Fading away

INDIGENOUS traditional customs and knowledge are vanishing rapidly, it has been revealed.

The revelation was made following a village profiling exercise carried out by the Macuata Provincial Council office and the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs in the 30 villages of Macuata which revealed the lack of traditional knowledge among the young people.

The village profiling, carried out last month showed that iTaukei villagers within the age bracket of 20 to 40 years old are not familiar with indigenous customs.

Roko Tui Macuata, Vilai Basalusalu told villagers of Mali Island yesterday at an agriculture show that such revelation reflected the declining knowledge of indigenous customs among the young people.

Mr Basalusalu said this showed that indigenous customs were vanishing rapidly.

He said this was a concern, considering that people within this affected age group were normally chosen to lead their villages and communities.

The exercise also found that people of this age group did not know their traditional roles, status in their villages including their totem animals and plants.

Mr Basalusalu urged villagers to teach their young ones their culture and their identities.

He reminded the village elders they had the important role of disseminating their culture and tradition to their future generations.

Mr Basalusalu said there was no other perfect school for children to learn from, rather than their own village elders and people. He urged village elders to teach their young villagers their roles so that they knew where they belonged in the traditional structure.

He added the ministry was working with the 14 provincial councils in the country to ensure that iTaukei culture and tradition was preserved for future generations.

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs has called on elders, parents and traditional leaders to play their roles in teaching the younger generation about traditional roles and customs.

Ministry’s permanent secretary Naipote Katonitabua said this was a nationwide problem.

He said they have also encountered such revelation in the other 14 provinces. Last month, iTaukei Affairs Board acting chief executive officer, Josefa Toganivalu said that the profiling which was being carried out in the 14 provinces around the country was almost completed.

At Qoma village in Tailevu, headman Sailasa Naisele shared similar sentiments.

“We have our own dialect here in Qoma which is totally different from the Bauan language,” he said.

“Not everyone knows the the Qoma dialect, and as to my understanding the Qoma dialect is vanishing.

“Today it is very rare to find people speaking the Qoma language.”