Children of the Sea
They don’t know their ages, not even their parents know. For them, it seems, absolute numbers in the age don’t mean a lot. Don’t even ask whether they are registered (in the village) or not. They can’t read, they can’t write. The younger kids don’t even speak Indonesian. They live, and sleep -for most of the year- in their wooden boats. They don’t mingle with the other children in the area. They are very shy. But they are healthy, despite the fact that they may not bathe as much as we do, due to the scarcity of clean water. They are all christian! The small lads smoke, or pipe. They are avid rowers. And definitely good swimmers. Meet the children of one small tribe of Suku Laut (sea nomads), Temiang Island, Riau Archipelago.