Tag Archives: Beach

Maldives Originals fish leather

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Maldives has always been dependent on foreign products for economic stability and fulfillment of basic needs. The lack of locally made products is so vast that tourists often complain about the genuineness of the items available. However, a local NGO, Naifaru Juvenile has renewed hopes for local products by launching its own brand of fish leather, “Maldives Originals”.

Naifaru Juvenile from Lhaviyani Atoll broke the anticipation to launch its own brand of “truly Maldivian” fish leather. Although the “Maldives Originals” brand leather products does not have a reliable market at present, this is a line of work that can be undertaken by young Maldivians seeking employment prospects.

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Deputy Chairperson of Naifaru Juvenile, Mohamed Ahmed (Kamma) said that when they perceived the idea to produce leather from fish skin, an intensive research was made to find methods to create these products. He said that a Swedish national who has been successful in the business was brought to the Maldives to provide training for 10 Maldivians.

Basically, two main methods are used to produce leather from fish skin. One method is a tanning method embarked by using olive oil and chicken eggs and the other is a traditional tanning method. Naifaru Juvenile is using these two methods to create their leather products.

The tanning method using olive oil and chicken eggs can be completed within 48 hours while about a week is taken to create the final product using the traditional method as it needs leaves and tree barks.

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The Art shop of Naifaru Juvenile showcases products made out of leather from different types of reef fish. Products made out of reef fish leather include key chains, straps and other materials. Naifaru Juvenile hopes that wallets and phone cases made out of fish leather will be introduced to the market within a month.

Naifaru Juvenile believes that this work is an easy ad profitable opportunity that can be undertaken by housewives. This is also a huge step to reduce the number of souvenir items imported into the country and to increase the number of locally made products. Naifaru Juvenile is aspiring to bring truly “Made in Maldives” products to the thousands of tourists visiting the country every year.

This aticle was first published on Channel New Maldives (CNM) – cnm.mv –

The Unexpected Visitor

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It is not often that you get to meet a person who is openly willingly to talk to you. It is even much less often that such an encounter happens with a creature other than a human being. However, I was lucky enough to be sought by an unexpected visitor. In this case it was a talking parrot.

Sitting at the balcony outside my room in Maafushi Island early on a Saturday morning, I was thinking of how things were going to get back into the hectic lifestyle when I return to Male’ City that afternoon.

A few moments later, a shrill screech just beside my ear startled me. A turn to my left revealed nothing less than a yellowish parrot perched on a branch of a huge tree, leading to the balcony. What came next was even more surprising!

The bird screeched once more and greeted me with a screechy “Hello”. I was so surprised by the occurrence that I jumped out of the chair, grabbed my hair and almost screamed with joy.

Next thing I knew, I was inside the bed room, jerking the cover off my boyfriend so that he too can meet with the unexpected visitor. At first, the parrot seemed to be shy and awkward not responding our calls. But just a few minutes after we started pretending to ignore him, the parrot’s curiosity got the better of him.

He jumped onto the balcony and began crossing the doorway to our room. Within a few moments, he was sitting comfortably on my boyfriend’s shoulder. And that is where he spent the next two hours, sitting on my boyfriend’s shoulder!

We even had to take him for breakfast and came to know that this unexpected visit from the talking parrot is not something unexpected at all. He is a frequent visitor to the “Island Cottage” guest house, but it is rare for him to have approached an unknown person.

As soon as our breakfast arrived, he jumped onto the table and was digging into an omelet. Next came the jam and the butter. It was so hilarious that this unexpected visitor who met us just a few hours ago, and would only speak a “hello” and a “Vahaka dhahkaba” (meaning talk to me in local Dhivehi Language) would be making the best of our breakfasts without a single thought into it.

After breakfast we came to know that the talking parrot actually has a name and is owned by the family that lives just next to the guest house. Joari, the unexpected visitor and the talking parrot.

Yet, that wonderful, unprecedented encounter had to come to an end as our ferry to Male’ City was scheduled to leave in the afternoon. We left Joari, resting on an undhoali (local name for swing), just outside the “Island Cottage”.

One thing I came to realize from the unexpected visitor is that parrots and birds and animals should not be caged. Just like Joari, they should have the right to move freely and wonder about, making unexpected visitors to strangers, spreading their warmth and harmony to others.

Visiting Maafushi Island

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Kaafu Atoll Maafushi Island in Maldives is 26 kilometers from the Capital Male’ City. It takes a one and a half hour ferry ride to travel to the island with over 20 guest houses and a blooming local economy based on local tourism.

After a long and difficult semester at the university, my boyfriend and I decided to spend a short break exploring the island of Maafushi. We got onto a heavily crowded ferry, buzzing with houseflies on a warm Thursday afternoon.

Within one and half hours, we reached the island, to be welcomed warmly by a staff of the ‘Island Cottage’, the guest house we were staying in. A short walk took us to the guest house which was located just next to the main prison of Maldives, which is also established in Maafushi Island.

With a mixture of local and western style, ‘Island Cottage’ is the perfect name to call the guest house. A thatch roof covered the two storey house along with a wonderfully homey backyard and front yard.

Our room was much better that we had anticipated (even though I expected it to be a little bit more spacey). A huge balcony facing the households of Maafushi Island was perfect to mount our telescope for the mystical hobby of star and moon gazing.

‘Island Cottage’ was very homely with a living area offering plenty of privacy. The food there was great too. Yet, the same cannot be said about the prices in the island. Everything seemed to be very expensive but the pressure free environment is just reward for the costs.

One of the most unique things about Maafushi Island is the “Bikini Beach”. It is an area on the beach which gives complete privacy for guests to wear bikinis and go about having fun on an island which strictly follows the Islamic Sharia. No other inhabited island in the Maldives offers such a privilege for visitors.

All in all, our three day stay in the island was filled with joyous memories. The homeliness of the guest houses, the beach, seas and the quite, natural environment just a few hours from the capital city is not something to be overlooked. My boyfriend and I arrived back in Male’ City with many plans to make numerous visits to the island of Maafushi in the near future.