IT was a solemn act of unity when the people of Malake handed over a symbolic torch to the people of Narewa in Rakiraki on Wednesday to mark the observance of a three-month prayer campaign in the province of Ra.
The campaign, involving a ban on yaqona and alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking, focused on spiritual cleansing and aimed to change people's lifestyle and improve the standard and quality of life.
Narewa Village in Raviravi, Ra, came to a standstill before midday to observe the vakacabe rarama and torch handover from the turaga ni yavusa (Malake) Jone Cuanilawa to Tu Malake Jale Radiva.
The Ra Provincial Council announced earlier it had mobilised its 32,000 populace to participate in the unprecedented three-month prayer campaign, which had the support of heads of religious denominations.
The village-to-village walk of faith culminated with the lighting of ceremonial lamp, which was witnessed by the villagers dressed in white.
Rakiraki assistant district officer Pio Loco said they had four torches for the four tikina in the province.
"For this torch in Rakiraki, they were following their ancestors when Christianity was brought to them. Last week, it was passed on from Nakorokula to Malake then from Malake to Narewa," he said.
"So far everyone has been observing the ban and you can see the change in the daily lives of the people, especially the men."