Western tourists renewing vows unwittingly receive malediction in Maldives


46 Responses to “Western tourists renewing vows unwittingly receive malediction in Maldives”

  1. daneyul says:

    “Your marriage is not a valid one. You are not the kind of people who can have a valid marriage. One of you is an infidel. The other, too, is an infidel – and we have reason to believe – an atheist, who does not even believe in an infidel religion,” the Minivan newspaper quotes him as saying.

    Jesus–those poor people.

    I mean, just how many people have to live in a minivan before it actually gets its own newspaper?

  2. nanner says:

    Pulu si bagumba!

  3. Mitch says:

    Remove the religious element and you have hotel workers having a laugh at some rich foreigners who have no clue, and then it becomes funny.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to condemn the Maldives over it. The hotel and the government have apologized for it and the Deputy Minister of Tourism has stated that a majority of Maldivans are appalled by the incident.

    I wouldn’t judge an entire society on the basis of a bawdy prank by a few hotel workers.

  4. Paul in Toronto says:

    When you’re basking in the glow of your tropical vacation, it’s tempting to project a sunny personality onto “the locals”. In reality, that’s just another form of cultural stereotyping. You run into a$$holes in every country and every culture. It gets worse in places like the Maldives, a small, poor country overrun by rich Westerners. They depend on tourists for money, but that dependency breeds resentment.

  5. TimDrew says:

    Not that I have much sympathy for the couple (as others have pointed out, cultural snobbery of tourist westerners must be grating to some of the local population)- but geez; you’d think that folks from a place that counts tourism as their largest economic sector would be a little more careful not to get caught.

    Or, as peterbruells pointed out,maybe it’s one last chuckle for them as their land is about to go under. I’d give them that, as they have had a hell of a time the past decade, with the tsunami and all.

    • Jonathan Badger says:

      Particularly since there are far more subtle ways to diss people you are “serving” — think of the waiters and maître d’s at fancy restaurants — I try to avoid such places because I don’t really enjoy “fine dining” (well, that, and paying $50 for an entree isn’t that appealing either). But my point is that the attitude you usually get from the staff is “we know far more about food and wine than you do; why are ignorant yokels like you even wasting our time with your uninspired ordering?”. And yet evidently a lot of customers enjoy that sort of subtle abuse.

  6. ill lich says:

    I believe this is more common than you think.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

  8. Felton / Moderator says:

    “Oh, oh oh I’m sorry, this is ‘abuse’. You want Room 12-A just along the corridor.”

  9. Rayonic says:

    “Lets have the locals do a little ceremony. It’ll be so *ethnic*.”

    The locals were the jerks here, but I don’t have much sympathy for cultural fetishists. They seem to patronize the people they’re… patronizing.

    • peterbruells says:

      I agree. They probably wore miniskirts, too, and kinda asked for it, the sluts.

    • Niklas says:

      “but I don’t have much sympathy for cultural fetishists.”
      Tell that to Cory and Xeni, those bastardly steampunk culture fetishists! I am a bit surprised she hasn’t replied to your comment yet.

  10. BDiamond says:

    My hovercraft is full of eels.

  11. Anonymous says:

    These locals are geniuses! They show utter disdain and contempt for their own patrons in a country that produces nothing (except fish) and whose largest industry is tourism (according to Wikipedia). How dare those infidel foreigners make a less than 100% commitment to learning the local culture and merely attempt to introduce some local flavor in their ceremony. Shame on them!

  12. agnot says:

    Will somebody please take that poor cat home.

  13. Anonymous says:

    jeez i’m pretty surprised by all the people defending this.

    i doubt it would play the same in here if the story was an example of a non-english-speaking chinese couple or a rich saudi couple getting married in vegas and having a roomful of americans insult them without their knowledge.

    i guess cultural and/or racial self-loathing sure goes a long way!

    • Neon Tooth says:

      i doubt it would play the same in here if the story was an example of a non-english-speaking chinese couple or a rich saudi couple getting married in vegas and having a roomful of americans insult them without their knowledge.

      Well yeah it wouldn’t play the same because the Maldives and its relationship to rich Western tourists isn’t the same kind of one “Vegas” really has with anybody. I think ya knew that tho’.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Well yeah it wouldn’t play the same because the Maldives and its relationship to rich Western tourists isn’t the same kind of one “Vegas” really has with anybody.

        Open any door in Vegas that says Employees Only and you’ll discover that the town is full of wormholes to the Third World. ‘Pendejo’ isn’t Spanish for ‘sir’.

  14. Zadaz says:

    I laughed. I’m still kind of giggling.

