Opinion

EDITORIAL: Fijians Show Tolerance, Put Aside Differences During Holi Celebration

The ability of all Fijians to show respect, observe and celebrate the holy days of the different religious groups is a hallmark Fiji can be proud of as a nation.
05 Mar 2018 14:56
EDITORIAL: Fijians Show Tolerance, Put Aside Differences  During Holi Celebration

The ability of all Fijians to show respect, observe and celebrate the holy days of the different religious groups is a hallmark Fiji can be proud of as a nation.

It is notable that despite political and other differences that sometimes tend to divide Fijians they are always united when it comes to respecting each ethnic group’s religious celebrations.

During the past week in schools around the country students and teachers celebrated Holi while over the weekend the celebration of the “festival of colours” was observed by other religious groups.

They enjoyed this as Hindus played with the colours, best of all everyone found time to forget past wrongs and to forge ahead in unity.

Students of Gandhi Bhawan Primary School in Lautoka in celebrating Holi, were reminded by their head teacher that it was a time when “even enemies become friends and are united”.

A time for strengthening the bonds between people, an event to take away all ill feelings and bring out the good in each individual.

What does that mean for all Fijians?

This demonstrates the acceptance and new found tolerance common Fijians have developed for each other. It is not only witnessed during Holi, but during Christmas which is celebrated by all, Easter, Eid and Diwali are other religious events everyone looks forward to.

At the Holi celebrations hosted by the Indian High Commission at My Suva Park yesterday, the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum clearly demonstrated that Fijians can live among each other in peace and harmony.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji is a unique country because it celebrates the holy days and special events of each religious group.

“It is unique, we are probably one of the few countries in the world where we have such celebrations, where we have public holidays for occasions such as Diwali, Easter, Prophet Mohammed Birthday and Christmas.”

He said religious events such as Holi and Eid also took place in Fiji and Fijians should cherish the events and ensure that cultural celebration, cultural understanding and cultural acceptance continue.

Holi was also celebrated at Damodar City in Laucala whereby many University of the South Pacific students, especially our Pacific Island neighbours witnessed the event, bringing a sense of unity among people.

All Fijians must come together and guard the opportunity that we have for each other’s religious backgrounds and auspicious occasions.

Meanwhile, what is Holi?

All around the world people take part in Holi which is associated with the pouring and painting of coloured powder on each other.

This is when people in a jovial mood chase each other around, throwing handfuls of coloured powder and get drenched in water.

It goes to show that religion has a special power to bring people together as they forget any difference they may harbour.

For the sake of our nation and our children let’s be tolerant of one another and stay united.

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