The Maldives consists of 99% sea mass, and the other 1% is speckled like dust across the blanket of turquoise as 1,199 islands of untouched beauty. This country is famous for its well-preserved tropical solitudes and overwhelming perfection, with 199 islands inhabited and the rest tucked silently away from reality and time.
Maldivian people live peacefully on these unperturbed, close-knit, and tranquil islands, depending on the sea as their main sustenance. They live life together with a sincerity that is extraordinary and touching despite their simple way of living. The fishing villages provide a refreshingly new experience for traveling explorers and sun-goers alike.
Upon arriving at one of the many fishing villages found scattered across the Maldivian seas, we were greeted by a number of local residents and the island chief. Looking around the simple island, it was hard to imagine how these village people live in their humble surroundings without all the luxuries that we take for granted. But how happy they seemed! With smiles and hellos everywhere we went, the enthusiasm these villagers showed us was overwhelming.
After a brief introduction, the island chief gave me and my friends a short tour around the small island. We walked across the sandy pathways of the village, passing local landmarks like the island mosque and graveyard. The living quarters were lined neatly beside each other, small houses made of wood with sufficient facilities accommodating entire families. Little children played around outside and old folks peered curiously out the windows as we passed by. There is also a small lake in the middle of the island that is the village’s water source.
We were taken to the village school, where the village children were given the chance to have an education. The school is not big, but just enough to accommodate the number of students. With open-air classrooms and eager young children, the teachers teach basic subjects, like the national language, English, and mathematics. There are only a few levels of learning provided by the school, and the village children who seek higher education will have to travel to the Maldivian capital to further their studies.
To us, it must be great living next to the sea. And the Maldivian sea at that! But to the people living in these fishing villages, the sea is viewed as their main source for survival, and they would be heading out to sea at dawn. It will just be another day fishing in the beautiful Maldivian waters.