br />

INGREDIENTS<br />

X 5 400-450gr Canadian Short Ribs, trimmed & portioned<br />

SPICE RUB FOR RIBS: For 5 Portions<br />

20g Garlic Cloves<br />

30g Dark Muscovado Brown Sugar<br />

22g Table Salt<br />

14gr Isot (Turkish Black Chilli Flakes)<br />

8g Turkish Red Chilli Flakes<br />

8g Baharat Spice<br />

FOR THE TURKISH CHILI BBQ: For 5 Portions<br />

30g Unsalted Butter<br />

100g Banana Shallots, very finely chopped<br />

10g Roasted Garlic Paste<br />

5g Maldon Sea Salt<br />

2g Freshly Ground Black Pepper<br />

15g Turkish Chilli Flakes<br />

5g Isot (Turkish Black Chilli Flakes)<br />

15g Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped<br />

50g Dark Muscovado Brown Sugar<br />

20g Worcestershire Sauce<br />

200g Turkish Chilli Paste<br />

180g Tomato Ketchup<br />

180g Tomato Sauce<br />

200g Water<br />

25g Lemon Juice<br />

25


05 / COCO RECIPE<br />

DIRECTIONS<br />

• For the spice rub; Mix all the ingredients together and distribute<br />

evenly over each short rib. Rub into the ribs, coating liberally, and<br />

place on a rack. Let them sit in the fridge uncovered for 18 hours.<br />

• Bring the ribs back to room temperature. This will take about 30<br />

minutes. Vacuum pack the ribs and place in a water bath for 20<br />

hours at 72 degrees Celsius.<br />

• For the Turkish Chili BBQ: Melt the butter in a large pot over<br />

medium heat.<br />

• Add chopped shallots and roasted garlic paste, cook gently until<br />

they are translucent.<br />

• Add all of the other ingredients one at a time in the order given,<br />

stirring well after each addition. Gently bring to a boil, then reduce<br />

the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes.<br />

• Allow the sauce to cool completely before blending to a smooth<br />

sauce. You can process it in the blender a small amount at a time.<br />

• To serve, bring the ribs back to the heat in a water bath, then grill<br />

over charcoal. Brush with the sauce several times whilst grilling until<br />

the ribs become sticky, nicely glazed, and coloured.<br />

• Garnish with finely sliced spring onions, micro cresses, fried garlic<br />

and dollop of extra BBQ sauce.<br />

26


LOCAL CUISINE \ 06<br />

Naaruh’faludha<br />

Fathmath Shama<br />

If you mention Naaruh’faludha to someone born after the 70s, you’d<br />

probably be met with a blank stare. Especially if that person was from<br />

the capital of the Maldives. But ask someone older and they would fondly<br />

describe it to you with a nostalgic smile. The elderly would assume you’ve<br />

never heard of it before. Which would most likely be true.<br />

27


06 / LOCAL CUISINE<br />

Naaruh’faludha is a sweet breadfruit treat indigenous<br />

to Fuvahmulah, a southern island with its own dialect<br />

of the Dhivehi language. This unique atoll-island<br />

abounds with lush vegetation and relics from the<br />

past. Hundreds of breadfruit trees sprout from its<br />

nutrient-rich soil. For locals, breadfruit, the versatile<br />

fruit borne by the tree, is as synonymous with the<br />

Maldives as the ubiquitous coconut.<br />

Naaruh’faludha is a marriage of sorts between these<br />

two abundant local fruit. Resembling a donut but<br />

with an indent as opposed to a hole, these delectable<br />

treats are made by combining coconut syrup and<br />

ground breadfruit. The taste is hard to pin down.<br />

There’s a hint of jasmine and that sun-dried flavour.<br />

It has a shiny gummy bear-like texture. Just one will<br />

satisfy your sweet tooth for a while.<br />

Fuvahmulah natives love this sweet snack and<br />

prepare them with care. “They are as old as the island<br />

itself,” says Alibe, who sells naaruh’faludha at his<br />

produce stall at the local market in Malé. A friend<br />

makes them and they sell out fast, he says. Some buy<br />

to satisfy a hankering for a taste of coconut syrup.<br />

Alibe’s other customers include curious young ones<br />

and culture-seeking tourists on an excursion to the<br />

capital.<br />

The long shelf life of Naaruh’faludha, which can last<br />

for months, made them a popular item for trade in<br />

the past. Traders sailed with them to Sri Lanka and<br />

sold them like the Addu bondi -- a coconut candy<br />

from Addu, the southernmost atoll neighbouring<br />

28


LOCAL CUISINE \ 06<br />

Fuvahmulah. Naaruh’faludha<br />

was also popular with royalty and<br />

noble families for whom they were<br />

exotic treats from the distant south.<br />

Natives still proudly say these aren’t<br />

made anywhere else.<br />

Sadly though, in the more recent<br />

past, naaruh’faludha has become<br />

harder to come by. The dying out<br />

of toddy tapping as an occupation<br />

has led to a spike in coconut syrup<br />

prices. More trees are being felled<br />

and replaced with concrete. The<br />

large bread fruit tree roots are<br />

blamed for damaging homes as well.<br />

They have fewer breadfruit trees in<br />

Fuvahmulah now. Younger people<br />

are in no rush to learn how to make<br />

naaruh’faludha, which takes a long<br />

time to prepare. The breadfruit<br />

and sugar syrup have to be stirred<br />

continuously to prevent sticking<br />

until they caramelise into a reddish<br />

brown glossy dough. The treats have<br />

to be sun-dried over a few days as<br />

well. Despite a revival among the<br />

rest of the locals, older Fuvahmulah<br />

folk fear naaruh’faludha could<br />

become a lost delicacy.<br />

In the north, a variation of<br />

Naaruh’faludha is made using<br />

ground finger millet called anaagaa.<br />

Ripe mango is the key ingredient<br />

in a more recent variation. In the<br />

present day, most people don’t use<br />

the old grinding stones to mash<br />

the fruit. But the ancient recipe<br />

has been faithfully preserved in<br />

Fuvahmulah and passed down from<br />

generation to generation. For the<br />

rest of the country, naaruh’faludha<br />

remains a special gift that comes<br />

during the breadfruit season.<br />

RECIPE<br />

• 1 kg breadfruit ( peeled and cored)<br />

• 800ml coconut palm syrup<br />

• 400ml jasmine water<br />

• Jasmine flowers<br />

• Rose petals<br />

Boil the breadfruit until tender and blend to a smooth paste. Mix in the<br />

syrup and jasmine water. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously<br />

to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove<br />

from heat when the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.<br />

When its slightly cooled, but still hot, grease your hand with coconut oil<br />

and shape spoonfuls into balls and flatten them. Depress the center with<br />

a finger, and top with a jasmine flower or rose petals. Place them on a<br />

greased tray, cover and leave overnight to dry.<br />

These are placed in the sun until completely dry to the touch. The<br />

flowers are replaced daily. Stored in an airtight container, these will keep<br />

for two to three months.<br />

29


07 / LOCAL ARTISANS<br />

TODDY: The Untold<br />

Story of Maldives<br />

Fathimath Shafa<br />

Toddy Inc. is a 100% locally owned company, specialising in the trade of<br />

souvenir apparel, that began as a mere past time between two brothers Ahmed<br />

‘Riya’ Riyaz & Mohamed ‘Faya’ Fayaz. Following its registration in 2<strong>009</strong>, the<br />

brand was launched in 2011 at ‘Toddy Kuda Bandos Beach 2011 (TKBB 11).’<br />

“Old x-rays, a box cutter, some batik paint, and a piece of sponge was all we<br />

needed to make our tees. One of our uncles was an avid screen printer, we were<br />

