Letters to the Editor – June 22

Flying Fijian Nemani Nadolo Picture: ZIMBIO

Humble attitude

I wholeheartedly agree with former Crusader and current Montpellier star Nemani Nadolo that our Fijian rugby players’ humble attitude is a driving factor towards the path of success. This attitude and the fact that our players carry the traditional Fijian ‘bula smile’ makes them stand out. I have witnessed personally tonnes of humility loaded in our players despite them becoming household stars and names. Some of these stars include the likes of Kolinisau, Tuwai, Bai, Little, Goneva, Qera, Uluinayau, Naevo, Serevi, Bari and Doviverata. The list goes on and I will have a thousand names more but unfortunately I don’t have too much space. This simplicity, the ability to ignite team spirit and bonding on and off the field, the fighting character, playing with limited resources and respect for the brotherhood identifies the Flying Fijians as a distinct and unique group of players. Even when one of our players scores a try, I love that moment of ecstasy. That scoring player no doubt receives a pat, hug and kiss from his other brothers. Isn’t this beautiful! Isn’t this what sports is all about! I salute our players for being humble and I plead for continuity for it will take an individual a long way. RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM, Nadawa, Nasinu.

Thank you young girl

When a schoolgirl finally sat down beside my mum in the Taunovo bus yesterday morning, June 21, after giving up her seat to a more mature woman, my mum turned to whisper “thank you” to her open act of benevolence and respect among the many school- boys who were glued to their seats unconcerned at all. I wiped away my silent tears because this is not an isolated incident, it is becoming a norm. I hope that in our national goal of breeding “smart citizens” the most important thing in life like the universal values including love and respect are not forgotten. Perhaps the impact of “children’s rights” and modern technological atmosphere have a part to play. It is time that the homes, churches, schools and other organisations are more serious about parenting and “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Shudder to think about the consequences of neglect should we continue this untried path of modernity. ALIPATE TUI DAKUA, Raiwai, Suva.

Fading away

This was the headline in yesterday’s edition. It refers to the findings of a Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and the Macuata Provincial Council office’s profiling exercise in the 30 villages of Macuata. In short, the exercise found the “lack of traditional knowledge among young people”. As reported, the exercise “revealed that people within the 20 to 40 age group did not know their traditional roles, status in their villages and their totem animals and plants”. It was also reported that the “Ministry of iTaukei Affairs was working with the 14 provincial councils to ensure that the iTaukei culture and tradition was preserved for future generations”. Noble objectives indeed! I submit that part of “traditional knowledge” is the proper utilisation of land to ensure food security in times of droughts, cyclones, flooding and storm surges. Such traditional farming practices, choice of resilient crops, seasonal planting. I submit again, is also part of the traditional knowledge that needs to be passed on not only by village elders in villages but by everyone that have access to arable land. I suggest further that even backyard gardens can be used for activity-based learning where traditional farming practices can be passed on to our children. In discussing the value of traditional knowledge may I refer to a conversation I had with a 76-year-old man eight years ago. I had shared this before. It was after Severe Tropical Cyclone Tomas paid Fiji a visit. It went something like this: I asked- “E leqa vakalevu a kakana? He replied “Era leqa ga ko ira era sega ni teitei.” He added “E sega ni imatai ni cagi me tarai keimami iai”. This translates to “Is there shortage of food?” His reply was “Only those that don’t plant will have food shortages.” He concluded that “This is not the first cyclone to hit us.” In contrast, some weeks back, a villager, in his early 50s shared this tale to me and two others. Some relatives from a nearby village brought him some cassava. Their “Talatala” heard of the visit. The “Talatala” tells him: “The next time you need some cassava, go and get it from my iteitei.” The 50-year-old responds: “When I don’t have cassava, I send my son to go and get it from his uncle and grandpa.” He adds: “In this way, I’m teaching my son to know his relatives.” This fellow was relating this story with conviction! I know that within a village community, the “kerekere” practice still exists. It can be done in a jovial way of telling your “tavale” to go and help themselves from your iteitei. I also know that there is a lot of trade in vegetables and root crops in some villages now. My question, as a villager, should you not always have root crops to sustain your family? Contrasting tales indeed! I now ask, which practice should be passed down to the little ones? Is this also a case of ‘fading away’? KINIVILIAME KETECA, Nausori.

