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Banabans Preserving culture and tradition in FIji

FIJI TIMEs online Salaseini Moceiwai Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Kioan dancer joins the Rabi dancers at the Rabi Kioa Intercultural Dance Show in the Labasa FSC hall yesterday. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI+ Enlarge this image

A Kioan dancer joins the Rabi dancers at the Rabi Kioa Intercultural Dance Show in the Labasa FSC hall yesterday. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

IN the hope of maintaining their culture and tradition, the Rabi and Kioan communities in Labasa took time out yesterday to be part of an inter-cultural dance competition.

The exuberant atmosphere at the FSC hall saw women, men and children clapping their hands, singing and dancing to rhythmic music.

The half-day competition was attended by the Commissioner Northern Lieutenant Colonel Ilai Moceica and some senior government officials.

Leader for the Rabi Island community in Labasa Christopher Karia said this was the first time they hosted such a significant event to strengthen their relationship ties.

"Our relationship was initially established back in the colonial days and we feel that a competition as such is organised in order to revive our culture and tradition," Mr Karia said.

"We live away from our home islands as we are here to work, study and for other relevant purposes and this competition will help us keep in track with our tradition.

"This is also a build up to the Kioa and Rabi Day that will be held towards the end of the year as well as the Vodafone Festival of the Friendly North in August as we usually take part in it."

Leader for the Kioa Island community in Labasa Lawrence Nikotemo shared similar sentiments, saying this was one way of getting the two communities together to socialise and at the same time share about each other's culture.

"Some of our children have grown and lived in Labasa for almost all their lives and in order for us to pass down our tradition to them, such competition is imperative so they are aware of their roots. Dancing is part of our life and through this activity, we are maintaining our traditional teachings and ways.

"This will be an ongoing activity in years to come," he said.

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