July 26th 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of independence for the Maldives and the destination is celebrating its Golden Jubilee Year with events and festivities taking place nationwide until 2016.
The Maldives became a British Protectorate in 1887, with the British pledging to protect the country from colonial expansion.
This lasted for more than 70 years until on July 26th, 1965, the Maldives gained their full independence.
Celebrations took place across the streets of the Maldives including school parades along with public feasts and special menus served in most local restaurants, as well as a replica of an ancient Maldivian village built on the island of Male.
Set in the middle of the most densely-populated island in the Maldives, small palm-thatched houses, huts made of coconut palm trunks and traditional rope swings took guests back in time introducing them to the wealth of the Maldivian culture.
To kick start this momentous milestone in the UK, Visit Maldives and the Maldives High Commission brought some much-needed Maldivian sunshine to London with a day of Boduberu dance performances at the Southbank on August 16th.
Dressed in sarongs and short-sleeved shirts, a troupe of male and female Boduberu dancers entertained visitors on the Southbank throughout the day with a number of performances accompanied by the steady beat of the specialist drummers.
Mohamed Adam, deputy managing director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation said: “During 2015, the Maldives will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary of Independence with a number of major events including an ancient Maldivian village built on the island of Male.
“Having already welcomed an increase in visitor arrivals from the UK, including a 3.6 per cent increase in UK tourists during the first eight months of 2015, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors from the UK during this exciting time and showcasing our cultural heritage.”