I had an interesting meeting with a blogger from Maldives yesterday afternoon and he talked about the various 'brands' of Islam and how a certain brand of Islam does not provide a conducive environment for dance to survive (what say flourish).
"Personally, as a Muslim, I do not see anything in the Quran that prohibits dance," he said.
The island cultures filled with festival, music and dance, that he experienced as a kid are no longer practiced in those islands.
"But you can always see the dances in the many resorts that we have in Maldives. There are always Maldives Nights and performances for the tourists."
That's when I questioned the authenticity of the dances - are these performances created for tourists authentic? Will you get the same experience if you were to watch the same thing performed in the villages?
"Unfortunately, this is all you get. The resorts are the only places that these artists can make a living. Currently, the resorts are the only thing that's keeping our performing arts alive."
All is not lost. I was glad to hear that there are some people in Maldives who are trying to revive these island cultures. My blogger friend is now considering writing papers on the revival efforts of these art forms...when he retires.
You need to do it now, my friend!