Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dress codes in Fiji

from w
Here we go again, the men telling the women what to wear. Okay, there are protocols in Fijian villages about respect and decorum which is more conservative than the dress codes in towns like Suva and Lautoka. Long pants on women, well that's okay most of the time, but a sulu or longish skirt is expected when walking into a village.  Cargo shorts, flip-flops, T-shorts are not really okay if on official business with the top offices but fine for casual wear. I remember a time when I won a bundle of gifts from Morris Hedstrom in a competition including a bikini, well I only wore it once when swimming and no more because there were too many older relatives coming and going and to them it was shocking!  Most of our young relatives today dress casually - except to church or on formal occasions in our village near Labasa and that's okay.  Visiting journalists also take note. I remember the time at a chiefly installation in Somosomo, Taveuni, when a male vavalagi journalist was traipsing around in a casual flowery sulu, well, that did look silly for this occasion.

In today's Fiji Times:

Dress appropriately

Salaseini Vosamana
Monday, July 23, 2012
THE chiefs of Bua have called on media personnel, especially females, throughout the country to dress accordingly when they visit villages for news coverage.
The statement was sounded following the recent launch of the first pine chip shipment at Wairiki where a group of journalists from various media organisations wore long pants and tops in the village while on the job.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs, Tui Wainunu Ratu Orisi Baleitavea said showing respect for the vanua and its cultural values were imperative. "We understand that journalists are doing their jobs but they still should dress up appropriately because they are visiting a village," Ratu Orisi said.
"It's unpleasant to see them, especially the iTaukei journalists, walking around with long pants during traditional presentations because it doesn't portray a good image. "At least, they should wear a sulu or skirt when they are assigned to cover news items in villages," he said.
Ratu Orisi said it would be a better idea for journalists to keep a sulu or skirt in their respective offices because rural news coverage was usually unpredictable.
"Sometimes, journalists wear long pants to work but when they reach the office, they are told to cover a news assignment in a village and if this happens, they can use the clothes kept in the office.
"We are not trying to cause them problems as they go about doing their work but it's our duty as chiefs to remind them about tradition and cultural values," he added.
Ministry of Information permanent secretary Sharon Smith-Johns yesterday said it was disrespectful for such personnel to dress up inappropriately when visiting villages.
"There are certain protocols we should follow when visiting villages and its only proper we abide by it as villages have their own by-laws," Ms Smith-Johns said.
"We should at least respect one's culture by dressing up properly because this is a true reflection of the organisation we work in. We will look into the matter if the journalists were from MINFO because we have constantly reminded them of dress codes," she said.
"It has also been noticed that some personnel who visit relevant government officials like the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau for interviews often wear three-quarter pants, T-shirts and flip flops."
She said such dress codes were inappropriate and disrespectful particularly when meeting with elite people in society.
"They should be leading by example as they are representing their own organisations," she said.

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