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A dialect of Malayalam is spoken in all the islands except Minicoy. In Minicoy, ‘Mahl’ is the language used. There is very little difference in the customs and the manners of the people despite a few cultural differences . Marriages are arranged by parents except in Minicoy where courting is prevalent. Arranged marriages are common and the negotiations originate from the bride’s family.


While in Minicoy, the groom is selected from the same social and economic strata, maternal uncle’s son is the first choice in all the other islands. The ‘Nikah’ takes place in the Mosque or at the bride’s residence. In Minicoy the marriage ceremony is relatively simple. The expenses for the functions are borne by the bridegroom’s family. An interesting feature of Minicoy is the absence of the parents from certain functions related to the marriage. The average household has 3 - 4 rooms. Minimum furniture is used in homes. A swinging cot is a very common feature. Rice is the staple food of the people. As a rule the people are non - vegetarians. Coconut is widely used. The manner of dressing of the people is simple and similar to the Muslims of Malabar coast. The dress code of Minicoyans are distinct from the other islanders. Jeans and trousers are popular. The territory has a closely - knit community life. In Minicoy, community life is centered around village institution known as - Avah.

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