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a few thoughts I would like to share:-
Stacey, I thinkl if you look back at our 2nd ancestral landing on Banaba history you will see that it wasn't a one man Auriaria that landed on Kiribati then to Banaba. According to our history it was one of the three canoes that got seperated from the Gilolo convoy that actually landed on Banaba while the other two canoes landed on Kiribati...Auriaria was the chief navigator for this convoy thus the name Auriaria is survived by the descendants of the 2nd landing ancestors...this seperation of the convoy is the new beginning of 2 different races namely the Banabans and I Tungaru (now I Kiribati ), even when this part of the Auriaria crowd came to Banaba they soon found out that Banaba was already occupied by the people called Te Aka clan... thus the battle of Tairua was fought between the 2 tribes and the 1st landmarking of Banaba boundary was initiated between the Teaka clan ( Te Aonoanne) and the Auriaria clan (the Tabwewans).
Anyway, even if I say that I am both Banaban and I Kiribati ( which I am also), this comment actually define the fact that we can be Banabans and IKiribati but Banaba can never be Kiribati and Kiribati can never be Banaba...it is just the way they were createdby our forefathers from both sides. In the end it was the British Empire that annexed Banaba into the Gilbert and Ellice Colony in 1900 (when phosphate was found ) but before then our foreparents where on their own and nobody want to know them/us.
So let us be proud of who we are either Banaban, I Kiribati or both...as for me I know that I am Banaban descendant, born in Fiji and Australian citizen....
Teke raoi to all.
I think at that time the I-Kiribati did not even know that Banaba was going to be annexed to Britain and then later on be included as part of Kiribati. Even the Kiribati language came to Banaba in the form of religion by the white missionaries who settled in Kiribati first and then moved to Banaba.
Isn't it interesting?
There is no tricky question Roba, your choice is yours only like everybody else and nobody can deniy you that...we can choose whom we want to be from our anscestral heritage but importantly we cannot mix our background caltures... two cultures cannot be mixed togather...it will become a conflict of interest...adoption of cultures?...it is all over the world but the fact still stands that they have their own origins.
You be a proud Banaban like us and thank God our culture is unique and standing strong....language ?? Forget that I have seen adopted Island children here in Australia who don't speak their mother language even though they are full blooded Islanders.
You take care and loloma to the family....
Mauri all from the land where the almighty dollar rules all the cultures!!!Special mauri to Roba (my fellow US resident!; Ken-remember u from the time u took us hiking to the skull cave in good ol' Rabe; and Ruteta-your mom still youthful and was a great influence on one of my cultural identities at Banaban Primary School).
As a child of an Englishman and the first woman born on Rabi Island, Fiji, of Kiribati (kaka Tekairaba from Abemama ao Tabiteuea) and Banaban descent (kaka Rutiana from Ocean Is), I have majored in identity crises big time. So let me just say that going to your parents is not going to help you much for as Ken has mentioned, your cultural id. is something you'll have to decide on as an individual. My dad is like the stereotypical Englishman with very little to say so all that I know of my English heritage is from the books he provided and the British colonial education system I grew up with. I do appreciate good stories and "Legends and Myths of the British Isles" is one of my faves. I have not been to England except as a child and I don't remember anything. Growing up in Rabi with a white dad in the '70s & 80s was not easy and I remember times when I would wonder what the hell he was doing there to begin with when I would rather have been in Suva or UK! These were my developing years and I was immersed in Rabian (note I do not say Banaban) and Fijian cultures. I was especially fond of Kaka Kairaba who was Gilbertese and he would tell some stories, tell us how to dance and I loved the fresh toddy he cut - would stand right under the tree waiting so I got some b4 gramma changed it into te kamaimai which I never liked. My granps. and my parents both had cultural conflicts but my granps. were not so marked as that of my parents! I am a product of a mixing of cultures which a lot of today's children are and with globalisation, will continue. Ken, I will have to disagree with your statement 'cultures cannot mix' for they do so more now and we end up with new, richer, integrated cultures that usually take the best of both or more, and as Eritai has said, we should "be happy to be multicultural". While that's all very well, the conflict of interest Ken mentioned will be inevitable - so do we just stay unmixed to remain conflict-free or do we face those conflicts and solve them as best we can? I may have had too much Biology but I have found that it has helped resolved my issues - I look to nature and evolution and see culture as a product of the human race adapting to the different environments on our mother Earth. (Our genes/DNA and genotypes are essentially the same but our phenotypes present the major differences - and these relate very closely to the area a 'race or group of ancestors' has adapted to and evolved in). Just as other living things have taken eons to adapt to a certain environment and survive, a person cannot simply go to a place and be of the culture. It takes a while and the younger years tend to infuence the most. just when I was getting the hang of te raranga and making coconut oil, I get placed in an almost all-Fijian boarding school. So the half-cast in Rabi became the kai-Rabe in high-school. In college, I sought out all other cultures and avoided those closest to me because I had never felt like I truly belonged. Maybe this is why some say you have to choose one. Teem says "can never be both as you cannot stay true to one if you are both". What are u staying true to? Wearing grass skirts and living n am auti te rau? Te koro karewe ao te akawa? Which part of the Banaban culture should we preserve? And if we are not living it, how can it stay true? History books are all very well, but whose perspective is it? Everyone has a version to tell. Obe, what is the 'dream' that you champion and whose was it in the first place? What do u mean by 'wanna bes?" I think that if someone wants to be a part of a culture, then that is their choice for it has answered a need in them that their present culture hasn't. You do have to really live in the culture for a while though. A short vacation or work stay does not count. Children adopted will be of the place they live, and language, unless used will be lost. Communication is the basis of our human intractions and the Banaban language was already lost when I was a child. I speak Gilbertese - there was te karanga dance and that was the only Banaban lang. I knew but have forgotten the lyrics. I have not taught my children my mother tongue, as it was a source of conflict in my own marriage. Is this a regret? yes and no - my nostalgia wishes I had taught them but my realistic, practical, survival sense tells them to learn Spanish (California