The Maldives expressed “shock and disgust” after a video surfaced of a Swiss couple being mocked and insulted by a celebrant during their marriage ceremony at a luxury hotel.
In the video, posted on YouTube several days ago, a couple can be seen seated opposite the celebrant as they renew their wedding vows at the Vilu Reef hotel, which charges US$400 a night for the use of its honeymoon suite.
Speaking in the local Dhivehi language, the celebrant calls the couple “swine” amid a host of other insults during a hateful profanity-laced tirade littered with often bizarre personal and religious-tinged taunts.
The video, shot by staff at the resort, shows an unnamed European man solemnly holding his hands in prayer as employee Hussein Didi, posing as a “celebrant”, conducts a religious ceremony in the native Dhivehi language.
But far from offering a blessing, the celebrant insults the man, his wife and their children.
He says: “You are swine. The children that you bear from this marriage will all be bastard swine. Your marriage is not a valid one.
“You are not the kind of people who can have a valid marriage. One of you is an infidel. The other, too, is an infidel — and we have reason to believe an atheist, who does not even believe in an infidel religion.”
The bride, wearing a white dress, respectfully looks on completely unaware of the humiliation as between 10 and 15 employees watch and take photographs.
The celebrant refers to “frequent fornication by homosexuals” as he keeps up a running commentary of personal slurs.
He then brandishes a document purporting to be a marriage certificate, but a close-up reveals it really refers to staff employment regulations.
The couple’s humiliation is completed when they are tricked into planting a coconut tree as a testament to their love while a member of staff comments on the bride’s breasts when she bends over. He then urges the celebrant to make the couple “suck mouths”.
The husband and wife’s surname has been reported as Alexander and they are heard speaking in English, but they are believed to be of Swiss origin, according to the local Maldives newspaper, Minivan.
The video has been seen by thousands of people since it was posted on YouTube and has led to a ministerial investigation over fears visitors will be put off the Maldives, which is heavily reliant on tourism.
Sun Investments, which owns the resort, said it would “take resolute action against every member of the staff and management found responsible for this disgusting act”.
The employees responsible have reportedly been sacked. Deputy tourism minister Ismail Yasir has launched an investigation.
The country’s tour operators’ association said in a statement: “If the couple comes to know of the humiliation they were subjected to in the video, the Maldives’ good name would be clouded.”
• ‘Blonde-only island’ plan for Maldives
• Hire the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo hotel for a night
• Cathay Pacific replacing new economy seats
• Tuen Ng festival in Hong Kong
• Beijing airport now world’s 2nd busiest