A Tiny Island That Offered Balinese People A New Beginning
In this out-of-the-kitchen story, I’m taking you to a tiny island in Indonesia called Lembongan, a place that gave Balinese people an opportunity to go back to seaweed farming and start their new lives.
Lembongan used to be a quick getaway from Bali. It’s beaches were crowded with tourists before but these days it look completely different. You can see only locals wading through the water and harvesting seaweed.
The coronavirus pandemic didn’t skip Indonesia, so it’s not very certain when tourists will return to Bali and this is what made a lot of Balinese people come back to Lembongan and return to seaweed farming.
In Lembongan Lies An Opportunity
Lembongan looked quite different from how I remembered it from the pre-covid times. I had the opportunity to talk to a group of people who came back to the island and decided to start their new lives here.
Some of them used to be hotel managers and when their livelihood became uncertain, they saw an opportunity in coming back to their home island.
Adapting to the new way of life was not necessarily difficult because most of the locals already had the needed skills to do seaweed farming. They learnt these skills as kids while helping out their parents.
It’s quite extraordinary to think how uncertain everything around us is and the ability to adapt and accept change is the key to turning the odds into our favour.
What amazed me even more is observing both young and elders wading through the waters of Lembongan and proving that life never stops.
As we were leaving the island, I could still see hard-working farmers carrying baskets laden with seaweed and keeping the old industry of seaweed farming alive.
With love from my kitchen to yours,
Chef Cynthia Louise xx