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Celebrating Privilege of Being Fijian: PM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji Day celebrations is also about celebrating the privilege of being Fijian. Speaking at the Fiji Day celebrations in Liverpool, NSW, Australia, yesterday, he said
18 Oct 2015 09:44
Celebrating Privilege of Being Fijian: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama greets Fijians living in Sydney during the Fiji Day celebrations in Liverpool yesterday. Photo: Rajendra Lal

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji Day celebrations is also about celebrating the privilege of being Fijian.

Speaking at the Fiji Day celebrations in Liverpool, NSW, Australia, yesterday, he said all races in Fiji were now called Fijians.

“Irrespective of who we are or where we come from. Friends, it’s easily one of my Government’s greatest achievements – to forge a common identity for every Fijian citizen. No longer are we identified as individual ethnic groupings based on where our forebears came from. We are all Fijians. And can now come together as one nation, one people, to celebrate that fact.

“Whether it comes from being born there or being naturalised. The same thing applies in Australia but the Australian experience has been quite different from our own. It used to be that only indigenous Fijians could call themselves Fijian. In fact, some of my political opponents still say the term belongs to them. But this is nonsensical. Fijian is an English word given by the British to describe the inhabitants of what they called Fiji.”

The common name was one of his Government’s proudest achievements, he said.

“Because it is an absolute prerequisite for building any successful nation that everyone share the same identity. The same name.

“So, friends, we have broken down a barrier that had been erected around us for no good reason at all. We have strengthened our national identity. We have forged a more inclusive society. We have given everyone a sense of belonging. And there is a new sense of pride now in being One Nation. One Fiji. And that extends to Fijians living in other countries.”

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