Take to the water, Maldives style…
How do you create venues for entertainment in a city that is under 200 hectares and still holds a third of a country’s population?
Use nature, is the answer. Male, the capital of Maldives, has a few of these “swimming pools” (seen in picture) around it. Typically, a pool is located in shallow, clear waters close to the shore and is cordoned off from the surges of the sea. It has added facilities like a railing to cling on to in case of a surge. The waters are clean and inviting.
Most Maldivians take to water at a young age and the “pools” are exceedingly popular. A streak of queer conservatism does not allow women to enter such areas in proper costume, but that does not stand in the way of having fun. It’s largely a family affair and a sort of community outing: it’s not uncommon to see a whole family, from the old to toddlers, splashing around for hours together in the evenings.
The other venues for entertainment include a lone cinema, restaurants and infrequent music evenings.
But yes, all of them involve spending money. No such problems in the pools though.
Text and picture:R.K.RADHAKRISHNAN