Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Worli Fishing Village

Worli was one of the original 7 islands that formed the city of Mumbai (the land between the islands was later filled in by the British). The original inhabitants were the Koli fisherfolk who still live here in a fishing village which is about 600 years old. Worli is probably one of the most undeveloped parts of Mumbai - here life goes on in its traditional way with the men and women working together to catch, sort, dry and sell the fish. Worli also has one of Mumbai's old forts, originally built by the British in 1675 to defend the bay against enemy ships and pirates. Now the Bandra-Worli Sea Link ends fairly close to the village and I'm sure that the traditional life of the Koli fisherfolk will start to change.

Some of the fishing fleet - with the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in the background.

A Koli woman at a Christian shrine in the village

Worli is one of the most undeveloped parts of Mumbai and by anyone's standards the people are poor - in money terms - but I don't think they count their happiness in money. Their lives are vibrant and the sense of community is one that many around the world would envy.  Here is a narrow alley in the village. They were built like this to prevent pirates being able to easily raid and steal.

Everywhere in the village there are the most vibrant colours!

The men sort the daily catch

Colourful chicks were everywhere

Worli Fort

The contrast between old and new, rich and poor, developed and undeveloped is stark here in Mumbai.

At the market it's the women who sell the fish. Because it's the women who make the money, the men traditionally paid a bride price in Worli (and not the women who had to pay a dowry).

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