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Episode 68 of 68

Ahsan from The Maldives : Everyday life on an island paradise

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177 Nations of Tasmania
36:53
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The Maldives is so often seen as a fashionable and unique travel destination in online travel sites and images of bikini-wearing influencers swanning around atolls of glittering white sand or bathing in azure waters are common place. But what is life like for everyday people in this small island nation ? And why would a Maldivian want to leave this seemingly idyllic life, for a life in the much colder and temperamental climate of Tasmania ?
Ahsan migrated from The Maldives and has lived in Tasmania for around 15 years now, and has three children here, and loves life here. He originally moved to complete a Ph.D, but ended up working as an electrical engineer for an arm of Hydro Tasmania. In this episode we discussed life in The Maldives and how it has changed since he was young, and how precarious life can be there at times.
To get a bit of perspective, it's useful to know a few key facts about The Maldives. The archipelago of some 26 coral islands is scattered over an area of 90,000 square kilometres, of which 298 km2 is land. In this conversation we discuss how this effects life on the islands and creates a culture of interdependence and communitarianism. It's also the flattest country on earth, with an average natural elevation of 1.5 metres, making it extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels and natural disasters. The 2004 tsunami had a particularly devastating impact, as you will hear.