    Yeah, it was a seriously dick move by the locals but I have zero sympathy for, as Rayonic so aptly puts it, cultural fetishists.

    In a similar vein the best thing about learning how to read Japanese has been seeing just how many people have complete gibberish for tattoos. How meaningful can something be if you have no idea what it means?

  15. malek says:

    I’m not sure why the NPR did not fire this Swiss couple until now?

  16. querent says:

    No way does Antinous speak Quenya.

    I’m feeling my geek-peen shrinking….

  17. syncrotic says:

    Given the choice, I’d rather go somewhere I’m hated for being rich rather than for being a pork-eating infidel dog.

    I’m actually quite serious… it’s one thing to be the object of envy in someone’s mind – it’s inevitable that, where large wealth differentials exist, some people will be bitter – and it’s a whole other one to be seen as subhuman. Not that I do much resort travel, but I’ll specifically avoid the Maldives.

  18. Ignatz says:

    This gag was used to great effect in the 1995 Peter Falk/ D B Sweeney movie “Roommates”. Instead of a Polish blessing, the snooty mother of the bride wishes that all of her guests should get boils on their asses while they sleep. Hilarity ensues.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Other Maldives turists should come forward, i bet there is a ton of home videos not just of faux wedding ceremonies but also of other verbal abuses that tourists were not made aware of that are also caught on video.

  20. jackie31337 says:

    Heck, I’ll insult you in Finnish for free! I didn’t realize there was money to be made here.

  21. Sekino says:

    Manager Mohamed Rasheed told the AFP news agency: “The man had used filthy language. Otherwise the ceremony was OK.”

    The photos turned out great!

    an atheist, who does not even believe in an infidel religion

    This is almost T-shirt worthy.

  22. rimstalker says:

    The Maldives are actually quite hostile in general.

    I remember something along the lines of it being the 2nd or 3rd worst country in the world when it comes to religious freedom.

    Islam is the only official religion of The Maldives. The open practice of all other religions is forbidden and such actions are liable to prosecution under the law of the country. A small but growing number of Maldivians do question their faith, but rarely in a public way.[40] According to the revised constitution, in article two, it says that the republic “is based on the principles of Islam.” Article nine says that “a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives”; number ten says that “no law contrary to any principle of Islam can be applied in the Maldives.” Article nineteen states that “citizens are free to participate in or carry out any activity that is not expressly prohibited by sharia or by the law.”

  23. Gloster says:

    Cultural fetishists… I mean, why not? What’s wrong with that? Did the people performing the ceremony not get paid for it? I suppose this was (originally) an ordinary transaction between consenting parties. We agree to pay you for this performance and you agree to do the ceremony. I don’t see anything that could be held against the injured party. If the locals didn’t like it, they shouldn’t have agreed to it.
    If I order an exotic food I’m not familiar with, do I get no sympathy if the cook spits in it?

    Plus it was just a renewal of the vows, without any legal significance, so the analogy with the tattoo is somewhat misplaced.

  24. gwailo_joe says:

    As a burly angry Chinese guy once told me 20 years ago: “Fucking White people. . .they suck!”

    I can’t argue with the sentiment.

    I’ll also be playing poker at his house the day after tomorrow. . .^^

  25. zio_donnie says:

    LOL We do that all the time in Greece. The big fat greek wedding cousin that translates wishes as insults is totally realistic. Launch an investigation? Haha that’s even better.

    Now may i interest you in ancient artifacts?

  26. Anonymous says:

    According to swiss newspapers the couple were from Switzerland and were charged 1300$ for the ceremony!

  27. gwailo_joe says:

    Oh yeah: ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

    Betta recognize before thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye. . .

  28. Brainspore says:

    Maldives: bitter country.
    Endives: bitter vegetables.
    Dive bars: bitter drunks.


  29. nox says:

    This would be funny if it wasn’t a sign of the religious intolerance and contravention of human rights in the Maldives, where everyone is forced to be Sunni Muslims, atheists die in ‘apparent suicides’, and any Maldivian professing to not be Islamic has to be put under police protection.


    It’s off my destination list now. At least there’s still Bora Bora.

    • AnnieGetYourFun says:

      My fiance was all “We should go! My cousin would love it.” And I was all, “Well, their policies are pretty much like Iran’s but you won’t go with me to Tehran.” And he was like “Iran has shitty weather.” I guess he had a point there, if nothing else.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is actually an old subject for jokes… I remember this one:

  31. The Mudshark says:

    Is that seriously how you draw your customers? I´m just asking because it seems such a professional way to do it.

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