Keeping Fijian spirit alive in cold Germany

THE Fijian spirit of caring for fellow Fijians was very much alive in Germany for the past two weeks.

Knowing that a delegation from their homeland was coming for the 23rd Conference of Parties or COP 23 that ended in Bonn yesterday, Fijians living there started preparing for the delegation’s arrival weeks ahead.

And it was their love and care that kept many members of the Fijian delegation warm during the European winter and also well fed.

The families of Fijian soldiers serving in the British Armed Forces who are based in Germany held meetings to prepare for the arrival of their fellow Fijians in Germany.

Kara Verekadavu, who is married to a Fijian soldier serving in the 26 Regiment Royal Artillery in Germany, with the help of other Fijians organised gifts which included jackets, shawls, coats, winter hats, gloves and brew kits for more than 100 Fijians attending COP23.

“Every Fijian accommodated in that hotel received the donations. They felt welcomed and cared for during this visit from Fijians serving in the British Armed Forces and their families. Being far away from motherland, we felt that it is our duty to be hospitable,” she told this newspaper.

“In their presence, we felt Fiji had moved closer to us. For most of them, it is their first time to come to Germany and first experience of the winter.”

Mrs Verekadavu said the gift of warm clothes was to ensure that members of the Fijian delegation were warm while travelling from their hotel to the conference venue.

She had posted a reminder on her Facebook page which resulted in a group of British Army soldiers travelling two hours by road to the hotel where a majority of the Fijians were accommodated.

“We prepared lovo and other wonderful spread during the weekends and served it at the hotel for dinner,” she said.