Names given to newborn children are whetted by the relevant authority in the Maldives. It appears that only certain types of Arabic names pass the litmus test, and authorities are rather successful in enforcing them at the birth certificate level. But unfortunately for them this control is almost totally lost by the time the child enters teenage. After that we only hear names like Gaburu Ayya, Natay, Boddu, Kukulhay, Rattay, Bakattaa** and other even more interesting sounds.
In the 1970s and before, it was common to have truly Dhivehi names like Dhon Didi, Kalhu Thutthu, Lahuttu, Tutteedi, Kudamaniku etc. But during the 1980s when the ID card was introduced such names were systematically eliminated and replaced with Arabic names. At the same time, the process of whetting newborn names was introduced. In the early days of this process Persian and Urdu names were allowed. Thus there are lots of girls named Shalinee and Sharmeela. However, more recently such names have also got the axe.
If one looks at naming traditions across the Islamic word, one could see a lot of variety. Iran and Afghanistan have their own distinct flavor of names. In Pakistan and Bangladesh it is quite common to hear names like Naik, Chowdhary, Beewi and Begum. In the largest Muslim country, Indonesia, it is rarely that one hears an Arabic name. Even in Arabic countries there are many common names that are likely to be rejected by the Maldivian authorities.
Interestingly, in those countries nicknames like Kattay, Kurappay and Burito** are not that common. Why is that?
[** If any of these names resembles a real person's name, it is purely coincidental. Sincere apologies are offered for any inconvenience caused.]