Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Polynesian drums at sunset

The resort had something for everyone in our family, and I would highly recommend it as a top vacation spot for families or couples.  We'd go back in a flash!  There was two pools,and a swim-up bar.  All inclusive option, but not mandatory so you could opt out of the cost on the kids.  Activities, like bingo, tennis lessons, archery, egg tossing contests, ice cream eating contests, and a disco - playing real disco from the 70's and 80's,  perfect for us "old foggies"to dance the night away.

The friendly staff greeted us with a warm "BULA" at every opportunity, and the dancing in the evenings added to the feel of Polynesia.  Fiji is like Hawaii in many ways, but without the American influence it has developed in a very different way, and is not anything like the commercial giant Honolulu has come.  There is much poverty evident, in both the native and the Indian immigrant communities that share this island as home. The British settled this colony in a different way to Canada, or maybe the same way but with a different land ownership system for the farmers they encouraged to relocate.  It is interesting to contrast the two - Western Canada and Fiji, and see how an ownership compared to a native leasehold system of land management influenced the future political stabilility and wealth of the community.

Fiji did not get its sovereignty until 1970, when the government was left on its own to deal with a 99 year lease system that was set to expire, leaving the tenant farmers at the mercy of a landholding system that was bias, since the majority population was no longer clear - the groups were split ethnically and religiously in a battle to gain power and hold control of the resources: water, land and tourism, where the base of their economy was moving.   Now, after a native-dominated, military government has been in power since 2006, they have been removed from the Commonwealth, and are in the process of taking the image of the Queen off their money.  And there is mistrust and even hatred between the groups obvious to tourists, even after only three days.... what is the future of this country?  And what should it be, to be fair toboth its Indigineous and its immigrant populations?

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