‘Beyyaa’ campaign: buy a t-shirt, plant a coconut palm

A campaign to plant a coconut palm for every t-shirt bought has been launched.

At a special ceremony held Saturday, The ‘Beyyaa’ (a Dhivehi slang, similar to ‘bro’ in English) campaign was inaugurated by Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

The former president highlighted the importance of the campaign, adding that the number of coconut palms has decreased significantly.

“All customers purchasing a t-shirt are in reality purchasing a palm tree in their name,” he said.

As part the ‘Beyyaa’ campaign, conducted in collaboration with flagship carrier Maldivian, a coconut palm will be planted for every t-shirt bought from the ‘Beyyaa’ company.

Buyers will receive an email with details of the plant, including the island where it was planted.

The t-shirts will be available from company’s website and from Maldivian’s Moonimaa lounge at the main Velana International Airport. Each t-shirt retails for USD 30.

Maldivians place tremendous importance on the abundant coconut palms – they are represented in the national flag by the green rectangle. The coconut palm is also the national tree.

The picture of Maldives isn’t complete without the verdant presence of coconut palms. Its distinctive silhouette acts as a herald, with promises of sandy beaches and clear blue seas underneath.

Coconut palms are not just ornamental signs of the island paradise; often called the Tree of Life, they are one of the most useful trees in the world. From its woody trunk all the way up to the swaying fronds, the coconut palm has been providing a bounty of natural resources to the Maldivian people for generations.

Traditional Maldivian sailboats, known as dhoni, were built using coconut timber. Fibres extracted from the husk of the coconut, called coir, is used to make ropes and fishing nets.

Palm fronds were used to make baskets and mats. The green of the leaves was removed, leaving behind the wood-like strips in the middle, which were collected and tied together to make brooms. Dried palm fronds were used to thatch roofs- an architectural feature still seen today on the villas at our resorts.

Scraped coconut is one of the most common ingredients used to make many local dishes, as is coconut milk in almost all types of Maldivian curries. Even dried coconut shell halves were repurposed as bowls or attached to handles to make ladles.

Visitors to the Maldives will surely know that there is nothing as refreshing in this tropical heat as a cool helping of coconut water, straight from the source.

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