From `bhujia` to Kareena, India shines in Maldives

India may be miles away from Maldives, but its food, culture and films have won many hearts here.

Addu: India may be miles away
from Maldives, but its food, culture and films have won many
hearts here.

The first thing that one notices after landing in this
picturesque island nation is that the people here look like
any other regular Indian. Except for the traditional dressing
style, everything seems to be just the same.

Bollywood is popular here and this can be gauged by the
fact that most of the taxi drivers listen to a mix of latest
Hindi film numbers and western music.

"The younger generation seems to prefer more English
songs but for us, we enjoy Hindi songs," says Salim, a taxi

Asked which film star does he like, a Maldivian
interpreter with the Indian High Commission here said, "Saif`s
gal, Kareena."

Many of Maldivian cuisines have an almost South Indian
flavour to it. The standard food item that you can find here
is the Maldivian chapati, similar to the one cooked in India,
but a little larger and thinner.

It seems the predominantly Muslim country also loves to
munch Indian snacks.

A visit to the supermarket here gives you a proof of
that. From Haldirams` `bhujia` to mixed mixture, one can find

On the bilateral front, India and Maldives have been
taking forward their cooperation in various areas.

India yesterday gifted to Maldives four lions made of

Military cooperation between the two countries is also
growing. The Indian navy has put in place a security ring
deploying warships around the tiny Island nation, which is
taking no chances with the security of the assembled SAARC

The Indian Navy has also been extending help to Maldives
to combat piracy.

India recently deployed a Dornier maritime surveillance
aircraft in Male. It has also gifted a fast attack craft to
the Maldivian maritime forces.


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