inspired by him and we started experimenting with printing and making our<br />

own t-shirt designs.<br />

30


LOCAL ARTISANS \ 07<br />

“After years of doing this as a hobby, we thought<br />

it’ll be a fun idea to expand this as a brand. Souvenir<br />

t-shirts have been around for years but we never had<br />

a local apparel brand in the Maldives or at least not<br />

one that we had heard of,” recalls Riyaz, managing<br />

director and co-founder of Toddy.<br />

The next step for Toddy was to change its clothing<br />

material from normal cotton to 100 per cent organic<br />

and eco-friendly cotton. Notably, its line was the first<br />

of its kind introduced in the Maldives. All Toddy<br />

tees are made to the Global Organic Textile Standard<br />

(GOTS). Besides being an eco-friendly company,<br />

Toddy tees are made by fair trade certified factories;<br />

meaning, everyone involved in the manufacture<br />

of Toddy T-shirts, from the cotton farmers to the<br />

distributors are paid fairly for their work.<br />

“Our entire production chain, from the sourcing of<br />

raw materials to manufacturing to the design stage is<br />

laced with love and compassion for mother earth and<br />

the people inhabiting this earth. The people involved<br />

in bringing a t-shirt from Toddy into existence are<br />

paid and treated fairly,” says Faya.<br />

What really sets them apart from other souvenir<br />

traders is the inspiration behind their artwork.<br />

The creators at Toddy are inspired by Maldivian<br />

mythology, marine life, arts and crafts as well as<br />

historical events. Faya, the creative director and cofounder<br />

who designs all the Toddy products, makes<br />

sure there’s a continuity of style and flow used in all<br />

the designs.<br />

“We plan to incorporate stories from the pre-Islamic<br />

as well as the pre-Buddhist era in the future that<br />

speak of rituals, and magic. It is no secret that the<br />

current historical records of Maldives are in a state<br />

of inadequacy,” adds Riya.<br />

The manufacturing process of Toddy apparel is quite<br />

a long and intricate process. First, new designs are<br />

created from which only the best are selected for a<br />

new batch. After discussing with their manufacturers<br />

in India, it’s time to print samples. It may take<br />

several weeks of running back and forth before<br />

finalising samples and then moving onto to the<br />

mass production stage which again, may take up to<br />

4-6 weeks. Finally, when the t-shirts are out of the<br />

factory process, each of the 2000-3000 t-shirts are<br />

checked individually, for quality and print alignments.<br />

31


07 / LOCAL ARTISANS<br />

Toddy products are available at its showroom in STO<br />

Trade Centre, as well as few guesthouses. Customers<br />

can view their designs and stories on their social<br />

media platforms (@weartoddy). Apart from clothing<br />

Toddy also sells several other souvenir products.<br />

Some of the products include reusable flasks,<br />

snapback trucker caps, beach towels and recently<br />

introduced premium virgin coconut oil.<br />

Running a business smooth and efficiently is not<br />

always as easy as it seems. Like other companies,<br />

Toddy also has had to face several major<br />

challenges. Lack of exposure to bigger markets and<br />

demographics being the main issue.<br />

“Lack of access to a prime location to showcase our<br />

products, difficulties in entering the resort market,<br />

showcasing at the airport (due to age-old monopolies<br />

by large souvenir selling companies), logistics, and oh<br />

yes, sky-rocketing rent... If there are easier financing<br />

facilities here [in the Maldives] it would help a lot of<br />

small and medium-sized companies,” adds Riyaz.<br />

The team behind Toddy has big plans for the<br />

future, including plans to expand its apparel line to<br />

include more beach accessories, and launching their<br />

online store. Moreover, they aim to make Toddy<br />

an internationally-recognised brand to spread the<br />

Maldivian stories across the globe and also provide<br />

a platform for more local artists to showcase their<br />

unique talents. #weartoddy #amaldivianstory<br />

Toddy Inc., STO Trade Centre,02-04,<br />

Orchid Magu, Malé, 20188, Maldives.<br />

M: (960) 778 8897<br />

E: info@weartoddy.com<br />

W: www.weartoddy.com<br />

32


HISTORY \ 08<br />

Evolution of the<br />

Dhivehi Language<br />

Rafil Mohamed<br />

Legend has it that supernatural beings inhabiting the Maldivian waters taught<br />

Maldivians how to speak and write Dhivehi. These beings that once ruled<br />

over these isles and oceans predicted that their kind was to fade away with<br />

the advent of the modern age. They feared their existence, so intertwined<br />

with nature, would disappear once man-made environmental degradation<br />

reached new heights. They believed that passing their language to the<br />

Maldivians would allow their memories to live on till the end of time. It is<br />

said that as long as we speak, read and write, their legacies would live on.<br />

Maybe, it’s no coincidence then, that we have so many words and phrases<br />

to describe the ocean and its features. Take for example the different words<br />

we have to describe different types of reefs; Thila, Giri, Faru and Haa<br />

can all mean reef, but of course, they refer to various types of reefs. Thila<br />

meaning an underwater pinnacle with a top reef deeper than five metres,<br />

generally speaking; Giri meaning a top reef shallower than five metres; Haa<br />

having a figure eight type shape with a depression in the middle; and Faru<br />

simply meaning reef, but in scuba diving terminology, generally referring to a<br />

