By Young Foung
Theme: Cultural and Economic Differences.
Jagna is a small part of Bohol, where sandy beaches and tropical weather remind me of my home country, Mauritius. It is a small village but yet the people are civilized and friendly. News spread very fast when there are foreigners in the region, and after few days in this isolated area, Tubod Mar, most of the residents recognise us and few ‘hellos’ exchanged when we bump into each other.
Friendly kids in Tubod Mar.
Economically speaking the businesses here are very small compared to other businesses in developed countries like Hong Kong. Instead of finding some salesgirls to greet us when you get into the shops, in Jagna we are usually welcomed by some children. Instead of pushing us to buy their products like what usually sales people do, they instead try to have friendly conversations and suggest us some fun places to go around.
Cute girl we met in a nearby store.
I also realized that people do not possess a lot but still they share among their relatives, friends and neighbours- the less you have the more you give might apply to the people of Tubod Mar. Henry, my host father often goes fishing and every time he catches some fish he shares them with the individuals in our neighbourhood. Few metres from our house, there is a generous lady who owns some coconut trees and she invites us to drink whenever she sees me and my host family. I have come to realize that in small villages like Jagna, you actually get to know your neighbours and realize the true meaning of a community, whereas in big cities like Hong Kong, you barely talk to each other and where lots of people have a materialistic mindset. In these developed countries, greediness plays a big role and where people step on the foot of their comrade to climb up the stairs of success. Here, residents actually take a step back to enjoy the small things in life, whereas in first world countries people are materially better-off, but yet stress constantly reminding them of the high cost of living.
Coconut sharing among the neighbours.
Moreover, religion has a significant place in the heart of the residents. Every weekend they go to the church and pray before any meal. They even organise fiestas in the name of a specific Saint, where each family prepares food and invites neighbours or even strangers to come to the house for food sharing. Even though I do not believe in God, I am very happy to witness that in such a small community, religion can bring people together instead of tearing them apart like in other parts of the world.
During the fiesta.
It is true that in developed countries, people can enjoy more perks and facilities compared to isolated regions, where people still have to take shower using buckets or where businesses grow slowly and earning almost nothing in terms of profits. Nevertheless, I have come to like this slow-pace living in Jagna and enjoy the company of friendly residents.
Some strangers we met on the beach and they asked for a photo.