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177 Nations of Tasmania - Episode 57 - Small island community of the Seychelles

There were so many aspects of Anna's personal story that I found interesting that it was hard to decide what to leave out. I must admit that I have a fascination for islands and island cultures and I felt like I got, and I hope listeners feel the same, that I was able to really visualise what life on the Seychelles might be like.

The Seychelles has less than 100,000 people living over about half of the 115 islands. The overwhelming majority of people live on the main island, Mahe. All its nearest neighbours are other islands, the closest being the French dependence of Mayotte at around 1400kms, and it is over 1500 kms from the African mainland. So it's fair to say that it's quite isolated, and one can imagine, as with other remote communities, this creates a very close-knit society.

But it's one thing to read about these facts and figures, but it's not until you hear about personal experiences like Anna's, that you understand what it entails and how the geography and history of the place may have shaped the way people do things, how they live and their mentality. Family and community are much more valued than in our society. Anna speaks very fondly of her grandmother and what a big influence she was on her life, and the role of grandparents in raising kids has come up quite a bit with people who grew up in remote villages or island communities.

Knowing about this kind of background also help, I believe, make sense of a migrant's experience of Australia, and why they may settle better in one place more than another. So it made sense to me that Anna would mention Bruny Island as somewhere that her and partner really enjoyed, because it has some similarities with the Seychelles ( not as many coconuts or tropical fruits obviously ! ).

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