Meet A Professional Boduberu Dancer: Hambe
Not only is Hambe the co-founder of Maldives Secrets, but he also has a thrilling past being a professional Boduberu dancer in numerous Boduberu groups in The Maldives.
His exciting journey as a Boduberu dancer made him a national star and allowed him to travel all over the world whilst spreading awareness about The Maldives' culture and traditions.
Today is International Dance Day, and in honour of this day, we will dive into the traditional Maldivian art form of Boduberu. Music and dance are a vital part of Maldivian heritage and culture, and even today, Boduberu plays a crucial role in all sectors of The Maldives.
At Maldives Secrets, not only do we strive to promote The Maldives as an ideal holiday destination, but we also focus on promoting the wonderful local talents of the Maldives, by spreading the word and highlighting their incredible talents.
Tell us about Boduberu, what it is and how important Boduberu is to Maldivian culture and tradition today.
Boduberu is the heart and soul of Maldivian music, dance and culture. Inspired through African drum beats, Boduberu started as a way of storytelling and creating a community of singers, drummers, dancers in The Maldives. For any special occasions in The Maldives, Boduberu will be there and it brings out so much happiness in the locals and brings people together.
"Bodu Beru" literally means "Big Drum", and therefore, this term refers to both the traditional drum used and the cultural dance itself. Today, nearly all Resorts will have a Boduberu Band and a weekly 'Boduberu' night where the locals perform their national songs and dance to tourists. You will also find Boduberu on local islands - wherever you may be, you shouldn't miss this riveting performance!
What is the most memorable Boduberu performance you have danced in?
Eid is always the most memorable time to perform Boduberu, as everyone is in high spirits and wants to celebrate life.
After the holy month of Ramadan and the Pilgrimage, we celebrate Eid (Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha). Eid is always a crazy, fun time in The Maldives, with so many celebrations, festivals, gatherings and more. It is a time of celebrating, enjoying and there is lots of Boduberu involved!
Eid celebrations include traditional parades on the streets of the islands, with giant mythical fish woven out of coconut palm leaves, called Bodumas and Maali. It is a spectacle for kids and adults alike, and definitely shows a new side of The Maldives to tourists.
What are the topics of Boduberu songs?
The topics of Boduberu songs in The Maldives range from love stories, family, fishing, being out at sea, as well as more dark topics like zombies and ghosts. Each individual song has its own story, has been written with passion and is performed with even more passion.
What is your favourite Boduberu song?
My favourite Boduberu song is 'Kandhimudalo' and 'Yauley' - both of these are very old Boduberu songs and even nowadays, the lyrics don't make much sense!
How did your career into Boduberu begin?
I always loved Boduberu and I joined a casual Boduberu group when I was 20 just for fun. I learned how to sing, dance and play the drums there. This group evolved into a professional and one of the best Boduberu groups in The Maldives, called Bidhabin Boduberu Group.
After a few years, I joined another professional group called Habeys Boduberu, and that is where my career in Boduberu escalated. We travelled around the world and performed international shows in Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
How can Maldivian's begin a career in music and dance in The Maldives? What is your advice to them?
Music and dance runs in the blood of all Maldivians. Most Maldivians will automatically know how to do, dance and play Boduberu. If they want to become professional, they can audition to be part of a reputed group in The Maldives.
The first step is believing in yourself, dedicate yourself to this art form and don't let others opinions get in the way of you chasing your dreams. Inspire yourself, there are many mentors and professionals who can give you great advice.
Did you always want to be in this industry?
Yes, since my childhood I wanted to perform. I was inspired by my elders drumming and performing during Eid and huge celebrations, and knew I wanted to do the same and celebrate Maldivian music and dance.
Boduberu is often performed by men... Why is that and do you think that nowadays, women are getting more involved with this tradition?
Traditionally, Boduberu is a very male orientated art form - men would do the drumming, singing and dancing, whilst women enjoyed the show. However, you do see more women getting involved in Boduberu nowadays.
You will see the women’s Bandiya Dance during Eid celebrations and many other female dances, where they dance with traditional water collecting containers in rhythmic harmony and dance.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post about the Boduberu in The Maldives and hopefully it has inspired you to participate, dance and sing along when you witness a performance in The Maldives!
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- Maldives Secrets Team