An ongoing problem in Fiji today is the excessive drinking of yaqona in both villages and towns. Why? The Prime Minister spoke about this to the Lau Provincial Council, his own people.
As drinking is a part of our ritual or habit, whether it is tea, water, coffee, kava or beer. So what about kava? Yaqona has been part of Fiji culture for ceremonial purposes and set aside for the traditional priest and the chief such as at the installation of the high chief to become the mana power and ruler of the people and the land.
But then yaqona drinking became informal, for anyone, for women as well as men, for every wedding, funeral, family function, even Sunday afternoons or socially in the evenings. Some villages however have made a ruling to be moderate in ceremonies and even put a tabu on yaqona drinking. For Fiji people overseas, there is also the love of getting together, drinking yaqona socially.
The two pictures I have posted are showing an old tradition of virgin girls mixing the kava, and the other is preparing kava in a ceremony today.
So what do you think about it?
Excessive yaqona to blame: Qarase
Thursday, October 12, 2006
PRIME Minister Laisenia Qarase has again pointed to the excessive concumption of yaqona as the cause of a lot of problems for Fijians.
And he has urged church leaders to start preaching from the pulpits about the effects of excessive kava drinking on youths, church members and government officers. He told the Lau Provincial Council meeting at the Fijian Teachers Association Hall in Suva that the abuse and excessive kava drinking was the cause of a lot of problems in the lives of Fijians.
He said while travelling extensively around the country in the past few years, he saw that kava drinking was abused by villagers, especially young people who were supposed to be the leaders and fathers of tomorrow.
Mr Qarase said there was a trend for youths in villages to drink kava excessively, sometimes not finishing the sessions until the next morning. He said they then slept in the community halls or anywhere where they would not to be disturbed for the rest of the day….
"It slows the mind, makes people lazy, the physical appearance of a person changes and the young people hardly wake up in the morning to go to the plantation while some do not have a dalo or cassava plantation at all and it is really sad," he said.
He said these were some of the "bad habits" brought about by excessive kava drinking.
Mr Qarase said it was sad to see older men instead of the younger ones waking up in the morning and going to the plantation to plant food for the family…