19 December, 2006
Our more accepting society
After the military took over government two weeks ago today, there are reports (and one can also observe themselves) that soldiers who man our roadblocks have been warmly greeted and received with drinks, food and garlands from members of the public. Although much has been said about the illegality of the takeover and the abuse of democracy in our system of government, it seems amusing that within two weeks, our soldiers are more-or-less accepted by society. This may be attributed to our very accepting attitude which is ingrained in our culture and traditions. Fijians do not usually harbour resentment and hatred. Once they have traditionally apologised, usually with a presentation of kava and a drink of what is presented, the ills are forgotten and things are again on a level footing. Another reason for the acceptance of the soldiers is that some members of our families and friends serve in the army, whether it be a father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt or cousin. Therefore, one cannot go on hating them as there is bound to be a relative or friend or friend's friend there. One last reason is that the people of Fiji, particularly Suva, are now getting quite used to the phenomenon of a coup, having gone through 4 in the last 19 years. One can see that after each coup, people have gotten up and soldiered on. Whether they have been affected by lost jobs or pay cuts or any other disadvantageous situation arising as a result of a particular coup, the people of Fiji have moved on with their lives. With that resilience of attitude, one can only hope that it will happen again this time. Onward Fiji!