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The Warmth of Wakatobi

by Putri Anindya

@puanindya

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“Oh my, I looked slimmer here!” said Ibu Roje, the bajo woman. She looked so surprise with her photograph that I took with my polaroid. She laughed happily and showed the photo to her friends. We were having a beautiful afternoon on her “terrace”, facing right to the sea.


Bu Roje and her neighbours lived above the sea forever. All the Bajo house built on the sea near the shore. I even could see the fish swam around underneath me. They traveled around with a wood boat and catch the fish everynight. In the morning, they sell the fish to traditional market where the “land people” buy the fish and cook it for their families.

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The Bajo are not so primitive. From what I saw, they have television and handphones, they also wear modern clothes. It’s the way they live that makes them Bajo tribe. Bath in the ocean, live above the ocean, and eat from the ocean.


I felt so thankful to experience the beauty of Bajo people and the natures around them. I got a chance to dive to see the beauty of Wakatobi underwater. This is something that invites all the tourists from all over the world.

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The difference between me and other tourist was my close encounters with Bajo people. I stayed two nights in Bajo house, I watched them hunting fish with their very traditional spear gun, and I took a bath on the sea with Bajo kids. Last but not least, the very special one, I learnt Bajo astronomy knowledge just by lying down on Kaledupa small road that made by wood, facing to the sky full of stars, listening how Bajo named the stars.

On that pretty night, we closed it with Sky full of Stars, a beautiful song by Coldplay.


From what I learnt, Bajo people are so warm and not making a big deal about living rich. “as long as the fish still on our table in the next morning, we’ll be fine,” said Bu Roje. Bu Roje and other Bajo people that I met successfully made my heart warmer than ever.

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