Culture and heritage Rotuma Day important for identity

Men of Itu'ti'u district perform a traditional dance during the Rotuma Day celebration at the FMF gym yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA

THE two-day Rotuma Day celebrations ended yesterday in Suva drawing more than 5000 Rotumans.Organised by Malha’a District, festivities featured a root crops showcase, and the  display and sale of traditional food, handicraft items and dances.

Malha’a District chairman for Suva, Jione Rigamoto, said the day was celebrated to remember Rotuman culture, heritage, dances and also to celebrate the occasion.

“Today (yesterday) is the day of traditional dances and themes. The conclusion of all
seven districts participating together here in Fiji,” he said.

“Farmers’ day was celebrated which showcased our men’s root crops and a women’s handicrafts show too was held.

“About 5000 members participated and witnessed the twoday celebrations. We also had some members coming in from Rotuma to attend the event and the rest were  from the Western Division. Members of ourcommuinity from concentrated areas around the Suva to Nausori corridor were also present.”

Mr Rigamoto said a fundraising event for the seven districts raised more than $7000 over the two days.

He also said a separate function, the Island Night, would be held to allow members to
socialise and enjoy themselves.

Invited guest seated and looks towards the entertainment during the Rotuma Day celebration yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA

Meanwhile, Julian Leti, one of the many women showcasing handicraft products at
the event, said her crafts were made from natural sources and were environmentally friendly.

“I have been making these handicrafts for the last 10 years,” she said. “Some of the
materials I use are from recycled rubbish. I make bags, necklaces, earrings, fans and also weave mats from time to time.

“This event also gives women the chance show our hard work and sacrifices and build a building block for our future generations.

The responses have been very good and the turnout I would say compared to last
year is extremely positive. We can now see more people coming to know about handicrafts and how it is made.” Rotuma Day is celebrated annually on May 13.


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