second majority group) and Chinese - (major player in future world economics). So now that I have written a book, I shall shut up soon by concluding that cultural identity (by my experience) is about the places where we have lived at least 10 years without isolation, interacting with others using whatever languange they have to communicate, common experiences enjoyed in the place especially the foods, songs, stories, and dances, and living that culture authentically so you feel the joys and the pains too. Culture is not static and it is contantly evolving except in our memories....it is good to preserve up to a point - this is where history and anthropology majors can shine...preserve in the books but what is lived will have to change with the times..it is inevitable..the more urgent question is how do we all get along as humans respecting each other and our environment - 14 years in USA and I am grossed out by convenience and unnecessary consumption; I am longing for simpler life, closer to nature, in Fiji, but then I might miss my car, clean restrooms etc. At the same time, I want to go see Kiribati, Banaba, and England..perhaps I should just go to Africa where the first humans came from.....!!!!Tiabo!
m sorry for what m about to write coz i feel offended by what you've written...so here it goes n pliz no hard feelings cos i guess its just right that i let u know how i feel.....
y, is it bad to have a dream?..you should just give thanks for you r one of the fortunate ones to have a car and a clean toilet etc...what, because you r living your dream and living in the US u think u know better...whats wrong with wearing grass skirt...go down to one of your beaches n c what r they wearing or better go to clubs where they pay to c nude...and that is the culture u r promoting n do you know that te koro karewe ao te akawa is our lifeline?? Y do you look down on it!!!....if u choose to be someone u r not than u beta double ur major for you r in a major identity crisis....for i think ur identity is car and clean toilet etc...and since u know evolution well go to Africa and c ur ancestor..the monkey!!!!cos that is what you r! A BIG WANNA BE and u tell him how grossed out you r from convenience and unnecessary consumption...
Y dont u help the Banabans rather than being a wanna be???? whats your whole point? each man his business? Leave everything in books and 4get it? and adopt any culture convenient to you? Well if that is what u r made of now than THANK GOD my ancestors were created in his image.
Hi Obe, no offense taken at all - you have a right to your feelings just as everyone else...i think u may have misunderstood what i was trying to say - that for some of us, it is not so simple..believe me, sometimes I wish it were but there are a lot of influences and beliefs in this shrinking world and everyone answers to them one way or another...
There is nothing wrong in having a dream or several dreams for that matter..just be sure it is yours and not someone elses, not even your parents'...i do not look down on grass skirts - that is nature providing for humans in the most appropriate way for the warm tropical climates of the islands just like animal furs are provided for those in colder climates...and all would be dandy if humans were content to stay in their regions wihout moving around and trying to impose their beliefs on others - religion is the finest example of this - our Banaban ancestors were living happily with their own gods when lo and behold, some white missionaries come along and tell them they are wrong and should adopt their beliefs which u believe apparently. Not so easy for me - I see so much havoc brought about in the name of religion and I have serious doubts they call themselves a good force...i do not like hypocrites and the world is full of them - professing their goodness on Sundays or whatever day they consider holy (i think every day should be special) and then, the rest of the week doing other things contrary to what their good book says...nature to me is the most true force - it will show u exactly as it shoud be - try and change it and all living things will suffer though humans seem to think they are above it all (and a lot of it is because of religion). There was nothing wrong with human nudity either (it is the body) but the wrongness again stems from religion or some other culture saying it's wrong...In Yap and Truk, the native people still walk around as their Pacific ancestors did - in grass skirts; Banabans only do it now for te batere...and that is because we adopted others' beliefs; how many people cut toddy and go fishing there? Not as many as should - most are busy drinking tea and eating mackerel from the store because it is convenient even though it is unhealthy...there is a movement now here in the US to return to nature with people growing their own foods etc because the food provided by the major corporations is mass produced, spiked with all kinds of unnatural chemicals, hormones etc...I go to these markets and shop there because I have always believed that natural is best...we have wholefood stores which supposedly sell the 'natural and wholesome foods' but they are expensive and only the well-off can afford to eat well! There is something wrong with a society where food is not good unless they pay extra!! I have wanted to return to Fiji for a while now to be closer to nature but again, not so simple - I grew up walking and riding buses - no big deal for me to return to the life I knew , but I have children and a husband who cannot see the light for he is American and totally brainwashed that USA is the best place to live!! I have disagreed for a while on this account - but I made a vow once and hard as it may be sometimes, I am trying to stay true to it!!! I do not look down on any culture except that of capitalism, materialism, and extreme idealism - which is promoted by most first world countries where the super-rich and corportations pull the strings...that is why many here who do not like this make it a point to shop in small stores and farmers markets even if it means paying extra..Te koro karewe and fishing is a lifeline for most islanders but many are allowing other countries to mass fish in their seas and chop down the coconut trees for resorts...and only because they want more money to support their economy and give their people jobs so they can try to live to the first world's idea of comfort...I am not choosing to be someone I am not - I am just me trying to live in a crazy and unforgiving world ...how am I supposed to help the Banabans? Have any suggestions? My whole point is take the best from the books and every culture and learn to integrate them to produce the very best for whatever region you are in the world and do your best to benefit all humans and not just a small fraction...I do not like all convenience and consumption, but I like how freedom of expression is respected here but even that is going down unless people rise up against these corporations...and I am happy to have evolved from monkeys - the divine for me did not start with Adam and Eve but from some great unknown in the Universe and goes back to time immemorial. Monkeys and all that we know are part of the divine's plan but I do not presume to think I am in the right and all with contrary beliefs are in the wrong...only someone all-knowing can make such a presumption and none of us are!!!
