Monday, September 21, 2009

Taking a break from cane-cutting

from w
Yesterday was World Peace Day and also Eid Festival for the ending of Ramadan fasting so that was a nice time for ordinary gestures of hospitality as Muslims in Fiji invited guests to share with them. At a farm in Bucalevu near Labasa a group of Fijians from a village in Bua celebrated together. This is an ideal way of doing 'peace' better than speeches full of abstract words and afternoon tea parties in Suva, eh! Samai is a lovely sweet made from very fine vermicilli, sweetened and spiced.

from Fiji Times Villagers cross the barrier to unite in joy
Theresa Ralogaivau
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DRINKING samai and celebrating Eid for the first time was an eye-opening experience for a group of Bua villagers at Bucalevu yesterday. Jokapeci Nautora, 28, and her group of cane harvesters found it exciting to be celebrating another culture and faith far away from home. "Our village is far away in Bua and many of us didn't even know what Eid was all about," she said. "It was the first time for many to taste samai and we all loved its sweetness and the fact that there was a lot of milk in it," she added. The villagers have been spending the past two weeks harvesting cane at Mohammed Saizad's farm.

It was Eid with a difference for Mr Saizad and his family to have indigenous harvesters over. "Eid mean's kushi yali or a time to make happiness and share love and we do this with a bowl of samai that we offer out to everyone regardless of their race," he said. "It was good moment for me and my family to be celebrating Eid with villagers of Nawailevu because we mostly reach out to our relatives and friends."

Celebrations unfolded on the lawns of the 64-year-old's home with pala (sewn sacks) spread out and everyone sitting around enjoying a bowl of samai. "I could drink bowls and bowls of this and never have enough," Ms Nautora said. "Today we made new friends and had a happy Eid with the villagers so it made it a meaningful one for my family," Mr Saizad said.

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