Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could gave been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
A beach in the Maldives. Blinding sand, turquoise water. The whole village has gathered there, facing the sea. Nobody wants to miss this amazing part of traditional fishing ...
CLARIFICATIONS: in April 2014, I interrupted my series of articles on the Maldives, finding it difficult to continue to brag about the beauties of this archipelago of the Indian Ocean (and thus to encourage people to visit the Maldives) while the regime had hardened its application of sharia, after my stay in February 2014. Not respecting human rights, the Maldives had to leave the Commonwealth of Nations in 2016. But in september 2018, things have changed, with the surprise defeat in the autocratic president's elections Abdulla Yameen supported by Islamists and now prosecuted for corruption, beaten by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, an ally of the democratic camp. Then in april 2019, the party of Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives (2008-2012), several times imprisoned by the regime and main figure of the opposition, won the first legislative elections since Yameen left. The Maldives return to the path of democracyit's great news!
From my short stay in the Maldives in February 2014, I will keep an intense memory of this scene.
We are on the small island of Utheem or Utheemu, in the far north of the archipelago. It's a "real island", where live "real people", not one of these islands-hotels reserved for foreign tourists ...
Contrary to what one reads everywhere, it is quite possible to stay in the Maldives among the Maldivians as an independent traveler. The inhabitants have been allowed for some years to open mini-hotels, small pensions and guest houses, referred to as guesthouses. I live in one of these guesthouses, Asseyri Inn, on the neighboring island of Hanimaadhoo. The Maldivian who runs the board organized for the day a short excursion ...
We are here at the right place at the right time to attend a not so common event. That day, in Utheem, the whole village gathered on the sand, facing the sea for a collective fishing party, full of excitement and cheerfulness. A video is worth ten thousand words ... I let you discover.
And then a picture is worth a thousand words too, so I add a few bonus photos below.
Note that I am not the only one to immortalize the event. As traditional as it is, this fishing is an opportunity for all, especially young people and young women from the village and nearby islands, to draw smartphones and other modern image sensors ... 😄