Editorial comment | The GCC and two worlds

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Turaga na Vunivalu na Tui Kaba Ratu Epenisa Cakobau. Picture: ELENA VUCUKULA

After a lapse of 16 years, chiefs from around the country will once again converge on a venue to meet and discuss issues they feel are important for their people.

Attention will be firmly focused on the Great Council of Chiefs meeting on Bau Island starting today.

It is already attracting a lot of that anyway!

The hype’s built up over recent days.

Bau Island, has been and, will be abuzz with activity and optimism as the hours neared the start of the meeting.

The days leading up to today were filled with construction work around the island, and delegations from around the country arriving in preparation for today’s event.

Turaga Bale na Vunivalu na Tui Kaba Ratu Epenisa Seru Cakobau said more than 2000 people are expected to visit the island during the three-day meeting.

The people of Bau, he said, were excited to host the GCC meeting, given its historical significance.

On the side, people like Iliesa Takelo, one of several water taxi operators transporting people to and from the island, said traffic had picked up over the past few days.

He spoke about taking several delegations from various provinces around the country to the island.

He added he was humbled and excited about the opportunity to be part of such a moment in Fiji’s history.

There is the issue about tradition and culture that will be highlighted by those who will be attending the event at Bau Island, and how important it is for the iTaukei.

In the face of that, sits an important question that focuses on how our chiefs will connect two different worlds.

There is tradition and culture, against the demands and expectations associated with the modern world.

The challenge is going to be on how people are encouraged to embrace change, while placing value on and retaining culture and tradition.

How do they impact our lives?

How important are they to our lives?

Money is an integral part of our lives now.

It makes things happen.

Against the backdrop of values that are entwined with culture and tradition, sits the need for money to put bread on the table, and to improve one’s lifestyle.

How do we empower people to thrive in both worlds then?

That will be a challenge for us all.

It will be something we should ponder.

There have been issues raised against the GCC meeting, and they range from budgets to reasons, and some controversy.

However, we look forward to the outcome of the meetings on Bau Island.