Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Unexpected Enchantment on a Faraway island

It's rare for me to feel that I have been truly captivated, and enchanted, by a television programme but the current BBC2 series of Tribal Wives is a treat and a revelation.  Each of the six, one-hour programmes, sees a female Brit being transported (in every sense) to a remote setting, to live her adoptive life, as part of the local tribe, for one month.

Tonight was the turn of 31-year-old Londoner, Becky Camilleri, to spend her four-week escape on the Papua New Guinea island of Kativa.   Instantly, she was accepted as one of the family; she called the parents 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' and was reprimanded when she turned-up for breakfast in a pair of shorts, instead of the locally-accepted female attire of a skirt.  

It was a perfect match - not only were the family warm, giving and nurturing, but so was Becky. There were many endearingly moving moments - from the home-made leaf 'plaster', infused with a herbal antiseptic - made for, and applied to, Becky's infected mosquito bite - to the confessional, deep, sisterly chats with the lovely daughter (and mother-of-three) who shared her room with Becky.

The setting was exquisitely scenic, entirely back-to-nature, complemented by true family values.  Becky's adoptive island father said, as she was leaving to return to London, that her departure would be as if "there had been a death in the family".If you're after a heart-warming hour of thought-provoking viewing, don't miss the chance to see it on the BBC iPlayer.

Tribal Wives photo, shows Becky as she is made-ready to participate in an important tribal ceremony, credit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes


Gledwood said...

Hi, I saw your comment on Welshcakes' Sicily Scene blog when Simi had a fur-cut.

I haven't seen Tribal Wives, but I did see a documentary series, on BBC1, I think, where families went to remote corners of the world to live a "natural" life.

The episode I saw had a family of Londoners spending a month somewhere near Madagascar. What was fascinating was the way the feminist wife eventually conceded that yes there probably is indeed such a thing as "men's" and "women's" work ~ tailoring to the strengths of each sex... she found out she didn't really mind at all cooking for her brood. And was only too happy when the local women showed her how to spice up a dish of local octopus (yurghk!)

The other BBC prog I really like has the disturbed teens (of 16, 17) spend a week or so with strict parents anywhere from West Africa to India to the Caribbean. Almost without exception the kids come home feeling they learned something. Which kind of reaffirms my faith in the human spirit.

Cigarette smoking is always a big issue though!!

amethyst said...

'Modern' Britain can learn much from some of those societies; it's good to see thought-provoking programmes that go beyond the superficial...