Asim Mohamed on right from his Flickr photostream
For Mohamed Asim, it is not just a job, not just posting, not just a career, not even a passion…it is his life. He is not only one of the few Maldivian native GMs, but he is definitely the first one still serving.
He doesn’t just ‘manage’ the property, he lives it. He surfs the Lohi surf break. He dives. He has his own Flickr stream with nearly 100 images to share his avid photography documenting so many facets of Maldive life and Adaaran Hudhuranfushi highlights. He first cut his teeth in ‘food and beverage’ operation when he entered the Maldive tourism industry in its earliest days so he even mixes it up in the resort kitchen from time to time.
Asim has decades of experience and despite numerous assignments and bountiful opportunity to travel and work just about anywhere in the world, he can think of no better place to be than the Maldives. I can think of no better legacy of the Maldives increasingly proud and world leading tourism industry.
Happy Birthday Asim!
Casting even further back in Maldivian history is Komandoo’s own cultural antiquity – ‘Moussa’s Grave’. Not a lot is known about this character Moussa except that he was from the neighbouring island Hinnavaru and that he must have been fairly important to merit his own memorial stone on his own island. It is now a very unassuming artefact that you will miss if you don’t know where to look for it. But Lori and I had to go check it out during our recent visit. There is special place in my heart for gravesites having spent my childhood waiting for the bus next to one. In fact, my study of that local graveyard and the history of the families resting there earned me a scholarship which paid a big part of my school tuition.
I must say, though, Komandoo is starting to shape up to be like a Scooby-Doo episode. Mysterious gravesite. The management banning ‘pesky kids’ (no under 12s allowed). If the resort gets into some battle over its deed, then I would put my money on the caretaker as the culprit dressed up in traditional Maldivian dress running around scaring the guests.
Speaking of old school and Maldives classics, happy anniversary to Vadoo. 23 years ago this month Vadoo opened introducing the very first Maldivian water villas. The owner imported the concept from Bali. In fact, one of the original villas (see photo above) is preserved as a museum where a variety of cultural artefacts of are displayed (see photo below).
For another glimpse of Maldivian history, check out this fascinating piece, “Maldives: A Place in the Sun” (Thanks @maldives), featured in Eugene, Oregon’s Register-Times stepping back in time to 1972 when…
“About once a month a chartered Air Ceylon twin-engine plane flies the 400 miles to the Maldives from Colombo, Ceylon, with cargo, mail and perhaps a passenger or two. The two-hour flight is out for most visitors though, because the Maldivian ambassador in Colombo will, as he put it, “issue a visa only when accommodations are available, and there are no accommodations.” Since the plane returns as quickly as unloading and loading can be completed, there wouldn’t even be time for sightseeing.”
And finally, a special tribute to a global pioneer who made history that affects all of us – Steve Jobs. The world will miss him. For a stirring video piece that many non-Americans won’t have seen, check out today’s post in my other blog.
One objection to a Maldives trip is not enough ‘cultural’ stuff to do. Sitting in the sun on a tiny, dedicated resort island doesn’t really present any historical or cultural experiences beyond some chit-chat at the pool bar. Cultural exploration at most resorts is limited to an excursion to a local island or Male and some visiting traditional dancers.
But, if you do want to sample a broader range of the local custom, then The Beach House at Manafaru has just launched a complete range of Maldivian treats including…
- Historic island excursion – “Utheemu island, one of the most historically important places in the country being the birthplace of national hero Mohamed Tlrakurul’aanu who led the resistance against the Portuguese invaders in the mid 16th century. The visit includes a tour of a 500 year-old palace, local historic places, a market and a visit to a home in the nearby village to sample local delicacies cooked by the family.”
- Maldivian Night – “Every Friday evening the resort transforms one of its beaches to an open air market offering a Maldivian style feast. With delicious local delicacies, specially prepared by the resort’s creative kitchen team, this evening brings the culinary treasures of the Maldives to the dining table.”
- Maldivian Style Afternoon Tea – “Over a century ago, when the King visited the islands of his kingdom, the tradition of home-baked Maldivian snacks and infused drinks was created to welcome him…Subtly fragranced tisanes made from local herbs accompanied by delicate savouries, pastries and cakes, all with a local twist, are served in ART, a thatched-roofed open-air restaurant nestled in the lush tropical gardens of the resort.”
- Maldivian Line Fishing – “Fishing is the lifeblood of the Maldives. To truly understand the culture of the country, a fishing excursion on a dhoni (a traditional Maldivian boat) opens doors to the rhythms of the ancient ways that are still practiced today. The boat sails in the late afternoon and as the sun falls towards the horizon the experienced fishermen will show the guests how to catch their own fish using the traditional hand line method. No nets, no rods, just a line, a hook, you, the fish and the infinity of the ocean. Fish caught on the excursion will be prepared and cooked by the resort’s chefs for the guest’s lunch the following day.”
- Maldivian Cooking Class – “One of those dishes that the guests can learn to cook is called “Muranga Tholhi Kiru Garudhiya’(drumstick milk curry).”
- Veli Modun Signature Treatment – “This unusual spa treatment [uses] locally sourced ingredients, this treatment is designed to invigorate and energize the body and assist in alleviating any aches and pains.”
- Maldivian Blessing Ceremony – “The resort’s team will organise a stunning ceremony for the couple that includes traditional drumming, flower petal shower and a barefoot ceremony on the beach.”
Each of the activities can be booked individually, or Beach House offers a comprehensive package with every one included.
Aharemen dhanee kon irakun? (Dhivehi for “When do we go?”)