fringing or house reef.<br />

33


08 / HISTORY<br />

It is also remarkable to note<br />

that we have Dhivehi names<br />

for each and every channel,<br />

lagoon, reef, sea and even<br />

surf-break. Our complex and<br />

vast terminology and vocabulary<br />

to describe anything related to the<br />

ocean aren’t that surprising, considering we are<br />

a people of the ocean.<br />

Our language has evolved over a period of 2000<br />

years, somewhat isolated from the rest of the world.<br />

Yet, when travellers hear me speak our language,<br />

they always say it sort of sounds like Hindi, Tamil<br />

or Sinhalese. They aren’t mistaken in assuming this<br />

as our language is an Indo-Aryan language derived<br />

from the Sanskrit script. However, with the influx of<br />

merchants, pirates, explorers and especially people<br />

who were shipwrecked from Indonesia, Arabia and<br />

Africa, our language is noted for having influences<br />

from these regions as well.<br />

Various academics note that Dhivehi has a written<br />

history of about 800 years. The earliest inscriptions<br />

being found from a coral stone called the Landhoo<br />

Gaa and the Loamaafaanu -- copper plates that<br />

served as a historical record. The inscriptions found<br />

on the Landhoo Gaa were from the earliest known<br />

script in Dhivehi called Eveyla Akuru. Eveyla Akuru<br />

was followed by Dhives Akuru and then Thaana<br />

-- the current script in existence. Eveyla Akuru and<br />

Dhives Akuru, written from left to right were said to<br />

resemble the Sinhala script of Sri Lanka.<br />

in the mid 20th century.<br />

It is said that when these<br />

Maldivians came back, they<br />

utilised a lot of Urdu and Arabic words in their<br />

writing. Furthermore, it was perfectly natural for the<br />

Arabic language to make its way into the language<br />

owing to the fact that the Maldives was a 100%<br />

Sunni Muslim nation, with increasing exposure to<br />

Arabic and Islamic culture, due to advancements and<br />

ease of travel.<br />

However, Thaana, written from right to left was<br />

brought about to accommodate Arabic words<br />

into the script. Furthermore, 11 new letters<br />

were introduced into the Thaana alphabet to<br />

represent Arabic phonemes. This Arabisation<br />

has been attributed to many Maldivians<br />

going abroad to study in India, Pakistan<br />

and in some Arab countries<br />

34


HISTORY \ 08<br />

It should be noted that the majority of<br />

the people who went overseas for studies came from<br />

the capital Malé, being generally members of the elite<br />

class. This was largely owing to the fact that most of<br />

the wealth was concentrated in Malé for hundreds<br />

of years. The dialect spoken in Malé and the central<br />

and northern atolls became known as Malé Bas<br />

-- Bas meaning language, the official dialect of the<br />

Maldives. Many say that this dialect is more refined<br />

and posh compared to the dialects in the south.<br />

Malé Bas also created four classes of speaking, one<br />

reserved for the Prophets and God called Maaiy<br />

Bas (Maaiy meaning Holy), one reserved for royals<br />

and blue-blooded Maldivians called Beyfulhu Bas<br />

(Beyfulhu meaning Nobles), a lesser version of<br />

the Beyfulhu Bas’<br />

reserved for senior<br />

Government<br />

officials and<br />

businessman who<br />

were not descendants<br />

of the Royal family, and one<br />

reserved for ordinary folk called<br />

Aadhaige Bas (Aadhaige meaning Ordinary).<br />

own unique dialects. Huvadhoo Atoll, being the<br />

largest atoll has a dialect called Huvadhoo Bas which<br />

sounds extremely Tamil-like. Personally speaking,<br />

this is the dialect hardest for me to comprehend and<br />

in it, I notice a lot of “Ta” and “Da” sounds when<br />

I hear it. Some say the dialect spoken in Huvadhoo<br />

resembles the original dialect in the Maldives.<br />

The dialect in Fuvahmulah is called Fuvahmulah<br />

Bas and to me sounds very laid-back. The dialect in<br />

Addu closely resembles Fuvahmulah Bas as well.<br />

It is worth noting that these three atolls were once<br />

part of a secession whereby the formed the nation<br />

called the “United Suvadive Republic” which lasted<br />

from 1959-1963. It is said that one of the main<br />

reasons for secession is the discontent build up over<br />

hundreds of years of oppression by the ruling Malé<br />

royal and elites. Furthermore, some have even gone<br />

so far as to suggest that the differences in dialect<br />

were also a factor in calls for secession, which was<br />

most likely is an exaggeration.<br />

The beautiful and rich language of the Maldives is<br />

intricately tied to the ocean and our neighbouring<br />

cultures. The differences in our own language from<br />

atoll to atoll offers a stunning insight into the history<br />

and culture of our country.<br />

However, this complex classification cannot<br />

be found in the deep south. Atolls<br />

such as Huvadhoo, Fuvahmulah<br />

and Addu have their<br />

35


09 / TRADITION<br />

An illustration of a traditional toddy tapper (palm wine collector)<br />

36


TRADITION \ 09<br />

A Day in the Life of<br />

a Toddy Tapper<br />

Fathmath Shama<br />

In 1572, Sultan Ali VI was fighting a losing battle with<br />

Portuguese invaders. Over on the island of Villingili<br />

near the capital, a toddy tapper was watching atop<br />

a coconut palm tree as the fighting raged on at the<br />

beach. Seeing the king appear thirsty, he swam to Malé<br />

and offered him a flask of toddy.<br />

Notwithstanding scepticism over the tapper’s<br />

telescopic vision, the legend has been taught to<br />

generations of school children. Whether in myth or<br />

folklore, toddy has always been a part of Maldivian<br />

history, as old and ubiquitous as the life-giving palm<br />

tree itself. During World War II, the sweet cloudywhite<br />

juice helped stave off widespread famine.<br />

Toddy is the essence of the palm tree. The juice is<br />

tapped from the inflorescences of mature coconut<br />

palms. After seven years on the job, Ismail Muaviath<br />

can attest that toddy tapping is hard work.<br />

He starts making the rounds after the dawn prayer.<br />

To reach the florets, he must glide up the bark of the<br />

thin palm tree. Some climbs are high, others just a few<br />

steps. He fastens wooden rungs with coir rope and<br />

puts a round Lhaambu, a support made with dried<br />

screw pine leaves between his ankles for sure footing<br />

during the ascent.<br />

When he reaches the palm flowers, he cuts off the tip<br />

of the floret stalk with his curved knife (Balhuvalhi),<br />

and wraps the bud sheath with coconut fibre. The<br />

sheath is then tapped with a special stick to draw the<br />

sap out. This has to be done three times a day for three<br />

days or more, depending on the tree, after which the<br />

tip is covered with ‘medicine’. Some use the healing<br />

powder at the base of the palm leaves, commonly used<br />

as an ointment for wounds. Others use lemon leaves<br />

or turmeric.<br />

37


09 / TRADITION<br />

When the palm starts producing sap, a Gudi (coconut<br />

shell bowl with a string) is attached to it. The pot<br />

slowly fills up over several hours. The tapper empties<br />

the pot three times a day. He pours them into<br />

Raabandhi’s (flasks made of coconut shells). These are<br />

hung on a Raa Dhandi (a stick that he carries over one<br />

shoulder with the vessels hanging on both ends). He<br />

carries them from tree to tree.<br />

A typical morning’s work goes on past lunchtime. It<br />

can be tiring. A tapper goes to bed late and rises early.<br />

He doesn’t get leave. A normal day involves climbing<br />

about fifteen trees. Ismail says he climbs about six a<br />

day now. It is hard work but he loves it. Tappers still<br />

earn a modest income and live a comfortable life.<br />

Toddy tappers of the past were famed for their<br />

reply when their wives asked what they wanted for<br />

lunch: “Coconut honey and whatever God gave me.”<br />

Not merely a thirst-quencher, toddy is also the base<br />

ingredient for the priced golden syrup that is coconut<br />

honey. Toddy is boiled down to a syrup on a wood<br />

fire, stirred until it thickens and turns a caramel colour.<br />

Fathuli Hakuru is another beloved product, a sticky<br />

coconut sugar wrapped in dried banana leaves.<br />

Curved knife or Balhuvalhi used by toddy tappers<br />

Demonstration of a toddy tapper at work on a palm tree<br />

Traditional Maldivian pot for collecting toddy<br />

38


TRADITION \ 09<br />

Toddy tapper on a palm tree<br />

Evening toddy is said to taste best as it is fresher. This<br />

natural energiser does not last long though. If left<br />

overnight, it turns into vinegar. Left longer, it ferments<br />

and turns into toddy wine. It had to be consumed<br />

fresh in the past. Nowadays, some tappers sell toddy<br />

in plastic bottles, refrigerated. Its Dhivehi name Ruku<br />

Raa also translates as the wine of the palm. Toddy<br />

wine is popular in neighbouring South Asian countries<br />

as well as the Caribbean and Africa. In Sri Lanka, it’s<br />

also called Raa.<br />

Ismail says that younger generations aren’t interested<br />

to learn. “I try to get younger people to learn, but they<br />

are lazy. Toddy tapping isn’t for lazy people. You have<br />

to climb every day, no matter the weather.”<br />

It used to be that each island had at least one toddy<br />

tapper. The craft was passed down from father to<br />

son. But now, there is a handful remaining in every<br />

atoll. In a few years, Ismail won’t be able to make the<br />

climb. No one will pick up his Raa Dhandi when he’s<br />

gone. Coconut sugar and toddy are becoming more<br />

expensive every year. Around Eid festivals, sugar prices<br />

soar as high as MVR500 for a jar. Even then, they sell<br />

out fast.<br />

There aren’t many tappers left anymore. Some still<br />

do it out of habit as a labour of love. Like everything<br />

old, the art is dying. And so, Ismail and his friends sit<br />

on their joalis thinking about the good old days, when<br />

palm trees were aplenty, and the air was cooler, craving<br />

for a glass of toddy to quench their thirst.<br />

The collection of ‘toddy’ from native palm trees is<br />

carried out seasonally at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu,<br />

and made available to guests in an effort to revive this<br />

fading tradition and culture of Maldivian society.<br />

39


10 / BOOK REVIEW<br />

Folk Tales of<br />

the Maldives<br />

by Xavier Romero-Frias<br />

Fathmath Shafa<br />

The book Folk Tales of the Maldives is not just an ordinary<br />

story collection. It is the first of its kind and remains to<br />

be the biggest written collection of Dhivehi folk tales<br />

and myths.<br />

Folk Tales of the Maldives, published in 2012, is a<br />

compilation of Maldivian folk tales by Xavier Romero-<br />

Frias. The short stories in this collection illustrates the<br />

lifestyle, culture and history of the<br />

Maldivians.<br />

Xavier Romero-Frias is a Spanish<br />

writer and scholar who dedicated<br />

a period of 13 years, to live in and<br />

study the Maldives, its local life,<br />

culture, and history. He began his<br />

work in 1979, a time when many of<br />

the ancestral customs were rapidly<br />

diminishing due to the increase of<br />

standardised Islamic education and<br />

modernisation.<br />

In order to carry out the studies<br />

he learned two dialects of<br />

Dhivehi language and gained a deep<br />

understanding of the written form as well. During<br />

his stay, he built close connections with elder people and<br />

storytellers which helped him to compile stories from<br />

all parts of the country. His collection of Maldivian folk<br />

tales was the very first of its kind as no such compilation<br />

in print was made before his book.<br />

The author begins the book with a preface explaining<br />

what motivated him to write the book and how he<br />

worked towards accomplishing his book. Following that<br />

the author provides a helpful list of Maldivian names<br />

and next to it a glossary of Dhivehi words with their<br />

meanings in English. In the introduction of the book,<br />

Xavier gives a brief but elaborate insight on Maldivian<br />

folk tales and popular literature in Dhivehi language. His<br />

view on the oral tradition of storytelling in the Maldives<br />

was found to be particularly eye-opening.<br />

Folk Tales of the Maldives consists of a total of 80<br />

different stories across the six main genres that<br />

commonly occur in Maldivian folklore and storytelling<br />

tradition. These include tales of spirits or monsters,<br />

fairy-tale style myths, stories with humorous<br />

characters, fables with animals, sea-faring stories, and<br />

chronicles of semi-historical events.<br />

Along with the short stories Xavier included maps,<br />

photos and illustrations. From these, the illustrations<br />

which he himself painted were notably very appealing<br />

to the eyes and displayed very clear representations of<br />

various characters and incidents that the readers come<br />

across in the book.<br />

The Folk Tales of the Maldives uses a very clear and<br />

unambiguous language. The writer’s choice of words<br />

is simple and vividly describes complicated concepts,<br />

in the recollections. He emphasises his<br />

own views in the former chapters of<br />

the book. However, he presented the<br />

stories with a neutral tone and focuses<br />

more on his role as a narrator of the<br />

stories. He uses a semi-formal style as<br />

his purpose is both to educate as well as<br />

to entertain his audience.<br />

It was noted that all the important<br />

concepts in the book were defined<br />

elaborately. He has used numerous<br />

Dhivehi words throughout his storytelling<br />

and included them in the footnotes, with<br />

additional information, which is vital<br />

for the comprehension of the stories<br />

(especially if the reader is not familiar<br />

with the stories or Maldivian culture).<br />

Folk Tales of the Maldives is a treasure of knowledge<br />

for anyone who is interested in exploring beyond the<br />

natural beauty of the archipelago and learn a bit about<br />

the history, traditions and beliefs of the unique island<br />

communities. This is a good book to sit or lie down<br />

with and let your mind take you to a world where you<br />

may come across an unsightly and scary monster or<br />

a beautiful and kind fairy, a silly fellow that will make<br />

you chuckle, the humanised lifestyle of animals who<br />

inhabit the islands and of course, the many gripping<br />

adventures at the sea.<br />

40


FOLKLORE \ 11<br />

Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu and<br />

the First Tuna<br />

Inspired by the tale of “The First Tuna’’ written by Xavier Romero Frias in his book<br />

‘’The Maldives Islanders: A study of the popular culture of an ancient kingdom.”<br />

