Friday, March 06, 2009

Rites of passage in Fiji

Women of Natokalau, Ovalau, with mats they presented to Navuevu villagers yesterday. Picture: JAI PRASAD
from w
There are numerous rites that need to be done when Fijians experience the trauma of bereavement and the story of the bus-fire near Sigatoka last August has been going on for about six months. It was a tragedy and effected so many people from the same family, including some of our friends. The customs are expensive and require a lot of care and time, and some people say to simplify the processes. However for many Fijians it is necessary to go through the grief process in stages and to acknowledge those who have helped. So it's about building up relationships and networks that are worth more than money.
from today's Fiji Times
Village repays debt
Saturday, March 07, 2009

IT was an emotional experience for survivors of the bus inferno that claimed 12 lives last year when they visited the site of the tragedy yesterday. A group of 25 people from Natokalau Village on Ovalau visited Navuevu Village in Sigatoka to present gifts to thank the villagers for all their help during the accident.

Navuevu spokesman Asesela Yamoyamo said it was after six months and six weeks that the survivors and relatives of the deceased came back.

Natokalau villagers presented their sevusevu and gifts to Navuevu villagers and paramount chief of Nadroga Ratu Sakiusa Makutu. Mr Yamoyamo said the village was presented with yaqona, tabua, mats, dalo, a pig and cartons of tinned fish as a token of thanks from the people of Natokalau.

"The accident was a tragedy which many would like to forget it. For the survivors and those who lost loved ones, it will take time. Our village and people tried to help Natokalau during hard times and this ceremony is to thank us for the help provided."

The Tui Naro of Natokalau said it was emotional for the survivors to go back to the site of the tragedy. "They are trying their best to move on in life and we have built a bond with the village of Navuevu."

A group of related families of Natokalau chartered Raiwaqa bus RBL001 to Nadi for a funeral but met tragedy on August 28.

1 comment:

Sybilla said...

Thanks so much for your post, pretty helpful information.