Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reflections on Fiji Day in Wellington, Aotearoa, NZ.2009

Ni sa bula, No'oia, Kia Ora, Namaste & Greetings,
10 October 2009, on Saturday, was marked by many Fiji people worldwide as a day to remember Fiji's Independence Day from Great Britain. This year in Wellington, Aotearoa, we marked the day with much more sombre mood as we remembered also those Fiji families that have lost their loved ones at the hands of the military regime back in Fiji over the last three years.
It was not easy to celebrate as Fiji & its people still struggle to come to terms with the fact that their basic rights & freedom have been compromised. As of todate, there are still restrictions to freedom of speech, freedom of press/media, freedom to hold public meetings or church gatherings as in the case of the Fiji Methodist Church and many more. The question we ask, how can we celebrate this special day in earnest when the regime maintains a tight control on the individuals freedom of choice & expression in Fiji. We still mourn for the losses of lives and for many other reasons which are too many to mention.
On a lighter note, we have decided to blog some images of what took place in Wellington on 10 October 2009. As always, the intention is to give the children an opportunity to reconnect with their roots in Fiji by being a part of this day. This at the very least, will give these kids a taste of what Fiji Culture & tradition is all about. We wish to also take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, Wellington City Council (esp Rita for all your expert help and guidance & ensuring venues as well as all those finer details were met), & also your fellow colleagues,Bessie & Marie.
Trade Aid (Christian & Philippa, for co-hosting with us the Cheese & Wine evening on Friday 09/10/09 & also for being our special guest on Saturday 10/10/09. Thanks for having those crafts from Fiji by the Matemosi Women's groups on display & also for the team of Trade Aid Volunteers that helped out with us on the day.
Fijian Congregation Members of All Nation's Christian Fellowship, Wellington for the mekes & leading us through the evening vigil. Special thanks to Talatala (s) S.Tuinasau, E.Delana, Waiz. To Alisi & all Children, men & women that performed on the day and made the day so special.
Jan, Manager of Johnsonville Community Hall for assisting us with an alternative venue at such a late notice due adverse weather as predicted for Saturday 10 October 2009 which did not allow us to have the event as planned at Frank Kitts Park.
Steve Ready, the expert weather man in Wellington, who once lived in Fiji, worked @ weather Bureau, Nadi International Airport, now married to a Fiji lady.
Thanks for keeping your fingers on the pulse & alerting us well before hand as to weather predictions for 10/10/09.
All other members of Fiji Community & other denominations that made time to be with us on this day. We also thank members of the wider Wellington Community who joined us also.

Last, but not least all the hard working Luvei Viti Core Team for Fiji Day 2009, Valencia Mar Melesia, Pauline Teautama, Taniela Naitini, Rafaele Brown, Dennis Veisaku, Sally, Ana Fong, Adi Samanunu & all those Volunteers that helped out on the day.
Vinaka Vakalevu, Tena Koto Tena Koto Tena Koto Katoa.
From: Core Team
Luvei Viti (Children of Fiji) Community

2 comments:

  1. Townsville’s Fiji Day celebration

    October 10, 2009

    In my 40 years as an Australian citizen, I have never attended a Fijian function in the true Fijian sense here in Australia as I did tonight, Saturday, 10th of October here in Townsville, North Queensland.
    The Fiji Day celebrations was great and well organised. The warmth and friendliness of the Fiji people that consist of the different races gave me happiness, faith, hope and the urge to stay in touch with my birth country and never to forsaken it to the illegal junta. It was all there, the laughter, the melodious of the Fijian language, the meke, the Bollywood dance, the grog session, ( men only ) and off course the aroma of the chop suey, lovo food, curries etc.
    For the time being while I refuse to set foot on Fiji shores I am extremely grateful for what these wonderful, kind loving people are doing here in Townsville in keeping the Fijian spirit burning within us all. Our children and grandchildren are not missing out, they are experiencing the true Fijian way.
    The well known Fijian greeting of welcome “Bula” will always be affectionate and sincere, something Frank Bainimarama and his cohorts can never forcefully take away from us because it is ours to hold on to for the rest of our lives. It is the one thing that remains with us unchallenged and is very much in tact here in Townsville.
    Justice will prevail and one day my family and I will return to help take Fiji back on the world stage.
    Many thanks to the organisers of what was a great function and my family and I will be in attendance at the next one.
    Rosalind Pratt
    from Raw Fiji News re Corruption.http://rawfijinews.wordpress.com

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  2. Fiji expels New Zealand, Australian envoys

    Fiji's military leader Frank Bainimarama has ordered the Australian and New Zealand envoys to leave within 24 hours over alleged interference with Fiji's judiciary.

    ''I have told the minister of foreign affairs to issue communications to the Australian and New Zealand governments that their respective heads of missions are to be recalled within 24 hours,'' Bainimarama said in a televised address.

    ''I have also informed them our high commissioner in Australia is to be recalled with immediate effect,'' he said.

    Australia and New Zealand have been at the forefront of condemnation of Bainimarama since he toppled Fiji's elected government in a December 2006 coup.

    Bainimarama accused both countries of ''a consolidated effort to attack Fiji's independent judiciary'' over alleged attempts to block Fiji judges traveling through Australia and New Zealand.

    Both countries have travel restrictions on figures associated with the military regime.

    Bainimarama said the heads of Australia and New Zealand's diplomatic missions in Fiji had refused to engage with the government.

    ''They misinform Canberra and Wellington and wage a negative campaign against the government and people of Fiji,'' he said.

    ''It is my government's duty to ensure that no foreign government should interfere with such judicial independence and integrity. We must always protect and be proud our sovereignty.''

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Bula, No'oia, Kia Ora, Warm Greetings, Namaste

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