Rafil Mohamed<br />

The island Feridhoo in Ari Atoll was experiencing a prolonged poor season<br />

for fishing. Fishing was so bad that dried and salted fish stocks were now<br />

running out. According to local legends, such prolonged periods were the<br />

result of powerful black magic done by a rival island. The only way to end<br />

the spell was for a fishing crew of the island to travel to the rival island and<br />

make an offering, or if their magic was stronger, challenge and overpower<br />

the spell. The most skilled sailor on Feridhoo was a man called Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu, who also happened to be the island shaman. He was tasked<br />

to travel to the rival island, and he used an incantation to find out which<br />

island was responsible for the curse.<br />

41


11 / FOLKLORE<br />

However, he was troubled by the fact that the<br />

incantation did not reveal which island it was.<br />

Nevertheless, he did not wish to tell the rest of the<br />

islanders about this as it might break their spirits. He<br />

knew something was responsible for this lull and the<br />

white magic he did that day instructed him to venture<br />

out into deep oceanic waters to find the answers and<br />

help solve the problem. So by the break of dawn, he<br />

gathered his crew and set out at first light.<br />

It was a balmy morning on the second day of<br />

Dhinasha, the fifth “nakaiyy” of the North-Easterly<br />

monsoon. (Nakaiyy is the term given to 12 day periods<br />

that demark a specific weather pattern). Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu, once out at deeper ocean waters, saw a<br />

Mahi Mahi and this being a favourite of his,<br />

gave chase on his speedy Dhoani -- the<br />

name given to traditional Maldivian boats.<br />

He felt that starting the day on a high note<br />

would be the perfect motivation for his quest.<br />

As he was chasing the fish, he suddenly chanced upon<br />

a large school of tuna. No Maldivian had ever seen<br />

tuna until that day and Bodu Niyami Thakurufaanu<br />

stood in awe, eyes wide and mouth agape. The entire<br />

crew shared his bewilderment and stood in stunned<br />

silence. The shoal appeared to have sensed that they<br />

were being watched and seemed to stay motionless, as<br />

if they were looking back at them.<br />

Suddenly, Bodu Niyami Thakurufaanu awakened<br />

from his trance and bellowed at his crew to change<br />

course and rush towards the tuna. A voice in his head<br />

told him that this shoal was the cause of the bad<br />

fishing season. However, as soon as the boat changed<br />

course, the shoal sprung into action and darted away<br />

42


FOLKLORE \ 11<br />

at lightning speed. Nevertheless, the vessel of Bodu<br />

Niyami Thakurufaanu was no ordinary boat, as it had<br />

magic and surprises up its sleeves.<br />

Going against the wind, defying the laws of physics it<br />

was able to keep up with the tuna and followed closely<br />

behind. What the crew did not realise was that their<br />

esteemed captain was not a person to ever give up on<br />

a chase. Nor that this was not a shoal that would dive<br />

towards the depths anytime soon; 80 days and nights<br />

to be exact.<br />

Their mystical voyage made them travel to the end of<br />

the world where many a vessel was said to have slid<br />

off and shipwrecked onto celestial reefs. All sailors<br />

knew of the perils of going over the edge and seeing<br />

that the shoal was not about to give up, Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu decided to resort to Maldivian White<br />

Magic. He took out a piece of bamboo parchment<br />

paper and drew the outline of the tuna with magical<br />

symbols around it. He then uttered a prayer, rolled the<br />

piece of paper and slid it inside a small flask.<br />

He instructed the crew to turn back and that it was<br />

time to head home. To everyone’s surprise, the tuna<br />

appeared to follow them back. However, Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu told the crew that no one was to ever<br />

look back or set their gaze upon the shoal at any time<br />

during their return journey. The crew, knowing full<br />

well the wrath, as well as the wisdom of Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu, obeyed.<br />

The crew kept sailing, again without food, water or<br />

sleep. Through oceans of ice, lava, and pure vapour.<br />

None of what they saw scared or astonished them.<br />

Their hearts and minds were bewitched by the tuna<br />

and not even the moon parting would have had an<br />

effect on them. Finally, home was right on the horizon,<br />

those glittery pearls with heavenly greens glazed on top<br />

were on sight. Just as they were about to enter through<br />

the channel, a giant crab rose up from the depths.<br />

The crew were not prepared for a fight, as they had<br />

left their spears and harpoons at home. Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu surrendered and bargained for their<br />

