Culture - Lakshadweep

Ethnically the people of the islands are very similar to the people of Kerala even their languages is the same except in Minicoy where Mahl is spoken. As Muslims, they have conservative customs and traditions and yet they are liberal in approach. 93% of the popultion are indigenous Muslims. According to 1991 census, population is 51707.

History comes alive in folk ballads that women chant during their house - hold chores. Events of the past - the arrival of Hazrat Ubaidulla in Lakshadweep, the plunder of the islands by the Portuguese, have been perpetuated by the balladeer.

Smiling and friendly people. Nobody is tip-minded. The place in the world to go for a walk, with no dogs and no poisonous snakes either. The people of Lakshadweep are often commended for their honesty. The absence of crime in the islands is laudable. The most obvious testimony to this is the profusion of gold ornaments worn by the women - heavy ear rings and necklaces. The fact that very young children are allowed to wander around alone wearing chunky jewellery is a pointer to a way of life that one hopes will continue into the future.

The young men have some spirited folk dances. The women are modest with colourful dress and wear their jewellery in safety. The people of Minicoy have a good sense of colour, painting their houses, furniture and boats in bright and tasteful combinations. Seamen from Minicoy are to be found on merchant ship all over the world.