The Haenyeo Diaries: Day 6

Taken a few days ago on a relatively mild day, the Haenyeo Halmonis drew quite a crowd of local people and restaurant owners near their work station. Most of them just observed in amazement as the Haenyeo unloaded their goods, but one gentleman bought about 10kg of sora (turban shells) for 50,000 won. He didn’t barter and happily handed over his money to the thankful Halmoni. Another lady came out of nowhere to take the lone muneo (octopus) that was stuck in the net. Being a regular “customer” of theirs, she took the octopus without paying but got the okay from Halmoni to pay next time. This was a unique encounter with the Haenyeo Halmonis and the locals, as I sensed it was not only a mutual partnership based on respect and welfare but also one that nurtured community and, for me, much more admiration for these special women. 

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