lives, to which the crab replied that it didn’t want to<br />

eat the crew, it wanted that magical shoal of tuna<br />

following them. Now, most people would have been<br />

relieved by this and would happily move out of the<br />

crab’s way, but not Bodu Niyami Thakurufaanu. He<br />

slid the flask that he was guarding with his life into<br />

the hands of one of the crew and instructed them to<br />

go close to the crab. Once they came within a hair’s<br />

breadth, Bodu Niyami Thakurufaanu sprang towards<br />

it with a small filleting knife that had hidden, and<br />

screamed at his crew to flee.<br />

As the crew sailed away, they saw the crab slowly sink<br />

with Bodu Niyami Thakurufaanu wedged between one<br />

of its pincers, but to their relief, the shoal was safe and<br />

kept following them. Once on shore, the crew went to<br />

the south side of the island and as instructed by their<br />

captain, uttered a prayer and threw the flask into the<br />

ocean. They sensed that the lull in fishing was going to<br />

be no more.<br />

However, more remarkably, it is said that from that day<br />

forth, tuna inhabited the deeper oceans and became<br />

abundant for fishermen to catch for generations<br />

to come. Furthermore, no black magic could work<br />

against tuna and the islanders stopped fearing that<br />

black magic would be used against fishing.<br />

43


11 / FOLKLORE<br />

It is also said that not long after that day, Bodu Niyami<br />

Thakurufaanu visited the crew in their dreams in the<br />

form of a tuna. He told them to wade into the lagoon<br />

at dawn the next day if they wished to experience a<br />

new life. All of the crew answered the call, and as soon<br />

as they put their feet in the water, they all turned into<br />

tuna and swam out into the distant horizon.<br />

44


NATURES GIFT \ 12<br />

Flowers of<br />

Maldives<br />

Fathimath Shafa<br />

Viha Langondi/Handi Maa<br />

(Climbing Lily / Glory Lily )<br />

This solitary flower which originated from sub-Saharan<br />

Africa is grown in homes for its high ornamental value.<br />

It can also be sighted in forests and open areas. These<br />

climbers thrive in fertile well-drained soil and prefer<br />

partial sun. Typically, they cling on to a nearby plant or<br />

support structure to climb and can reach a height of<br />

about eight feet.<br />

The flower has long ruffled petals that curl backwards<br />

that are yellowish near the base and reddish towards<br />

the tip of the petals. The flowers are used as<br />

ornaments; worn on the hair and used in bouquets<br />

and decorations. Despite its beauty, it has quite a<br />

notorious reputation. All parts of the plant contain<br />

toxic alkaloids which can be fatal if ingested. However,<br />

the tubers of the plants are eaten, after thoroughly<br />

removing the toxins. Many locals also believe the plant<br />

to be haunted and there are many scary superstitions<br />

associated with the red flower. But this does not stop<br />

Maldivians from growing the plant in their gardens.<br />

45


12 / NATURE’S GIFT<br />

Feeru Muranga<br />

(Hummingbird Tree Flower)<br />

The hummingbird tree is native to<br />

tropical Asia and Australia. In less<br />

populous islands in the Maldives,<br />

this plant can be found in most<br />

homesteads. They grow well in<br />

tropical sunny environments. The<br />

hummingbird tree is a fast grower<br />

and can reach a height of eight<br />

metres.<br />

It flowers in groups of two to four<br />

and looks somewhat like a gathering<br />

of hummingbirds. The oblongshaped<br />

flowers are 7.5 to 10 cm<br />

long with velvety petals and come<br />

in shades of red pink or white. The<br />

flower is used in Maldivian cuisines.<br />

Karankaa<br />

(Butterfly Ginger Lily / White Ginger Lily)<br />

Coming from the Himalayas and<br />

southern China, the white butterfly<br />

ginger lily grows best in tropical<br />

conditions. Partial shade and organically<br />

rich soil are ideal for healthy growth. It<br />

belongs to the Zingerberaceae family<br />

and is, therefore, a true ginger.<br />

The white butterfly ginger lily blossoms<br />

in dense spikes that can be measured<br />

up to six feet. In full bloom, the flowers<br />

are white with a yellowish blotch at the<br />

centre and are shaped like a butterfly.<br />

Each flower lasts for only a single day.<br />

White ginger lilies are well known for<br />

its fragrance. The essential oil extracted<br />

from the flower has been used in<br />

fragrance oils and perfumes for many<br />

decades. In the past, this flower was<br />

used to decorate children’s hair on<br />

special occasions. It is widely grown as<br />

an ornamental plant in the Maldives.<br />

46


NATURES GIFT \ 12<br />

Fen Oakidu<br />

(Water Hyacinth)<br />

These flowers can be sighted in logged marshy areas<br />

and are native to South America. This floating aquatic<br />

plant grows two metres above and one metre below<br />

water. Although the plant is known for keeping the<br />

water clean and providing food and shelter for some<br />

aquatic creatures, it is quite notorious for being an<br />

invasive plant species. The growth of the plant, if<br />

not controlled, can lead to deoxygenation, ultimately<br />

killing other aquatic organisms. For this reason, the<br />

cultivation of water hyacinth is banned in many parts<br />

of the world.<br />

The petal arrangement of the flowers is similar to<br />

orchids. Their resemblance to orchids led them to be<br />

named Fen Oakidu -- literally meaning water orchid.<br />

The flowers have six petals (three petal-like sepals and<br />

three petals) that are lilac in colour and tinged with<br />

blue. The flowers bloom in spikes or clusters in the<br />

leaf axils, each bearing eight to ten flowers.<br />

Malaafaiy<br />

(Wild Poinsettia)<br />

It was not until recently that Maldivians noticed<br />

the ornamental value of this flower that can be<br />

usually found growing in the wild, in forest areas,<br />

and has roots to north and central America. The<br />

wild poinsettia is not a picky plant. It can grow in<br />

moist or dry environments and is satisfied with<br />

less fertile soil. The size of the shrub may vary<br />

depending on the moisture and fertility of the soil.<br />

A fun fact about this flower is that it is not a true<br />

flower. Malaafaiy, though it is homonymous to the<br />

name given to the traditional lacquered box that is<br />

used to serve food on special occasions, actually<br />

means ‘flower leaf.’ This is because the leaves at the<br />

top sprigs of the shrub form coloured bracts that<br />

are often mistaken for flower petals. The actual<br />

flower of the plant is found in groups within small<br />

yellow structures found inside each leaf bunch and<br />

are not attractive to pollinators or people alike. The<br />

leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat gut<br />

and skin ailments.<br />

47


12 / NATURE’S GIFT<br />

Neelofaru<br />

(Sacred Blue Water Lily)<br />

Originally from North Africa, the<br />

sacred blue water lily is grown for its<br />

ornamental value. However, it can also<br />

be found occasionally in small lakes and<br />

water bodies located in some of the<br />

islands. They are well known for their<br />

aroma which is famous for its soothing<br />

effect.<br />

Often mistaken for lotus, the flowers bloom<br />

during the day and are cup-shaped with four<br />

to five sepals and thirteen to fifteen petals<br />

that form a spiral arrangement, making them<br />

appear to be star-shaped when viewed from<br />

above. The blue water lily has high medical<br />

and cosmetological benefits. They were eaten –<br />

boiled or roasted – to treat diarrhoea, dysentery<br />

dipsia and general debility. The flower was also<br />

used to make ointment and soaps as they had<br />

noticeable skin healing properties.<br />

Javaahiru<br />

(Bauhinia Flower / Orchid Tree Flower)<br />

The Javaahiru Maa (literally meaning<br />

diamond flower) or bauhinia tree<br />

flower is a delicate orchid-like flower<br />

that is usually 10 to 15 cm across<br />

which is native to South China and<br />

South East Asia. It is deciduous in<br />

the dry seasons and grows up to 10<br />

to 12 meters. The tree is popular as<br />

an ornamental evergreen and can<br />

brighten up any landscape.<br />

When they flower, the trees blossom<br />

with showy masses of sweet-scented<br />

flowers. Although they come in<br />

purple, pink, magenta, and white,<br />

in the Maldives they are commonly<br />

found in a light shade of purple,<br />

tinged with bright pink.<br />

48


PROFILE \ 13<br />

Shaziya ‘Saazu’ Saeed<br />

Living the Blues as a Veteran of the Seas<br />

Fathimath Shafa<br />

Despite her family’s reservations about the sea, and not<br />

being able to explore the water when she was young,<br />

Shaziya ‘Saazu’ Saeed’s love for the sea led her to<br />

become a self-taught swimmer and later, a professional<br />

diver/diving instructor as well as an enthusiastic surfer.<br />

Immediately after learning to swim, Saazu took to<br />

surfing along with her friends. With the support of her<br />

family, especially her parents, she pursued her passion<br />

for the ocean.<br />

Her pursuit led her to discover a dive centre in her<br />

neighbourhood, which is owned by Shaahina Ali, a<br />

veteran female dive instructor, where she did her open<br />

water dive course. Later she received an opportunity<br />

from a local institution, which led her to complete a<br />

professional diving instructor development course<br />

in 2002 and became the third woman to qualify as a<br />

diving instructor in the country.<br />

For Saazu, the best thing about being a diving<br />

instructor is that she gets to choose from different<br />

locations, and where to explore next. “Weather does<br />

play a role. You get strong or mild currents, bad<br />

visibility, rain or sunshine. But you must make your<br />

clients satisfied and you get clients who want to see<br />

large or small marine life. I love to show them the<br />

beauty of the underwater world more than teaching<br />

them how to dive,” she says.<br />

Even as a busy professional diver, Saazu still makes<br />

time to hit the waves. For her, surfing is a passion<br />

rather than a career. She says, “I never plan to stop<br />

surfing. It’s a passion. And it is what I do to keep<br />

myself going. That’s the first thing I want to begin the<br />

day with.”<br />

49


13 / PROFILE<br />

Her dedication to surfing was seen from her<br />

contributions as the Vice President of the Maldives<br />

Surfing Association. When the Raalhugandu surf<br />

point in Malé was threatened by the construction<br />

of the Sinamalé Bridge, she, along with other local<br />

surfers convinced the government to preserve and<br />

protect some of the surf points. “Surfers need a<br />

playground and a national stadium since it’s a sport<br />

which Maldivians should be proud of, with all the<br />

achievements that we get from it.”<br />

After resigning from her post at the Maldives Surfing<br />

Association, she was appointed as the Vice President<br />

of the Divers Association of Maldives. In her role<br />

as the Vice President of the association, she has<br />

numerous plans in store for the future, to elevate the<br />

status of diving, in the Maldives.<br />

Now married to a water sports professional and as<br />

a mother of a four-year-old girl, Saazu has given<br />

up her full-time career and works part-time as a<br />

diving professional. Even so, she is very active in<br />

contributing to recreational activities and ocean<br />

awareness.<br />

She co-founded the Raalhu Edhuru programme<br />

with the aim of teaching young children the basic<br />

techniques of surfing and helping them develop a<br />

love for the marine environment. Over the past three<br />

years, they have taught participants totalling over 100<br />

children from different atolls in the Maldives.<br />

Other than providing her expertise for resorts, she<br />

runs a water sports centre with her husband. From<br />

time to time, she additionally helps her friend with<br />

her dive centre, Moodhubulhaa. Being more in touch<br />

with the ocean than most people, Saazu has a special<br />

love for the sea and feels obligated to protect it.<br />

“The thought of the new generation, of our kids not<br />

being able to experience what we experienced is very<br />

sad. I hope that each and every one of us starts to<br />

make a change and save the environment before it is<br />

too late,” she notes.<br />

50


PROFILE \ 13<br />

Saazu is a committed<br />

environmentalist who is very<br />

dedicated to practising what she<br />

preaches. She has taken part in<br />

various awareness programmes<br />

such as Stand Up for Our Seas:<br />

paddling across Baa Atoll to raise<br />

awareness on the dire effects of<br />

plastic pollution – with the support<br />

of Coco Collection – and FaruKoe<br />

programme: a campaign supported<br />

by the government to show school<br />

children the beauty of coral reefs<br />

and to increase their interest in<br />

protecting them.<br />

The catastrophe of plastic pollution,<br />

if not dealt with properly, may<br />

also have adverse impacts on the<br />

country’s tourism industry where<br />

underwater excursions are sought<br />

after greatly from the tourists<br />

flocking to the Maldives. “Plastic<br />

pollution and human destruction<br />

are the challenges faced by people in<br />

diving (as a profession). Awareness<br />

programmes and showing the<br />

51


13 / PROFILE<br />

environment and giving the<br />

opportunity to many people will<br />

make some effect,” she says.<br />

As an explorer of the sea, one<br />

is bound to come across an<br />

exhilarating experience more than<br />

once. “There was this one time<br />

where we were in the middle of a<br />

dive and a really bad storm hit as we<br />

surfaced. And it was such a hurdle<br />

getting everyone from different<br />

spots and getting them back in the<br />

boat. Even when we were in the<br />

boat, the storm was so bad that the<br />

windows started breaking and we<br />

were just trying to keep everyone<br />

safe,” Saazu recalls.<br />

taking the entire responsibility<br />

for your clients and making them<br />

satisfied. But it’s the most rewarding<br />

at the end of the day,” she adds.<br />

As one of the most esteemed<br />

divers in the country, Saazu sets an<br />

example for young people, especially<br />

women, who are interested in<br />

pursuing careers in diving and<br />

water sports activities to follow<br />

their passion and working hard to<br />

accomplish fruition in their efforts.<br />

Even though she enjoys her career<br />

as a professional diver, she admits<br />

that it is not as simple as it sounds.<br />

“I had the opportunity to work<br />

with lots of experienced local dive<br />

professionals, got local knowledge<br />

and learnt a lot from them. It’s not<br />

the easiest job, to please everyone<br />

and giving your full attention while<br />

52


GADGETS \ 14<br />

Smartwatches<br />

Ahmed Afrah<br />

Since the launch of the world’s first smartwatch, the Linux wrist watch by<br />

Steve Mann in 2000, smartwatch technology has come a long way. Today,<br />

the market has an abundance of smart watches by some of the major highend<br />

brands such as Apple, Samsung and many more. With their advanced<br />

technology, smart watches have evolved from handy gadgets to necessary<br />

tools to carry around with you everywhere you go.<br />

The latest generation of smart watches come with compatibility, display,<br />

interface, apps, fitness features, battery life, and pricing suited for consumers<br />

