The Multicultural Youth Society of Chestermere celebrated the 50th Independence Day in Fiji with traditional cooking and dancing.
“There was a big celebration in Fiji throughout the country. We have a very small Fijian community in Calgary, and Chestermere is even smaller. The 50th year was very special to us, and we wanted to celebrate that,” said Event Organizer, Satish Lal.
The celebration began with the Fiji national anthem, flag ceremony, and the official welcoming ceremony in Fiji.
Following the welcoming ceremony, the traditional Fiji Meke dance was performed, and underground cooking, while a traditional bure was used.
“We prepared the meal, and it was cooked underground. Having lunch, the traditional way was very special for us,” Lal said.
Roughly 80 people attended the celebration in person, while approximately 300 people watched the event live stream.
“It was very successful. People loved the event,” Lal said.
“The people who attended, and watched us live, they commented they were proud of us being so far away from Fiji and still celebrating Fiji Day. It was a great day,” Lal said.
For Lal, celebrating the 50th Independence Day in Fiji was extremely important as he is proud to be Fijian.
“I feel very proud to be a Fijian. A Fijian away from Fiji,” Lal said.
“We’re proud to be Fijians, we were born and raised over there. We wanted to bring it to Chestermere because we are Fijians, to begin with, we have adapted life in Canada, and we love it here as well, but we still at heart have love for Fiji,” Lal said.
Adding, “We’re still supporting the country, our families are still there, and we wanted to celebrate with them.”