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Bulubulu Has Role. But it’s Not To Cover Up Crimes

The tradition of bulubulu has been an intricate yet integral part of the iTaukei society. Bulubulu has been used by families for various reasons. For example, when a couple elopes
31 Mar 2016 10:10
Bulubulu Has  Role. But it’s Not To Cover Up Crimes
fijisun.com.fj

The tradition of bulubulu has been an intricate yet integral part of the iTaukei society.

Bulubulu has been used by families for various reasons. For example, when a couple elopes or an unwed woman is impregnated, the man’s family traditionally apologises.

However, over the years, this tradition has come to be misused.

In recent times, bulubulu has been used to seek apology for criminal matters, for harbouring a fugitive, for theft and more sinisterly, in cases of rapes.

For too long, the elders in families have made the offer of bulubulu which had been accepted by elders on the other side. More often, the victim has had no say in this matter.

Now is the time to think seriously about this entire traditional practice. Now is perhaps time that laws be put in place to stop people from using this tradition to get away with serious crimes.

Our lawmakers are no doubt aware of what all has been going on behind the scenes and how the practice has been misused.

What can be done about it?

The iTaukei Affairs Ministry can raise awareness that a bulubulu does not cut it in such matters. You do the crime, you do the time.

No doubt there are going to be those who may see any attempt to raise awareness on this down side of bulubulu as an attack on iTaukei traditions. But now is not the time to play those sort of politics.

Fact is that there is a traditional practice, which while has its uses, is also being used to cover-up grave crimes, such as rape.

Fact is that a lot of people out in our communities are suffering silently because someone in their families decided that the unjust done to them is forgiven because a traditional apology has been accepted.

Fact is that there are criminals amongst us who are living a free life because they have not been taken to task for their crimes.

Fact is that this needs to be rectified now.

Fact is that those who accept such traditional apologies in criminal matters, like rape, should also face the music.

In all cultures, there are a few people who attempt to twist and turn the traditions to suit their own agenda. We cannot let criminals – especially rapists – hide behind such traditions. We cannot let such people win.

Speak out against this. Do not accept a traditional apology for such an act.

Source: JYOTI PRATIBHA

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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