With the introduction of Islam in the 1100s the people changed their lifestyles
to match that required by this new religion, which arrived from traders. This slightly
changed the diet and influenced many other social habits of the people. Even today
most of the people follow Islamic laws to some degree as social interactions, diet,
and daily schedule are all effected by this religion to some degree.
The second major change to the way of life in the Maldives came with tourism. This
change doesn't affect the majority of people directly, but its presence alters
the entire dynamic and economy on the islands. With this industry, the number of
service jobs has risen sharply and the standards of living have risen as money floods
into the country. Tourism is also slowly changing the people's mindset on numerous
issues as liberal thoughts are regularly brought in with tourists.
For the average person there is little notice of these changes, but the government
has more money so infrastructure, education, healthcare, and other government-financed
sectors are expanding. Even for the people not working directly with tourists, many
occupations are in higher demand to provide for the tourists as incomes rise and
the country is slowly becoming wealthier and better educated.