Nakaiy Nevi – a pretty, handy app

The Maldives experiences two monsoons, Iruvai (Northeast) and Hulhangu (Southwest), yet since ancient times, the monsoons have been subdivided into several patterns or Nakaiy. These patterns serve as a means of organising the islanders’ lives. Each Nakaiy endures for about thirteen or fourteen days and each encapsulates a distinct weather pattern.

Though generally Iruvai is associated with sunshine and Hulhangu with rain, there are Nakaiy in Iruvai that bring storms and Nakaiy in Hulhangu that tease out the sun. And despite changing global weather patterns, the Nakaiy system provides a generally accurate, geo-specific guideline to the weather system of the Maldivian islands.

Nakaiy Nevi, the app designed by local ‘communication designer’ Shahy Ilyas, draws on old Maldivian weather-wisdom and presents it in a very user friendly, visually engaging interface.

It’s a small file and unlike the bulk of apps out on the market, requires no special permissions. A stylised wheel, like that of a vessel, depicts the current season and Nakaiy, (Iruvai in green and Hulhangu in turquoise). The middle of the wheel displays a graphic associated with the Nakaiy.

The text below the wheel indicates the day of the Nakaiy, and what to expect weather-wise. Tap on the text and you will be directed to a page with more detail that includes average rainfall, sunshine, activities associated with the Nakaiy and its etymology.

For instance, the Nora Nakaiy of Hulhangu averages 3.3 inches of rain, 90 hours of sunshine and a wind speed of 9 knots. Fishing is expected to be generally good. Hindhu astrologers consider it the seventeenth lunar mansion and named it Anuradha, meaning “success”.

With over ten thousand downloads Nakaiy Nevi is a triumph in terms of utility and aesthetics. It’s a handy app that lets you know, among other things, when to travel, where to fish, and when to invest in a raincoat.