Kihnu and Taketomi
Kihnu Island reminded me Taketomi Island in Japan. They have a resemblance where the life-style of the residence itself becomes
a cultural resource and a tourist attraction. This 'Tourism displaying life-style' tends to give a man-maid feeling
to the visitors. Then the tourists hardly tell whether it is a real local
life or a tourist attraction.
At least I often watch the things ironically like that. But as talking
to other tourists, I knew some of them also have similar impression. "I
saw a classic Russian sidecar in the yard. Yet I have not seen actually
it moved" "Oh, That must be an exhibition service for the tourist"
Umm, I'm disappointed about it if it's true. But it's better to see the
sidecar in the grass yard than to be left in the garage even if it's a
service. The residents well understand our feeling.
But when I think about it from another point of view, I feel if the displayed daily life is not a made-up one but the real. Kihnu's on- season is only 4 months, from June to September . So one day in early October, do the residents remove the scarf and skirt and sigh after the seasonal work? Maybe no. If they do so, they could be a professional actress on the Broad-Way. After all, what I saw in Kihnu was a real life of the residents. Kihnu ladies wear the scarf and striped skirt and ride a bike even in the off-season. Same for the Taketomi Island.
However I guess there are many ordinance for conserving traditional life-style
and landscape.Whichever Wooden houses in Kihnu or stone walled residences
in Taketomi, if they are easily replace to the modern resort hotel with
development, then the islands turned into a tourist place where you can
see anywhere. I would never choose the islands as a destination.
Always keeping the islands clean, keeping it in peace, welcoming visitors
with smile and showing their everyday life aren't easy thing for the residents,
I think. It can result from the pride of community. Yeah, I visited there
to take part in the community. Now I feel everything's settled in right
Of course, I don't know about Kihnu so much with the short stay. For example
"Is the island open for settler from outside?" "Does the
island suffer from depopulation?" The common issues on countryside
all over the world.
Countryside? But I didn't have impression as a declining countryside on
Kihnu. The local houses were well maintained. They looks well-off enough.
So mainly what residents do for make living? The main industry of the island
is still fishing? Or forestry? I need more time to stay there and talk
to the people for solving the questions.
" Kihnu lady on the bike " Kihnu Island, Estonia 2016