Traditional iTaukei drama makes stage debut

A DRAMA aimed at promoting the iTaukei culture and tradition called the Na iLululu was staged in Suva on Wednesday night.

Expected to run for 11 nights, it is the second of a three-series drama co-written by playwright and director Larry Thomas, and Dr Apolonia Tamata.

The first production — Lakovi — was staged successfully in 2010.

Na iLululu is based on the tradition of taking children to their mother’s village for the first time and with contemporary cultural issues associated with ceremonies, families, teenage children and remittances interwoven into the two acts — each featuring five scenes.

Dr Tamata said drama in the iTaukei language arose out of the need to fulfil one of the mandates of the iTaukei Trust Fund, which was to research and promote language, culture and heritage.

“It is prevailing in many of our indigenous circles, that the iTaukei language is becoming the second choice as a language of conversation and discussion — the English language being the first,” Dr Tamata said.

“From this perspective, the iTaukei Trust Fund Board pursued drama where the Fijian language could be used in a medium where aspects of a Fijian culture are presented and perhaps viewed objectively thus allowing for discussion.

“More importantly, through drama, our stories are presented in an entertaining way so that audiences are captivated.”

Performances are scheduled at The Playhouse at Selbourne St in Suva on October 3-4, 8-9, 10-11, 15-16, and 17-18. Tickets cost $10.