My absence shows my respect: Tui Wailevu

May 23, 2024 4:25 pm

Radio Fiji One Radio personality Watisoni Butabua (left) with Ratu Betaro Vuniwaidrau Rogoyawa

The Tui Wailevu Ratu Betaro Vuniwaidrau Rogoyawa made the decision to abstain from the traditional installation of the Tui Levuka.

The Tuiwailevu’s decision to abstain from the event, a significant occasion in Levuka’s cultural heritage, demonstrates his deep respect for the customs and historical significance entwined with such ceremonies.

The Tui Wailevu represent the people of Lovoni, recognized as the first settlers of Ovalau.

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While the vanua of Lovoni faithfully presented their customary offerings during the installation, Ratu Betaro’s absence was a deliberate choice, rooted in a profound understanding of traditional links and protocols.

“I chose not to attend the installation because I did not want to interrupt the event. Those who understand the traditional link and the protocol will also understand why I chose to stay away.”

Speaking to FBC News, Ratu Betaro says that those who understand the complexities of Fijian culture will understand the meaning of Ratu Betaro’s choice, which represents both deference to the Tui Levuka and an understanding of the delicate balance between hierarchy and respect that exist in such ceremonial processes.

In highlighting the long-lasting relationship between the vanua of Lovoni and the Tui Levuka, Ratu Betaro emphasizes the vanua’s dedication to respecting and maintaining the heritage of the twelve tribes it represents.

Furthermore, Ratu Betaro called attention to the importance of preserving the collective memory and historical narrative of indigenous Fijian communities.

He urged institutions such as the Native Land Commission and the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs not to overlook the significance of the past, as it serves as a cornerstone in defining the identity and ethos of Fijian society.