Wishing you the very best and it was great to read your response..
look forget what i wrote it was just spur of the moment.....m really sorry if it was too harsh and too non-sense...it was just the child in me...hope you forgive him...
Obe, never ever lose the child in you - it keeps the sense of wonder alive! and lends passion to life!
Should you happen to come this way, let me know..but if I come your way, I will certainly make it a point to meet u in person! HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM USA - there is still a lot to be grateful and thankful for... :)
Food for thought: When your time is up in this temporary place, you will not be asked what is your race or who are you? Why dwell on earthly issues when we must prepare ourselves for an everlasting one?
Tekeraoi n God Bless
Excellent reply Maka. That should be our ultimate aim.
And to add a comment to this very important and "now" confusing issue for many of us let's not forget that the issue of "race", as we like to address it now, is God given...the Bible is our very proof although at this time and age a lot of emphasis is based on Science and human findings (best of luck to them).
A special passage in the Holy Bible comes to mind (John chp 4) when Jesus met a Samaritan women at Jacob's well in a place called Sychar. Jesus (and his disciples) were Jews but she was Samaritan. Who are the Samaritans anyway? The truth is they are also Jews, but alienated Jews because of "mixed race blood". The Jews and Samaritans of those days shared the same ancestor - Jacob, later known as Israel after he met God. We find that in later years and more recently in 1948 the Jewish state was re-established as modern day Israel and all those "everywhere" who can trace their ancestors back to the patriachs can call him/herself a Jew or Israelite and has every right to go back to Israel and be an Israelite regardless of whether he or she is from Ethiopia and blackskinned, or half Russian from Russia, or threequater blooded Spanish from Spain or a French from France or wherever...or whether some of their ancestors were Samaritans. I think we can all identify with this.
My ancestors and elders both came from Kiribati and Banaba and other Pacific nations...so I have a good mixture of blood in my veins. But the fact is that when the Banaban side of my blood were assembled in a camp on Tarawa in Kiribati after WWII as sort of "refugees" in Kiribati my Kiribati side of my blood chose to remain in that camp on Tarawa and did not take my Banaban blood away to their various islands in Kiribati (what were they? - probably Tamana, Arorae, Tabiteuea, Butaritari, Abemama, Onotoa, etc, etc.,). No, it did not, but chose to stay in that camp on Tarawa as a refugee, then accompanied my Banaban blood by walking up the gangway onto the Triona (a thousand plus in total) and, as the ship moved out of Betio habour waved goodbye to those loved ones on land and challenge the unpredictabilities of the South Pacific Ocean voyage to Rabi where I was born out of a people who should have been on Banaba. So, as for me, while here on earth, and adhering to Biblical teachings, I am a Christian Banaban getting myself prepared on this current journey to another Promised Land where there is only but one "race" - the race of Jesus Christ.
God bless us all.
Who are we, Banaban or I-Kiribati?????
This is kind of a multiple choice question with 3 answers to choose from.
c) All of the above
Do a thorough research from people closest to your heart then work your way out the circle till you can't go any further. Analyze your finding then choose your identity!!!
I won't be surprised if you will go for Banaba. Even if you determine to go for both, one will always be dominating the other. This is true fact, reason, you can't serve two masters. Second, if you are a Christian you can't take both as stated earlier bocs, the Bible says, if you are in the middle pulling on both identities, you will be vomited, interesting yea? Like Joshua after Moses who challenged the Israelites before crossing the Jordan into the Promised land, saying, "choose you this day whom you will serve, the gods and idols of your forefathers or the Lord God Jehovah? But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord"
Though we may be composed of different bloodlines, at the end of the day, one, and I repeat, one will be dominant over the rest, that is who you are! There will always be a conflict of interest in you head if you compromise. Follow your heart bcos it can't be deceived.