with a diverse range of preferences.<br />

Apple Watch Series 4<br />

Another thing that can be noticed<br />

is that the new Apple Watch Series<br />

4 offers bigger displays with their<br />

40mm and 44mm cases. The cases<br />

are also thinner compared to the<br />

previous versions.<br />

The latest additions to the Apple<br />

Watch Series come with noticeable<br />

improvements in its aesthetics.<br />

There is the silver stainless steel<br />

Apple Watch Series 4 and the space<br />

black which is a super dark finish.<br />

Apple has also introduced a gold<br />

stainless steel finish which looks<br />

absolutely gorgeous when paired<br />

with the matching Milanese loop.<br />

The new Apple Watch Series 4<br />

chipset includes a 64 bit dual-core<br />

processor that’s twice as fast as its<br />

predecessor, and W3 the Apple<br />

wireless chip. Connectivity of the<br />

watch is assured by LTE and UMTS 2<br />

for GPS and cellular models, a<br />

Wi-Fi connectivity of 802.11b/g/n<br />

2.4GHz and Bluetooth 5.0.<br />

What makes the new Apple Watch<br />

a must-have is the health feature<br />

backed up by its enhanced sensors.<br />

The Apple Watch can read and<br />

record the electrical impulses sent by<br />

heartbeats by connecting the circuit<br />

between your heart and both arms.<br />

53


14 / GADGETS<br />

Samsung Galaxy Watch<br />

With their new smart watch,<br />

Samsung puts durability above<br />

everything else. In fact, the smart<br />

watches are designed to have<br />

military grade durability with high<br />

swim-ready water resistance, and<br />

a Gorilla DR+ scratch resistant<br />

screen. Plus it has a longer battery<br />

life (230mAh) than its predecessors.<br />

The processor in the watch is called<br />

the Samsung Exynos processor<br />

which according to Samsung allows<br />

for ultra-low power consumption<br />

and ultra-advanced functionalities<br />

while keeping its ultra- mini size.<br />

Samsung Exynos processor also<br />

permits a more diverse range of<br />

connectivity. Besides connectivity<br />

across Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GNSS,<br />

it is possible to connect to a LTE<br />

cellular modem and connect to<br />

Muse Wearables<br />

Muse Wearables is a luxury hybrid<br />

smart watch equipped to track UV<br />

rays. It also allows camera control<br />

for taking hands-free photos and<br />

automatic time zone updates,<br />

making it a traveller’s best friend.<br />

Apart from activity and sleep<br />

tracking, the Muse Watch has an<br />

impressive fitness feature which is<br />

run by the Muse App. Muse app<br />

has a fitness and nutrition AI that<br />

interprets data collected by the<br />

watch and provides personalised<br />

coaching.<br />

Perhaps the most remarkable<br />

thing about the Muse Watch is the<br />

stunning analogue design. From<br />

its smooth sapphire-coated glass<br />

and luxurious leather strap to the<br />

intricate indices, the watch poses as<br />

a stylish and timeless accessory.<br />

the internet without tethering to a<br />

smartphone or a Wi-Fi connection.<br />

The new Samsung Galaxy<br />

Smartwatch can be paired with both<br />

Android and iOS smartphones. You<br />

can also connect the watch to your<br />

home devices.<br />

Maintaining the smartwatch<br />

tradition, the Samsung Galaxy<br />

Smartwatch is an efficient health<br />

monitor for sleep, blood pressure,<br />

exercise as well as stress.<br />

54


GADGETS \ 14<br />

PowerWatch 2 by MATRIX<br />

establish a reputation as the smart<br />

watch that you never have to charge.<br />

Fully updated with new features<br />

such as heart monitoring, GPS<br />

location tracking, and colour display,<br />

the all new PowerWatch 2 by<br />

MATRIX is a smartwatch of many<br />

remarkable features that cannot<br />

be found in any other watch. The<br />

watch is designed with MATRIX’s<br />

most advanced thermoelectric and<br />

solar technology. This technology<br />

helps to convert body heat into<br />

ambient light to power itself. This<br />

technology helped PowerWatch to<br />

The always on-board GPS makes<br />

this watch the ultimate tool for<br />

mapping out a run, hike, ride, or<br />

a swim with the PowerWatch 2<br />

companion app. The app also helps<br />

to track pace, distance, steps, sleep,<br />

cadence and more.<br />

The PowerWatch 2 comes in two<br />

editions. The PowerWatch 2 Luxe<br />

Edition comes with sapphire glass<br />

and 22mm shark fin Milanese strap<br />

and quick release butterfly buckle.<br />

The PowerWatch 2 Premium<br />

Edition also comes with a sapphire<br />

glass and quick release butterfly<br />

strap, but with a stainless steel metal<br />

strap.<br />

Fossil Gen 4 Explorist<br />

While Fossil still has yet to rise up<br />

to the top level in the smart watch<br />

race, the new Fossil watch is not<br />

short of technology especially when<br />

it comes to its fitness tech. The<br />

addition of NFC, GPS, and optical<br />

heart rate sensor is an upgrade to<br />

the previous version of the watch.<br />

This new addition makes the Fossil<br />

Gen 4 compatible with Android and<br />

iOS devices unlike its predecessors.<br />

The new upgrades enable the<br />

watch to track heart rates, perform<br />

contactless payments, and track runs<br />

and rides.<br />

The Fossil Gen 4 smartwatch is a<br />

more affordable smartwatch with<br />

a high aesthetic appeal, stocked<br />

with just the right amount of smart<br />

watch technology.<br />

The Gen 4 Explorist is also<br />

waterproof to 50m so that you can<br />

keep it on in the shower and use it<br />

to track swims.<br />

55


15 / CULTURE & HERITAGE<br />

Kalhuvakaru Miskiy<br />

The travelling mosque<br />

Neefeen Ibrahim<br />

For centuries, people have enriched their lives with<br />

myths and tales which had been passed on from<br />

generation to generation. Though most of these myths<br />

do not demonstrate any credible source of origin, they<br />

are believed to be associated with ancient history.<br />

Such imaginative narratives inspire most societies<br />

and these tales are preserved and they endure for<br />

thousands of years. The Maldives, the picturesque lowlying<br />

gem of the Indian Ocean, is rich with interesting<br />

authentic tales along with creative myths.<br />

Here is a tale of a feud between two dynasties in<br />

the history of the Maldives, who played a role in the<br />

creation of the unique and distinguished Kalhuvakaru<br />

Miskiy. Translating to “the mosque made from ebony<br />

wood,” the mosque is also informally known as the<br />

“travelling mosque”.<br />

During the 16th Century, Sultan Muhammad<br />

Ghiyaasuddin ruled the Maldives. He was a King from<br />

the Dhiyamiligi Dynasty. When the Sultan departed to<br />

perform his Hajj pilgrimage, Mariyam Kan’baa, a sister<br />

of the King, became the regent of the Maldives.<br />

Meanwhile, Huravee Dynasty, the former rulers, was<br />

looking out for a fortuity to restore the throne back to<br />

them. So as to defeat the interim Queen and seize the<br />

throne, Huraagey Mohamed Manikufaan; (later known<br />

as Sultan Muhammad Shamsuddin II) went to battle,<br />

dethroning the Dhiyamigili Dynasty. Upon ascending the<br />

throne, Sultan Muhammad Shamsuddin II seized all<br />

the palaces and buildings that belonged to the previous<br />

empire.<br />

56


CULTURE & HERITAGE \ 15<br />

During the seizures, Sultan Shamsuddin II vowed to<br />

build a mosque out of the ebony wood (Kalhuvakaru)<br />

used in the palace of King Ibrahim; a King from the<br />

dethroned reign. With that being declared, his men<br />

began to build the mosque. However, it took over 10<br />

years to build and complete this masterpiece.<br />

The mosque was built using three types of materials.<br />

While the internal structure was built with ebony<br />

wood from the palace, coral stones were used for the<br />

exterior. In addition to the comprehensive amount of<br />

ebony wood, the mosque also comprises of mahogany<br />

wood in the interiors. The architectural marvel of<br />

this mosque makes it a historical masterpiece even in<br />

modern times.<br />

57


15 / CULTURE & HERITAGE<br />

This admirable archaeological masterpiece has been<br />

one of the most popular tourist attractions for as long<br />

as tourism has been established. This mosque is a place<br />

of great significance to the heritage of the Maldives.<br />

It has got unique features, which are solely exclusive to<br />

this mosque.<br />

Kalhuvakaru Miskiy is the only mosque in the<br />

Maldives which has been built with ebony wood – one<br />

of the most expensive woods in the world. This wood<br />

is well known for its richness with its hard texture,<br />

solid denseness and durability. The wood used in<br />

Kalhuvakaru Miskiy is over 500 years old, although the<br />

mosque is only a little bit over 200 years old. However,<br />

with regular maintenance and proper treatment, the<br />

wood is as good as new even today.<br />

Another unique feature of this mosque is that it is<br />

built using Galu Vadaan – stone carving and Dhaafen<br />

Kurun – a technique which is exclusive to the Maldives.<br />

This technique means that the mosque was built<br />

with an interlocking system where the pieces can be<br />

embedded like a puzzle. Hence, this allows the mosque<br />

to be assembled, disassembled, and reassembled easily.<br />

Evidently, this is the secret behind the remarkable<br />

“travelling mosque.”<br />

Since the mosque came into existence, it has been<br />

relocated several times over its history. The mosque<br />

spent over 200 years in its debut location. However,<br />

the third location, which was inside the Sultan Park in<br />

Male’, has been the most prominent and recent venue<br />

for the mosque. In 2016, the mosque was yet again<br />

dismantled with a plan to assemble it again in a future<br />

location.<br />

Before the mosque was dismantled, it had been serving<br />

the community for decades as a place of worship. In<br />

order to ensure that the historical monument does not<br />

wither away with the sands of time, and to honour<br />

its long history, work to restore and re-establish the<br />

mosque in its full glory is currently underway. This<br />

unique historical monument is still currently resting in<br />

storage as we anxiously await its reappearance.<br />

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SPOTLIGHT \ 16<br />

Kandumathi<br />

The Collection 2.0<br />

Fathimath Shafa<br />

Kandumathi is a Maldivian swimwear label that gets its inspiration from<br />

the natural environment and the Maldivian culture. Founded in London by<br />

Maldivian siblings Yasra and Yusree Jaleel in 2016, the brand works with local<br />

designers who create designs with watercolour paintings. The brand launched its<br />

first collection which featured designs inspired by sea crab, screw pine, and sea<br />

hibiscus.<br />

Following its debut, the brand has recently released their second collection<br />

with sea shells as a design inspiration. The designs incorporate colourful and<br />

elaborate patterns on seashells found in the Maldives. Like their first collection,<br />

the new collection includes three swimsuits and three bikinis displaying Marla,<br />

