Chinese Fishing Nets, Kochi, India

When you think about Kochi, the first image that conjures up in the mind is that of the Chinese fishing nets. Also known as ‘Cheenavala’ in Malayalam, these nets are over 500 years old and were first introduced by Chinese emperor Zheng He. Located at Fort Kochi, these cantilevered fishing accessories have over the years become a popular tourist attraction. Just like any other visitor, I was most excited about seeing this unique process of fishing with these Chinese fishing nets.

Listed below are a few facts about the Chinese fishing nets I discovered during my trip to Fort Kochi –

– These fishing nets are permanently fixed on-shore installations that are set up on bamboo and teak poles and work on the principle of balance

– They droop towards the water like over-sized hammocks and are counterbalanced by stones

– The fishermen open the nets at a particular time keeping in mind the state of the tides

– A team of six or more fishermen operates each installation at a time. Two people walk on the beam so that the net descends into the water while one person opens the net and leaves it in the water for about four to five minutes. The remaining three pull the ropes thereafter so that the net comes back up and they can finally see how much fish they have managed to catch

– Once they are done fishing, they carefully tie the net to the pole and head out to sell their fresh catch of the day.

It was amazing to see these fishermen complete their task so effortlessly. They not only enjoyed the entire process but also made it super fun for people who were watching them. Their positive attitude towards their work and life definitely taught me a few things that I would like to share with you –

– Patience:
When they release the net into the water, they patiently wait for some time until they start pulling the ropes to see how much fish they have caught. Likewise, you can achieve everything you want. All you have to do is be patient. Everything happens at the right time

– Team Work:
All six of them had one goal – to catch fish. Each one knew what role he had to play, gave his 100% to it and as a team they successfully reached their goal. The same applies for us in our day-to-day lives. Always focus on the goal and respect your team members. It is important to concentrate on your role and give your 100% to the task

– Trust:
Each one trusted the other’s timing and had faith in them. Similarly in life, play your part and trust the process

– Have fun:
Pulling those ropes is no easy task. But while they were at it, they decided to have fun. They sang songs until the nets were back up and enjoyed the process. Just like that, don’t take life too seriously. Even if you’re going through hard times, don’t forget to smile and have some fun.

Chinese Fishing Nets
Opening the net
The net is in the water
Pulling of ropes
Getting it back up to see how much fish they have caught

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