Island News

Nagasaki embraces the Fijian spirit

Written By : NANDIKA CHAND . Fiji has mesmerised 31-year old Japanese coordinator who has been working to promote Fiji for a year. Yuma Nagasaki and greets visitors with a
07 Jun 2008 12:00

image Written By : NANDIKA CHAND . Fiji has mesmerised 31-year old Japanese coordinator who has been working to promote Fiji for a year.
Yuma Nagasaki and greets visitors with a “bula!” when he welcomes fellow Japanese tourists to Fiji at the Nadi International Airport.
Nagasaki has been living in Fiji for a year and has learnt a lot about the Fiji culture and the local lifestyle.
He was thrilled to share his experience as a foreigner in our country when he knew no one.
“Bula! I have worked in Nadi airport for one year as a coordinator of English language school (Free Bird Institute in Namaka Public School),” Nagasaki said.
He made the decision to visit Fiji when he joined Ship of the World Youth (SWY) Programme which was organised by the Japanese Government.
“In that program I met 11 Fijians and became friends with them. I was awestruck by their friendliness,” he said.
“I felt that they are very different from people I have met in the world. They are the most friendly and happiest people in the world.
“When I introduced myself to members of this program, a few months before I joined the programme I broke up with my girlfriend of four years,” he said.
He said although the story was not at all funny, the Fijians at him.
“I asked them why they laughed at me and my sad story. They said we should laugh more when we feel sad! When we laugh, we can feel better!” he said.
Nagasaki impressed with how Fijians knew how to be happy and be content with oneself.
He said out of the 88 countries he has been to, Fiji was the most beautiful.
He said many people here led a happy life without stress.
“The art of feeling happy is to greet each other, even strangers. If I greet a stranger in Japan they will think that I am crazy,” Nagasaki said.
“But I can say bula to anyone in Fiji which is not only good but helps lift our confidence,” he said.
“Japanese have the longest life expectancy (average male: 80 years old/average female: 84 years old) so we live for the future,” he said.
“We save money for the future and sacrifice the present time but Fijians cherish the present time, they enjoy the moment!” he said.
However Nagasaki believes that the future is the accumulation of present time.
“My Fijian friends have taught me that people who cannot enjoy now cannot enjoy future!” he said.
“The sharing spirit ‘mine is yours, yours is mine’, people in many countries think like ‘mine is mine, yours is yours’ but it is not common in Fiji,” he added.
Nagasaki said Fijians’ way of life would help save the world because they have a spirit of sharing.
“This spirit is very necessary to solve a lot of world problems. So I really want people who visit Fiji to feel this spirit here and take it back to their countries and spread it to their family members, lovers and friends,” Nagasaki said.
Nagasaki said compared to countries he has visited, there are fewer beggars and the streets are safer.
“This is the result of the Fijians’ spirit of sharing. Fiji is an ideal country in the world and it has a special place in my heart,” he said.
“The hospitality spirit is there and willing to help everybody and that is why Fiji is one of the top island escapes in the world.”
Nagasaki said Fiji was the best country to master and learn how to speak English because of its peoples’ hospitality.
“Fijians are fabulous!”
He said when people who could not speak English well speak to English speakers in other countries they are usually ignored.
“This is because native English speakers think that it is boring and is not funny but Fijians are willing to help people!” Nagasaki said.
“So even if people who cannot speak English well, speak to Fijians, they are very patient and try to understand what people try to say,” he said.
Nagasaki said the Fijians have taught him a lot of precious things about life.
He said he would always treasure what Fiji has given to him.
“Lately I have started to share the information (which I got during my world travel) with Fijians so that they get to know the world more, be more interested in the world and have confidence and pride that they have been born in the most wonderful country,” Nagasaki said.
“For instance, yesterday I had lecture on my world travel to students at the Dream center in Sabeto. There are some ‘Dream Boys’ who escaped from their parents or tried to rehabilitate after a life of drugs,” he said.
“I have visited and conducted lectures for some Fijian families who are part of the home stay program and I am planning to give a lecture to primary school students,” he said.
“My contract with Free Bird Institute is for three years. But I want to live in Fiji forever! I am willing to do all that. I can lecture about my world travels,” he added. Nagasaki said he loved Fiji very much and wanted to contribute more to its communities.
But he adamantly admitted his love for his country of birth; Japan.
“I am making Japan and Japanese much brighter by attracting more students to Fiji to come and experience the Fijian spirit that I have experienced,” he said.
“When these students go back to Japan they will spread the Fijian bula spirit so that everyone can experience it and come to Fiji to experience it first hand themselves,” he said.
Nagasaki said Fijians knew how to be happy and how to make the world happier.

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