Please Don’t say coconut water, Its kurumba

coconut water

Kurumba is so much a part of life in the Maldives. If we talk about Maldivians we need to talk about kurumba. It has very specific unique features. An informed writer shall  not use coconut water to describe the sweet drink from the Maldives. the coconut kingdom.

Not coconut water

There is no English word for kurumba. But when you  say coconut water, for those of us who know the basic science and what is kurumba, it sounds funny. Those among us who have no knowledge of kurumba may think water in a  coconut; confusion. Water has specific properties that it becomes solid and changes to steam at 0 and 100 degree centigrade respectively.

Oxford Dictionary has the following definition of coconut: “The large oval brown seed of a tropical palm, consisting of a hard woody husk surrounded by fibre, lined with edible white flesh and containing a clear liquid.

The flesh of a coconut, often used as food.

The tall palm tree that yields the coconut, which has become naturalized throughout the tropics. The tree is also a source of copra, coir, and other products.”


It is not water. If you describe it, we could say a sweet clear liquid in the coconut. Still nobody can comprehend the meaning of kurumba. Because coconut is not kurumba. Hence writers and bloggers may not use coconut water  when talking about Maldives and kurumba

This issue has been resolved once and for all. Kurumba  is on its way into English Dictionary. The word has been included in Macmillan Open Dictionary


Kurumba or kuruba as in the southern atolls, refers to the stage  before it becomes a coconut. At this  stage it is a refreshing drink and the  white edible inner liner  is soft and  tender. It can be  easily collected using a spoon and extremely delicious. We should not think it is something dissolved in water, it is a natural drink.

Like the word atoll and dhoni which are now English words, kurumba will one day become universal. Kurumba Maldives is already a globally known resort in the Maldives. When we talk about Maldives English cannot always give the meaning that explains the unique life style and culture of the Maldives, and for this reason we can use some words  as locals use  them. So it’s kurumba Welcome to the Maldives.

Picture:Kuri inn