PEOPLE at the Lautoka bus station witnessed the true spirit of Diwali when a group of iTaukei and Japanese students shared food and conversation with the hungry and homeless.
Many remarked that it was the first time they had seen people of other races mark the occasion with such vigour.
While most children spent yesterday shopping for fireworks and Diwali treats, the 30 students from Ba Provincial College passed out food parcels and indulged in small talk with the less fortunate.
"We had both Japanese and iTaukei students take part in this exercise," said Rigieta Lord, a teacher at the school.
"The students are studying a social welfare program at Ba Pro and part of the course work requires them to conduct meaningful engagement within the community.
"At the same time we are also spreading the goodwill message of Diwali to those that do not have much.
"And I feel that having iTaukei and Japanese children take part in this initiative shows the true multi-cultural nature of our country."
Ms Lord said 45 packs filled with curried chicken and rice were handed out to the poor and homeless in the central business district along with words of encouragement and good wishes for Diwali.
"Next week, we will be paying a visit to the Golden Age Home in Natabua and doing visits and clean ups and the last part of exercise is a clean-up of the Children's Ward at the Lautoka Hospital."