The culture of the Maldives is influenced by different visitors who arrived in Maldives throughout the times. However, acting as a melting point the Maldives assimilated these influences and has created a unique cultural identity. Archaeological evidence suggests the existence Hinduism and Buddhism before the country embraced Islam in 1153 A.D. Since then, Islam is a way of life for Maldivians. Islam is now the state religion and it is a stipulation of the Maldivian law, which is based on the Islamic Sharia that all citizens of the country be Muslims.
Today, the main events and festivals of Maldivian life follow the Muslim (lunar) Calendar. From infancy children are taught the Arabic alphabet. Religious education is provided both at home and at school. Islam is part of the school curriculum and is taught concurrently with other subjects.
The golden dome of the Islamic centre dominates the skyline of Male’ whether first viewed by air or from sea. This imposing mosque, said to be one of the most beautiful mosques in Asia, was inaugurated in 1984 – a result of the commitment of the government to uphold and strengthen the character of the nation.