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The Most Unique Wedding Traditions From Around the World

Weddings in the Maldives are always a special occasion. Who doesn’t daydream about their future wedding in paradise, surrounded by perfect white-sand beaches, overwater bungalows, and sunshine practically every day? Maldivian culture typically shows itself off at weddings in the form of a Boduberu, a Maldivian musical performance commonly seen at special occasions, celebrations, and festivals. It comes to life with a magical amalgamation of drums, vocals, and dance, all centered around the bodu beru, or “big drum.”

Typically performed by 20 people, including drummers and singers, the drums are accompanied by a small bell and an onugandu, a piece of grooved bamboo that produces raspy sounds. Often similar to dances and songs found in East and Southwest Africa, the music was initially introduced to the islands in the 11th-century by sailors coming across the Indian Ocean. At weddings, the Boduberu is performed as part of the processional guiding the bride to the altar, starting with a slow drum beat and ultimately building to something wilder and filled with frantic dancing.

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