Friday, November 03, 2006

Macuata Day - far away from the Suva crowd

Far away from the noise and bluster of Suva and the overheated talk by journalists who should take their kura medicine and have a good lie down, was a lovely cultural day in Naduri village in Macuata. It was Macuata Day. We have been to similar cultural days in Naduri and enjoyed the festival atmosphere which usually includes fund-raising, mekes, and a feast.

The main guest this time was Ratu Jone Madraiwiwi. Part of his speech is quoted in the Fiji Times today - November 04, 2006. His words are moderate and he is careful not to take sides. He sounds like a very patient man indeed!

VICE President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, , said although he and the President had been criticised publicly, they would remain calm. And he assured that the standoff between the military and the Government would be dealt with carefully. Given the military's aggressive reactions, it would not be wise to stir things up at the moment, he said.

Speaking in Fijian to more than 4000 villagers at the Macuata Day celebrations in Naduri, Ratu Joni said the storm would die down and the people should think of the past and reflect on the future. He said it was important to understand where the country was heading and to move on. Ratu Joni said it was useless to point fingers and everyone should reflect on their own actions and remain calm.

He asked the villagers to pray for peace and for guidance for the leaders and there was no reason to become a party to the tension.

Ratu Joni said wisdom and understanding were needed to solve the impasse. He said gatherings of festivities such as the Macuata Day was needed at times when the political atmosphere was tense.

Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere said Ratu Joni's speech was very encouraging and motivating. He said the chiefs of Macuata had discussed their stand on the current situation, which they would relay to Ratu Joni. The people of Macuata, he said, wanted the current government to continue its term without interference. He said the government leaders and the military should sit down and work out an amicable solution to their differences.
FT Nov 7
The organiser of Macuata Day, Adi Seinimili Dyer said the function was revived to bring all the people in the province together.She said the money raised would be used to construct two hostels in Labasa and provide scholarships to students for further studies. Adi Seinimili said the Macuata Provincial Council was focusing on the education of children from the province. She said it was important that children had the resources to further their education and have a comfortable accommodation while studying in Labasa.


Though Suva and the events of the past week seem distant from a community where newspapers are not often read, the people certainly would have listened to the radio and perhaps become alarmed for their kin living in Suva.

We are not isolated people wherever we live. We are connected and there’s this theory that when a butterfly flaps her wings somewhere, it will have an effect elsewhere.

What do you think about Ratu Jone's speech?

added Nov 13th.
Peceli's brother went to Macuata Day and said it was a fabulous day for the women's soli (offering) and because of the tauvu relationship with Bau, there was plenty of teasing going in with the Vice President, Ratu Jone. Also the Wailevu people excelled in their dances - wesi (spear dance) and seasea (women's standing dance). All this jollity when Suva was simmering with disquiet the same day!


nzm said...

Sensible words that will hopefully be heeded by sensible people, but how many hotheads are there in the Fiji Military who want some other result?

I went to Suva Grammar with Joni Madraiwiwi. He was Head Boy, leader for the National Quiz team and I think was also dux in his last year.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

You went to school with the Vice-President!!! Fiji is a place for knowing so many people, we are so connected. It's only about 2 stages of separation for Fiji people to know 'status' people!

Hotheads? At least two, but I am not intimate with the army in Fiji at all - just a few majors who trained at Queenscliff near Geelong and they seemed nice men - on social occasions. A lot of young army guys are ordinary kids of course. We know the police guys much better.

Penijamini Vuakatagane said...

Does anyone know precisely what was the final amount raised?At about 6.00pm Fiji time I was told that it was FJ$119,000.00.Ialso received a short message from my bro who took our soliand it was " Maleka na Vonu" Pai kole

kaimacuusa said...

Sa bula re Talatala Peceli

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Penijamini and Macuata USA
Miau bula re: Its nice to hear from you Ratu! I was in the Bose ko Viti in Bau Island few months ago and it was very good Tailevu ni siga.
I happened to go to Cautata for a short time and this is a progressive village.
I went to Labasa and saw the Macuata Courthouse in Labasa. It looks beautiful and thanks to the Macuata tikina. just like the Ro Qomate house for the Labasa tikina.
It's nice to read your comment and write anytime.

Laticia Tunaulu - Dogotuki-> Canberra. said...

lede.. na vonu.. ya'ai.. sa ma'lea dina!

Laticia Tunaulu - Dogotuki-> Canberra. said...

Bula Si'a Peceli ei Wendy..

Isa vina'a va'a levu na biuta ti'o na babasiga webpage.

Finally, a place where we "the Babasiga" gang can catch up on news about home. I had gone to the village on the 30th Oct 2006 (Na Ma'o)for my brothers funeral. Mikaele Ceyaqalo. So, fish,mud crabs, prawns and heaps of grog and fresh air. Oohh was great catching up with the Aunties and the Nau's.. lede.. even though we all met on a sad occasion. Thank you. Vina'a va'alevu.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Bula si'a Laticia!
Nice to hear from you in Canberra and sorry to hear about your brother's death.
You probably know Mere Siganisucu in Sydney who is from Vitina, Dogatuki, and also Ratu Vili Caniogo from Namuka who's in Canberra.
Babasiga blog is meant to promote the Friendly North but Wendy and I also write about other things.
How about you starting a blog too? It's easy.