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Grandmother Sells `Bila’ At Market

Mokani village grandmother, 79 – year – old Sarafina Rokoiri sells bila and Fiji pudding (purini) at the Suva Market. At an interview at the market, Ms Rokoiri said while
04 Aug 2017 11:15
Grandmother Sells `Bila’ At Market
Sarafina Rokoiri at Suva Market on July 28, 2017. Photo: Taraivini Seru

Mokani village grandmother, 79 – year – old Sarafina Rokoiri sells bila and Fiji pudding (purini) at the Suva Market.

At an interview at the market, Ms Rokoiri said while people were still sleeping at her village,   she was cooking her bila and purini.

“I wake up at 3am to cook products to sell at the Suva Market,” she said.

She said that her village was well known for the high quality of bila produced there.

“I survive from the money I get from selling bila and puirini.”

When asked if she was getting money from the Social Welfare Department she said it had stopped two years ago but she was happy with what she was getting from her sales at the market daily.

“I don’t get paid by social welfare and it has been two years since I last received my pensioner’s scheme which was just $50 but I have taught myself to be happy with whatever I make at the market”

She said, from the profit she made she was able to make her village contributions and also to the church.

“The rest I buy my week’s groceries supply and other essentials.” She leaves alone in the village.

 

Bila preparation

Bila” is prepared from cassava by peeling and dicing a few sticks of cassava to about 1 –2 cm and then soaked in water for three days. After the three days, the cassava is mashed and squeezed dried to certain moisture content.

Sugar and finely grated coconut are added and thoroughly mixed and made in to dough like mix. A “loaf” measuring 2cm in diameter and about 30cm long is wrapped in “vasili” leaf (Cordyline terminalis), fasten and boiled.

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