06 July, 2006

Traditional societies face great change

Traditional structures in the Fijian social system area undergoing massive changes and the indigenous society must change whether or not it wants change. The question was posed by University of the South Pacific academic, Avelina Rokoduru, at the Vakavuku Conference on Tuesday at the University of the South Pacific. "Can we do without a traditional system?" Ms Rokoduru asked. "If so, what system replaces that traditional social system?" Speaking on the topic of "Religious convictions and traditional eclipses in Fiji" she said the survival and perpetuation of that system was entirely dependent on oral traditions, selective memories and only recent archival records. She said the quick changes experienced within the system were brought about by the social agents of education, employment, media, migration, individual accumulation of wealth and, especially, the advent of computers and information technology. "What types of changes do we envisage? Can we control those changes? And yet again, what of the future of the Fijian traditional social structure?", she posed. The program for the Vakavuku Conference continues today with an art exhibition at the Alliance Franchaise, 14 McGregor Road. An exhibition for new wave Pacific Island artists started yesterday at the Oceania Centre for Art and Culture, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Bay, and will be on until 12 July.

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