Promising the Emirati individuals and invitees a rich and vibrant showcase of the unique customs and traditions of over 29 nations around the world, Sharjah Heritage Days kick-started on Saturday.
The 18th edition of Sharjah Heritage Days, taking place at Heart of Sharjah over the three weeks until April 10, has lined a plethora of historical, cultural, literary, artistic and customary elements that define the sociocultural fabric of the UAE as well as of 29 countries participating in the event.
One of the major tourist attractions of the Sharjah Heritage Days, this year, is highlighting the contribution of the marine and fishing traditions of the UAE. With a dedicated section at the event, the marine section introduces visitors to the resourceful ways the Emirati people once utilised the riches of the sea.
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One of the major landscapes of the UAE –Coastal Environment, the section welcomes you with the smell of salt and the sea, with a lingering whiff of the coastal life. The section showcases different fishing, trading and pearling boats, and the presence of fishermen mending nets or salting fish indicate the crucial role of the sea in providing sustenance, before the discovery of oil in the region.
The section also highlights the pearling culture of the region. Once the main source of wealth of the province, the pearling occupation brought economic prosperity and allowed trade to flourish as Arabian pearls were in much demand in Europe and across Asia.
Giving a peek into the 7,000-year-old pearling industry of the UAE, models of pearling boats, large oyster shells, and the paraphernalia associated with pearl diving have been at display at this distinguished section.
A wooden pearl chest containing essential tools of a pearl trader is on display along with Emirati boats varying in size and purpose highlighting the UAE’s centuries-old sailing legacy and shipbuilding industry.
Not just that, the skills of UAE fishermen have also been accentuated at the festival. The Emiratis were proficient fishermen they were expert at making fishing gears using locally available materials, one which is at display is Gargoor –a semi-round fishing trap made of palm leaves. There are also live demonstrations of the technique of salting fish by a group of women stating the role of the sea as a source of nourishment for the region.
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