Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Western thinking...Eastern living

So i came into Fiji understanding that certain practices may be done differently than what i am used to.However, sometimes I slip up and have a preconceived notion of certain things that I would be getting myself into.My first clash of East and West was at a festival for the province I live in.When I hear festival I think games, music, different food, sweets, booths,lots of movement and mingling.Over here in Fiji that is completely different.There were no games, two dances performed, practically the same food provided which anyone would easily make at home,a few sweets.For about 5 hrs out of the day I could easily say that it was taken up by all the spectators sitting down in sheds and watching the presentation of gifts to the chief.It was interesting to see, but I didn't stay as pumped throughout the day since my preconceptions were totally thrown through the window.

Second clash came at a youth meeting.In Fiji, youth are between the ages of 18 and 35.In my village there is a weekly youth meeting. When I heard youth meeting I thought it would be a very informal gathering of youth to talk, mingle , get to know their peers and have a guided conversation about things that matter to them. Well when I got there it turns out the meeting happens in the church sanctuary, the youth generally dress in what they would wear to church like suit and tie, formal dresses.Also, the meeting is basically a church service at times or just a sermon then everyone goes home.It doesn't seem that there is any time for the youth to just truly hang out , and chat.

Third clash was when I went to a local fast food restaurant and ordered a medium fries.When I got the fries they were on a huge plate which made it look like the fries were a small amount. I paid like $3 Fiji which is $6 US so I really wanted my money's worth. I complained and said that the least they could do was trick me into thinking it was more by putting it in a smaller plate.When I did so the waiters didn't do anything.Apparently people in Fiji don't complain even over food.Also, apparently fast food places only give you one ketchup packet. yes folks only one.

Overall it was interesting to see how differently things are done in Fiji and to realize that things done differently should be looked at as just that different, not any worse or any better.

Peace and Blessings

1 comment:

  1. Glad that you are open to the different ways of doing things there. Seems like church and giving gifts is an important part of their culture. Best wishes.