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Fiji Time: 9:24 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Call to trace links

Ropate Valemei
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ABOUT 90 per cent of young people in Fiji and Rotuma only have knowledge of their lineage up to three generations back.

A 60-year-old former primary school principal and a Pacific voyager said young people should conduct more research into their links beyond these generations.

"If you ask any young people about their ancestors, either they don't know or know of only two or three generations back," said Mausio Mafai.

Mr Mafai was one of the voyagers on board the Uto ni Yalo who sailed around the Pacific and the world tracing the links of Fiji and Rotuma to other parts of the world.

"On our voyage, we tasted what our ancestors experienced. They only took from the ocean and from the land what they needed," he said.

Mr Mafai urged young people to take time to learn about their culture and traditions and trace their links back because they could hold surprises.

"I am calling on young people to stand up and do more research on our ancestors.

"We should not rely on historians and technical people to do it for us — we have to do it ourselves."

Mr Mafai said this could be a gift to young people.

"Stories are transferred down through songs, tales, chants and other modes but we have to dig deeper."

He said people could spread awareness through talanoa sessions with their friends and families.