Chithara and Rindheli designs.<br />

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16 / SPOTLIGHT<br />

Marla<br />

Marla is based on Conidae, commonly<br />

known as Cone Shell. Though the<br />

image design is inspired by cone shells<br />

commonly found on the Maldivian<br />

beaches, it is named after actor Helena<br />

Bonham Carter’s character Marla, from<br />

the movie Fight Club. The colours<br />

and the patterns in the cone shells are<br />

interesting and breathtaking.<br />

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SPOTLIGHT \ 16<br />

Chithara<br />

Based on the Veneridae or the Venus<br />

Clam, one of the most colourful bivalve<br />

species found in the oceans, Chitara is<br />

named after a character from the 80s<br />

cartoon series, the Thunder Cats. Chitara<br />

includes one of the most elaborate<br />

patterns in the collection.<br />

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16 / SPOTLIGHT<br />

Rindheli<br />

Rindheli is the Dhivehi name given<br />

for Cardiidae or Cockles. Rindheli by<br />

Kandumathi illustrates detailed and<br />

intricate patterns found on cockles.<br />

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SPOTLIGHT \ 16<br />

Contact<br />

Kandumathi<br />

Instagram: @kandumathi<br />

Email: info@kandumathi.com<br />

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17 / COCO RECOMMENDS<br />

Books<br />

Normal People<br />

by Sally Rooney<br />

New York Times bestseller. Longlisted for the Man Baker prize<br />

Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron meet as teens. Both are star<br />

students, but Marianne is an outcast raised in material wealth and emotional<br />

poverty, by her mother. Connell, on the other hand, is the popular kid at the<br />

school and is from the lower middle class. He has only his wonderful mother<br />

who is a cleaning lady to nurture him. Although there is an intimate connection<br />

between the two, Connell fears that his social standing will erode if other<br />

people came to know about his association with the unpopular Marianne.<br />

However, the tables turn when both of them enrol into college as Marianne’s<br />

social star rises and Connell hangs in the sidelines. Normal People presents<br />

a will-they-or-wont-they storyline following the lives of Connell and Marianne<br />

and the strange indelible connection that grows between them and their<br />

transformations throughout the years.<br />

Shoe Dog Young Readers’ Edition<br />

by Phil Knight<br />

An abridged version of the internationally bestselling adult book.<br />

Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s<br />

seminal days. In the book, Phil describes the many risks and setbacks that<br />

stood between him and his dreams. Phil Knight opens up about how he went<br />

from being a high school track star to become the founder of a multi-billiondollar<br />

brand and company only years after being a street vendor selling shoes<br />

imported from Japan from the boot of his car..<br />

Eat That Frog!<br />

by Brian Tracy<br />

International bestseller. More than a million copies sold.<br />

Highlights 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less<br />

time. The book covers many different ways of overcoming procrastination and<br />

it makes it very accessible for people to apply the techniques. Apart from<br />

ideas and techniques from major influencers of time maangement. Brian Tracy<br />

also includes advice given from his own experiences. The book focuses on<br />

actionable exercises and tips you can implement right away.<br />

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COCO RECOMMENDS \ 17<br />

Music<br />

Madame X<br />

By Madonna<br />

Madame X is the 14th album by American singersongwriter<br />

Madonna. The album was released on<br />

June 14, on Interscope Records. Madame X includes a<br />

total of 15 songs from which Medelin and Crave have<br />

been released. The album was debuted in Israel where<br />

Madonna performed at the Eurovision Song Contest<br />

2019, on May 18.<br />

A real Good Kid<br />

By Mike Posner<br />

Released on January 18, through Universal Island, A<br />

Real Good Kid is the third studio album by American<br />

singer and songwriter Mike Posner. The album includes<br />

his singles “Song About You,” “Stuck in the Middle,” and<br />

“Move On” along with 10 other songs.<br />

DNA<br />

By Backstreet Boys<br />

The ninth studio album by the Backstreet Boys, DNA<br />

was released on January 23, by RCA Records. DNA<br />

which includes 12 tracks debuted at number one on the<br />

US Billboard 2019 and is also the best-selling album in<br />

the United States in terms of pure sales, as of May 2019.<br />

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17 / COCO RECOMMENDS<br />

Movies<br />

At Eternity’s Gate<br />

Director: Julian Schnabel<br />

Genre: Biography<br />

Release date: September 03 rd , 2019<br />

A biographical dramatisation of the final years of Vincent Van Goh’s life. The film<br />

dramatises the controversial theory put forward by Van Goh’s biographers that<br />

Van Goh’s death was caused by mischief rather than it being a suicide.<br />

Cast: William Dafoe (as Van Gogh), Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads<br />

Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Niels Arestrup<br />

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin<br />

Director: John Madden<br />

Genre: War<br />

Release date: April 23 rd , 2001<br />

Based on the novel by Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin pays<br />

homage to the thousands of Italian soldiers who were executed at the<br />

massacre of aqua division by German forces in Cephalonia in September 1943<br />

and to the people of Cephalonia who were killed in the post-war earthquake.<br />

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, John Hurt, Christian Bale, David<br />

Morrissey, Irene Papas, Gerasimos Skiadaressis, Michael Yannnatos, Katerina<br />

Didaskulu, Patrick Malahide<br />

Joker<br />

Director: Todd Philips<br />

Genre: Psychological thriller<br />

Release date: October 4 th , 2019<br />

The movie follows Arthur Fleek, a failed stand-up comedian, who is driven<br />

insane and turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City.<br />

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix (as Joker), Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy,<br />

Marc Maron, Bill Camp, Glen Fleshler, Shea Wingham, Brett Cullen, Douglas<br />

Hodge, Josh Pais<br />

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COCO RECOMMENDS \ 17<br />

APPS<br />

STRAVA<br />

Available on the Apple App Store<br />

Track fitness activities, record runs, map cycling routes and analyse all the<br />

training with statistics.<br />

Features:<br />

• Measure performance<br />

• Share races and workouts and comment on others performance<br />

• Form clubs to organise activities and build communities<br />

• Beacon - share location in real time with a friend, family member or an<br />

instructor to have your back in an emergency.<br />

FITBOD<br />

Available on the Apple App Store<br />

Innovative training algorithm through the right steps, reps and weight to reach<br />

fitness goals.<br />

Features:<br />

• A personalised plan designed to push your limits<br />

• Grasp and master new strength building exercise<br />

• Attain strength – training achievements as personal exercise records are<br />

reached<br />

• A training plan can be viewed with apple watch to easily track the progress<br />

of and stay focused while at the gym<br />

• Get workouts that match general conditioning<br />

• View workout impact, on a body heat map<br />

Fitness and Bodybuilding<br />

Available on Google Play<br />

This app was developed by a group of professionals to include a series of<br />

workouts with detailed description leading to great results within a short period<br />

of time.<br />

Features:<br />

• Exercises with video support for every workout for every muscle group<br />

• A list of most effective workouts for every muscle group<br />

• Text instructions pictures for each exercise<br />

• Exercise database with new exercise added after each update<br />

• Ability to track and save data about weight and the number of repetitions<br />

