Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas spirit, the Fiji spirit

From Peceli,
The Christmas spirit and the Fiji spirit

Here are two stories. – one a story from Footscray Melbourne and the other from Namara Labasa Fiji.

Akisi’s small shack in the mangroves of Namara in Labasa was the centre of a newspaper article this week. I know this place and one Christmas my famly and I spent the day there with a family. Well, Akisi wanted a stronger house. There was an interesting response to Akisi’s request. A Fiji-Indian man from Suva has offered to give her a furnished house in Suva. Has he ever met Akisi? I don’t think so. But this is the Fiji spirit, to look on people as your relatives, not strangers. Whether she takes up the offer I do not know as the shift from the independence of living in Namara Nasea Vakaviti is different from living in Suva. But the right spirit is in the offer.

Two weeks ago, at Footscray hospital a patient was being wheeled on a trolly down a passage, a Fiji Indian man with his wife and children trailing alongside. Suddenly he saw a middle-aged Fijian woman nearby so he called out to the nurses, ‘Stop! Stop! That lady is my relation.’ The nurses paused and Va came over to the patient. And they talked.
Where are you from?
I’m from Nausori. Where are you from?
From Labasa.
The patient said to the nurse. This is my relation from Fiji.
But, of course they had never met before, but the Fiji spirit is there, binding people together. Hamara palwaar.

Yes, we are all palwaar.

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