The Maldives will introduce strict guidelines on conducting wedding ceremonies for tourists after a foreign couple were mocked and abused at a beach resort.
The couple thought they were taking part in a marriage renewal ceremony conducted in the local Dhivehi language. But the celebrant used the occasion to insult them and call them names.
The couple, whose nationalities have not been revealed, were called ‘pork-eating infidels’, and told that their children would be ‘bastard swine’. Other hotel employees were at the ceremony, but said nothing. The ceremony has appeared on YouTube, with translations.
The nation’s President, Mohamed Nasheed, was aghast when told. In his weekly radio address, he said he was disgusted by the incident and described the behaviour of staff as ‘absolutely disgraceful’.
All tourist hotels without exception will be required to follow the new guidelines which will be issued shortly. “No stone will be left unturned to ensure that an incident like this never happens again,” the government said in a statement.
The Maldives – an archipelago of almost 1,200 coral islands – is a favourite of well-heeled Westerners lured by its white sandy beaches.
The Vilu Reef beach and spa, where the incident took place, promises to offer ‘a tranquil beach where couples can renew marriage vows hand in hand against a golden sunset backdrop, where their everlasting love can be sealed by a kaleidoscope of romantic hues’.
by Andy Moreton
The Maldives is – generally – the friendliest paradise in the world and Luxique offers ten luxury hotels there.