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Rotumans Gather For Their Big Day

Rotumans Gather For Their Big Day
Pepjei District women at the Rotuma Day celebrations at FMF Gymnasium on May 19, 2018. Photo: Selita Bolanavanua
May 20
12:58 2018

THEME: STAND UP ROTUMA AND SEE WHAT OUR FUTURE IS LIKE (HAGUA ROTUMA TIOR’AKIA’OU AVA)

Hundreds of Rotumans in Suva gathered at the FMF National Gymnasium yesterday to cel­ebrate Rotuma Day.

Spokesperson Andrew To­masi from the district of Malha’a said the two-day event which ended yesterday was not only to commemo­rate Rotuma being ceded to Great Britain but also bring­ing the Rotumans together.

This is to revive their cul­ture, sustain their language and also help their children to be aware of their heritage.

This year’s celebration was hosted by the district of Malha’a with the theme: Stand up Rotuma and See What Our Future is Like (Hagua Rotuma Tior’akia’ou ava).

“Every year there is a dif­ferent theme and this year, we came up with that theme because we feel that we rarely find pure Rotumans today be­cause of the mixed marriag­es, and across cultures,” Mr Tomasi said.

“As a minority group, we want to help our people un­derstand their roots and their heritage.”

He said even though Rotu­mans were now intermarried to other races, it was very im­portant for them to hold on to their values and beliefs that their forefathers had passed on from generation to genera­tion.

There were also a number of chiefs, who had travelled, from Rotuma to attend the celebrations.

He said when chiefs attend such an event it makes the event very unique.

Some of the programmes of the two-day event included Women’s Craft Show and the Agriculture Show where men displayed their root crops.

Mr Tomasi acknowledged their sponsors BSP and Fiji Sports Council for their sup­port.

“I also thank the Fiji Rotu­mans Association and most of all I thank the Almighty God for the lovely weather,” he said.

The ceremony ended with entertainments and music last night.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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