Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Fight For What Is Mine

Land has always been something sacred to me. In many ways, my ties to the land has shaped my identity, as well as defined my links to my kinship, village and community. Land, is something very integral to our lives as Pacific Islanders, and something that belongs to the community, something that links us, something we claim stake to, as our own.
Traditionally, each piece of land had its purpose, each person did what they could, to till and protect that piece of land.
Land is communally owned and therefore establishes a family link to the land. In Fiji, any indigenous new born child is recorded, and immidiately linked to the village and to the rights of land owndership as a memeber of that family. Therefore, from birth, and by right, an indigenous Fijian is tied to a piece of a land and is so, identified by it.
This right to land is predominant to our identity as indeginous Fijians. It helps us expalin our ties to the villages and provinces, rather than to Fiji as a whole. The land to which we are tied become “na qau vanua” or ” the land to which I belong” and “which is part of me”, “which is me”.
Personally, its not just an issue of land, but identity, ethnicity and family. Defending my land means defending all that and ensuring its sustainability. I can not take away from my children what is rightfully theirs, nor can I sit back and let that happen.
When it comes to the fight for what is mine, all I can do is pray for strength. Strength enough to be faithful to my beliefs, my teachings, my values and my prinicples. I have come across a lot of people who don’t understand my reasoning, my sense of purpose. However, that anxiety in others, doesn’t quiet phase me. All I can do is show courage, courage that is neither foolish, nor naive. Courage that can help me, fight for what is mine
Living a life of service requires living for others. At times your actions may appear incomprehensible, but keep at it, thats what gives meaning to your existence. Thats what makes you special.

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