CONSTITUTION Commission chairman Professor Yash Ghai has highlighted the very delicate relationship that exists between culture and the State.
While hearing constitutional submissions particularly from people in villages, Professor Ghai said he noted that the common theme of conflict existed between the community and the individual.
Prof Ghai revealed this at the University of the South Pacific's Fiji Day celebrations last weekend.
"I noticed that children no longer obeyed their parents and how there was a lack of community amongst many of these people," he said.
"It surprised me that many people in these rural areas wished for the return of corporal punishment and I questioned these decisions and suggestions."
Prof Ghai said he noted that while speaking with urban communities, there was a greater acknowledgment of community in their approach to submissions.
"With the urban communities, we saw joint presentations by the youth, who looked at the future and wanted to work together with people. There is a need to strengthen these ethnic differences," he said.
Prof Ghai then posed an interesting question - "how do we manage these political, economic and social differences but also engage in new ideas and ways of living without creating too much anxiety?"
He said there was indeed a need to strike a balance between culture, development and human rights.
"We must find ways to acknowledge culture and encourage development. In the past, the focus was very much on the State which tried to keep a distance from culture.
"Ethnic differences were ignored and now, the more I listen to villagers wanting village by-laws again, the more I realise the potential harm that does to Fijians wanting to leave their villages," Prof Ghai said.