for each performed exercise<br />

• Interactive graphs for workout progress by performance weight and<br />

repetitions<br />

• Save a history of performed exercises<br />

• Built-in timer<br />

• Ability to create customized workout plans and add photos<br />

• Choose preferred measurement units (kilograms or pounds<br />

• View workout impact, on a body heat map<br />

67


18 / TRENDS<br />

Solo Travelling<br />

When you decide to just<br />

up and leave<br />

Rabeeha Amir<br />

“The inner journey of travel is intensified<br />

by solitude” – Paul Theroux<br />

It’s 2019, where we are experiencing a fast-paced<br />

digitalised world, an inter-connectedness that at times<br />

can be overwhelming as much as its stimulating.<br />

Travelling seems to be the norm from the young to the<br />

retired and travel trends seem to be ever-changing. A<br />

decade ago there was relative scepticism on taking the<br />

road alone.<br />

The world seemed vast for many of us, an intimidating<br />

and expensive labyrinth to explore. Especially without<br />

a partner, family or friends to be with you along the<br />

way to side-track any hurdles that are thrown at you,<br />

travelling alone wasn’t the norm for many people.<br />

However, in the present day, more people are seen to<br />

be consciously embracing the notion of taking that<br />

road; all alone. With a smile on their faces and a skip in<br />

their steps.<br />

Solo travel has accelerated so much so that, it is now<br />

known as a travelling trend that’s going to keep on<br />

rising. Klook, a stellar booking activities platform<br />

disclosed solo travel as its number one travelling trend.<br />

Exponential booking engines such as Booking.com<br />

has studied the trend to conclude that there is a hike<br />

amongst baby boomers in taking to travel alone and<br />

this increase will be ascending. This is just two mere<br />

references to how solo travel is seen to be increasing<br />

for practical or spiritual reasons. In-depth research in<br />

more platforms has been done over the years just to<br />

fathom how solo travelling has become a trend that’s<br />

not going to go stale anytime soon.<br />

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TRENDS \ 18<br />

69


18 / TRENDS<br />

If a person hasn’t yet gone on a trip alone, they are<br />

certainly dreaming about it. Those who have done it,<br />

dream of doing it again. The reasons vary for different<br />

people, but when it comes down to it, the need to<br />

temporarily break up with your usual environment is<br />

one that always feels strong. To wait for a significant<br />

other to take your hand and fly into the abyss is not<br />

in the cards anymore. People want to live their fullest,<br />

explore their own myths, mark themselves with the<br />

culture and experiences in strange lands, ultimately to<br />

bring back a better version of themselves home with<br />

or without a companion.<br />

Elizabeth Gilbert’s best standing novel Eat Pray Love,<br />

which went on to become a Hollywood movie, was<br />

one true account of a steadfast woman who had<br />

to take control of her life when her norm began to<br />

crumble around her. She decided to just up and leave,<br />

take herself on a journey to better herself, with the<br />

quest to find inner peace and to learn new things. She<br />

achieved this and more, becoming the world-renowned<br />

writer she is today.<br />

Following the release of this book, women all over<br />

the world started to embrace their aloneness with a<br />

fierceness, taking on travelling alone themselves. This<br />

might be a clichéd example but at the height of its<br />

popularity, this book did change the perspective of<br />

travel amongst many women. Thus, even when this<br />

is still applicable for men, women represent a higher<br />

percentage on well-researched studies on travelling<br />

solo.<br />

Solo travelling isn’t always sunshine and roses,<br />

portrayed in the beautifully curated influencer posts<br />

or seen from your friend’s Polaroid pictures. Solo<br />

travellers can find themselves being blackballed in<br />

terms of the extra single supplement that they must<br />

incur on room rates. The meals might cost more to eat<br />

alone when you can easily share the meal with another.<br />

Taking tours alone could be costly in comparison to<br />

group tours.<br />

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TRENDS \ 18<br />

Everything becomes a little bit extra<br />

in monetary terms when you are<br />

travelling alone. It is always good to<br />

be aware of the place that you are<br />

going to, approach tour operators<br />

and hotel booking sites that do not<br />

amplify the single supplement rate,<br />

and to keep a logical mind when<br />

making on the go decisions.<br />

The enjoyable travelling window<br />

for most solo travellers is when the<br />

masses aren’t, that is the shoulder<br />

season. As many tour operators<br />

adapt to rising trends and solo<br />

travelling being on the top tier,<br />

there are tour operators that solo<br />

travellers can book with which<br />

concentrates in singles vacations.<br />

Solo travellers can consider taking<br />

rooms on a sharing basis which is<br />

easy to do when there are platforms<br />

like Airbnb or other booking sites.<br />

Adventure travel is another way to<br />

get energised and at the same time<br />

cut down on the expenses, as one<br />

can opt to camp out in cabins, youth<br />

hostels, or basic lodging.<br />

Solo travelling is a beautiful way to<br />

be at ease with your solitude. The<br />

people that you meet along the way,<br />

the places that you see, the days<br />

spent being in awe of a different<br />

place that isn’t home can be very<br />

fulfilling. If one must describe it, it<br />

is a feeling of fleeting permanence<br />

that if you like can be immortalised<br />

in a picture but the true essence of<br />

it remains forever in your DNA, that<br />

you can only dissect for yourselves.<br />

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19 / TRAVELLER TIPS<br />

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TRAVELLER TIPS \ 19<br />

73


20 / COCO FACTS<br />

The exotic natural landscape of this stunning<br />

island in North Male’ Atoll and the iridescent<br />

underwater world form the backdrop for the<br />

luxury resort, Coco Bodu Hithi. A hundred<br />

strikingly designed villas, seven restaurants and<br />

bars as well an award-winning spa elevate this<br />

boutique resort into a hideaway work of art. The<br />

perfect combination of plenty of space, innovative<br />

design, luxurious comfort and attention to detail<br />

creates an inspiring, relaxed atmosphere – above<br />

and beyond the usual.<br />

The absolute jewel of relaxation is the beautiful<br />

Coco Spa – an airy temple of wellbeing, flooded<br />

with light, providing a stunning view of the<br />

lagoon. It comprises eight treatment rooms, a<br />

sauna, steam bath and a boutique. The treatments<br />

are inspired by Indian, Thai, Indonesian and<br />

Ayurvedic traditions and make use of products<br />

from the Paris label Thémaé. The two floating<br />

pavilions are positively meditative places for spa<br />

treatments and yoga or tai chi lessons.<br />

Whether it is to celebrate a romantic honeymoon<br />

or a destination wedding, Coco Bodu Hithi<br />

embodies sophistication as a way of life, offering<br />

a chic portfolio of experience defining timeless<br />

moments.<br />

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20 / COCO FACTS<br />

Location/distance from airport<br />

North Malé Atoll / 40 minutes by speedboat<br />

Villa categories<br />

44 Island Villas<br />

16 Water Villas<br />

16 Escape Water Villas<br />

24 Coco Residences<br />

Wine & Dine<br />

Air<br />

Latitude<br />

Tsuki<br />

Wine Loft<br />

Aqua<br />

Stars Restaurant and Bar<br />

<strong>Breeze</strong> Barbecue<br />

In-villa dinning<br />

Other facilities<br />

Coco Spa<br />

Gym<br />

Tennis court<br />

Boutique<br />

PADI Dive School<br />

Marine Biology Centre<br />

Water sports<br />

Contact<br />

Coco Bodu Hithi<br />

North Male’ Atoll<br />

Republic of Maldives<br />

+960 664 1122<br />

reservations@cococollection.com<br />

cococollection.com/en/dobu_hithi<br />

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20 / COCO FACTS<br />

This Maldivian paradise on the southern end of<br />

Baa Atoll is a place of unspoilt beauty surrounded<br />

by an azure, crystal clear lagoon. The sense of<br />

paradise is heightened further by the resort’s 98<br />

thatch covered villas either tucked away in lush<br />

tropical vegetation or perched on stilts above the<br />

lagoon. In the heart of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu,<br />

Coco Spa awaits those who appreciate a holistic,<br />

natural healing philosophy. In this harmonious<br />

space, guests can enjoy all the benefits of<br />

traditional as well as modern treatments from<br />

Indonesia, Thailand and India, complemented<br />

with products from the Paris label Thémaé.<br />

Two bars, including one on the beach, are perfect<br />

for relaxing and watching the sun bid farewell to<br />

the day. Plenty of recreational fun and diversion<br />

is ensured by a choice of diving adventures,<br />

watersports activities and a variety of marine<br />

conversations projects headed by the resorts<br />

Marine Biologist.<br />

Untouched by the modern world, the resort sis<br />

inspired by nature with barefoot luxury woven into<br />

the rustic surrounding of the island. Coco Palm is<br />

an experience that understands the need to relax<br />

and get back to nature.<br />

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20 / COCO FACTS<br />

Location/distance from airport<br />

Baa Atoll / 30 minutes by seaplane<br />

Villa categories<br />

09 Ocean Front Villas<br />

23 Beach Villas<br />

25 Sunset Beach Villas<br />

27 Deluxe Villas<br />

12 Lagoon Villas<br />

2 Sunset Lagoon Villas<br />

Wine & Dine<br />

Cowrie<br />

Cornus<br />

Conch Bar<br />

Beach Bar<br />

In-villa dinning<br />

Other facilities<br />

Coco Spa<br />

Gym<br />

Tennis court<br />

Boutique<br />

PADI Dive School<br />

Marine Biology Centre<br />

Water sports<br />

Contact<br />

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu<br />

Baa Atoll<br />

Republic of Maldives<br />

+960 660 0011<br />

reservations@cococollection.com<br />

cococollection.com/en/palm_dk<br />

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The Exotic Spa treatment that’s good enough to eat!<br />

Available from the Coco Spa at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, this exclusive<br />

spa menu is sure to be a delectable treat. All treatments in this menu use homemade spa<br />

products created entirely using edible ingredients.<br />

The Edible Spa Menu has been created in partnership with Chloé Morris, who focuses on<br />

creating immersive worldwide journeys through food.<br />

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