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Photo by Emily Shahrzad Rahravan, Indonesia Semester.

Sampela

We had the opportunity to learn how to spearfish and netfish from the Bajau of Sampela, where we spent 5 days learning about their adat (culture and traditions), environmental concerns (they are a sea faring people who depend on the health of the fish and the ocean to survive), and to practice my Indonesian. They are often discriminated against by ‘land people’ and have been confined to a tiny portion of the sea by the government, after centuries of living, traveling and thriving across the archipelago. The detrimental results to their health and adat is truly heartbreaking. But they are an incredibly warm, vibrant, and fascinating community and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from them.