Reason to be happy

People who are happy have their own reasons to be happy. In more than 90 years of my life I made many friends both in Fiji and in Canada. I am happy now because when I die, I will be sent either to heaven or to the other place and I have friends in both places. RAYMOND CHANDRA, Canada.

Tough BOG pool

After the success of the Vodafone Fiji FACT, the Inkk Battle of the Giants is scheduled to kick-off in a month’s time from July 20-22 at Churchill Park. Our top brass is in Russia watching the World Cup soccer and I am sure Rajesh Patel, Edwin Chand and our evergreen CEO Mr Yusuf would have gained an insight into organising a tournament successfully and not changing venues and playing with people’s emotions. Labasa has been at the suffering end when the venue of a major tournament is shifted and I am sure that the Friendly North would love a complete tournament package rather than having the first round in Labasa and then the second round in Viti Levu. I hope that our “good” FFA board members will be more mindful of this after the World Cup in Russia. On the other hand, I had written earlier that all teams regardless of their performance must be treated fairly. Therefore, I hope to see Tavua and Dreketi playing under the floodlight and not the scorching sun as has been a norm in previous tournament fixtures. The world has seen how minnows at this year’s World Cup have taken the bigger nations to the wire. Just look at the performance of Iceland against Argentina, Australia against France, Switzerland against Brazil and the host team Russia. While we are enjoying the thrills and spills from Russia, I hope that we are taking advantage of the skills and lessons on show! As for the BOG pools, it’s an all-western affair versus the Lions in pool B while southerners Rewa and Suva will face the full brunt of Nadi and underdogs Dreketi. Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu.

 Tears and joy

I am still in a joyful mood, after our Fiji Airways Fiji Sevens heroes won the London 7s. I picked up (page 10 of June 3, The Sunday Times) at main street, Nadi Town. Matilda Simmons’ Look Back — Special: Remembering a hero. The photo of the Governor, Sir Alexander Grantham, presenting Lote and Fani Vulakoro of Yacata Island, the Victoria Cross, awarded to their son, Corporal Sefanaia Sukanaivalu on Bougainville in 1944, while serving with the 3rd Battalion. Vinaka Matilda, my tears rolled and to the late Ratu Tau, your heroism lives. Nalibu Jone, Nadi.

 Safety care

I suggest that the next care should come in the form of safety care. Those M-PAiSA cards should be used to buy surveillance cameras for each household. This will help keep the thieves at bay and will combat crime to some stage. Ashis Kumar, Ba.

Traffic jams

Has anyone noticed the surge in traffic jams in Nadi Town, especially this week? For strange reasons, the peak hour traffic has grown exponentially as from Monday this week, namely during the morning period. As a matter of irony, no cops have attended to this issue who otherwise are randomly present to control traffic. I had a chat with the officers at the Nadi Police Station twice already and I feel it was a waste of time asking them to intervene. Hopefully someone will take action soon. It’s painful waiting in a long queue to get through. Bimal Prasad, Newtown Rd, Wailoaloa, Nadi.

Fish ban

There is a kawakawa and donu ban in Fiji right now. I would like the Minister of Fisheries to let us know why the ban in the Northern Division is on the whole grouper group? One of my friends and full-time fisherman Jabar has asked me to seek this clarification. Sukha Singh, Labasa.

Talking about heroes

I agree with A Shariff Shah (FT/21/6/18) on heroes being the shortest profession a man can have. It does not only apply to soccer, I believe it’s prevalent in politics. Dan Urai, Lautoka.

Mood changer

I was enjoying the highlights of the Russia and Egypt game yesterday on the sports news and next moment came the fixtures of our “world cup” the BOG tournament. My mood got off same time. Sah! I said. Ashis Kumar, Ba.

EFL shares

Would it be possible for Hasmukh Patel to enlighten the new subsidised and non-subsidised domestic customers of EFL how 250 subsidised and 150 non-subsidised shares will be shared among the thousands of EFL customers? Could he also tell us if all the dividends will be equal for all the customers? Sukha Singh, Labasa.



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