When I was young, our church music conductor the esteemed Samoan composer Ueta Solomona used to give us cocoa rice (coco araisa in Samoan) when we went to his house to support the Samoan Students Association at the University of the South Pacific. I remember how much I loved this cocoa rice and it would be the highlight of our family and church get togethers.
As I grew older, it dawned on me that cocoa rice is mostly only eaten and prepared in Samoa because of the use of the dark, rich Samoan chocolate.
Did you know that Fiji is the only island nation in the South Pacific to celebrate two distinctly different cultural festivals and holidays?
With the introduction of the indentured Indian labourers during Fiji’s colonial administration in 1879, Fiji’s culture become more diverse it’s public holidays and festivals represent just that.
1. FABLED ISLE
Hang the expense – everyone needs to see Bora Bora once in their life. The awe begins even before landing, when the spectacular main island – with its eerie cloud-swathed peak, Mount Otemanu – comes into view, surrounded by a lagoon that is seven shades of blue. More than 30 small islands (motus) circle the lagoon, and dozens of resort bungalows float on the water like tiny broken rosary beads. Its allure captivated James A. Michener, who called it "the most beautiful island in the world".
As any parent can attest, holidays with children are an oxymoron. There's the packing, the flight and often more travel at the other end before you arrive, tired and worn out at the place where you relinquish your life savings for a week or so of rare, work-free downtime.
So where can frazzled parents go on holiday where they'll get a break, too? I have but one answer: Fiji.
Here are 10 reasons why Fiji's the ultimate destination for your next family holiday.
Adventurous travellers keen to get off the beaten track should look no further than Timor-Leste. A slice of tropical paradise just a 90-minute flight from Bali, the tiny capital city of Dili is emerging as a rival thanks to its unique Portuguese colonial flavour, the region's best seafood and some of the finest snorkelling and diving in the world.
Formerly remote and troubled, but now accessible and safe, Dili is one of the last little-visited places on the planet where you can boast: "I've been there."
THE Suva port is expected to receive 53 cruise liners this year.
This was confirmed by Suva City Council special administrator Chandu Umaria who said last year, the port hosted 64 cruise liners.
He said these were important for Fiji considering tourism was a very large market and contributed greatly to revenue streams within the country.
Hosted at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa in Denarau HOTEC Trade Show 2014 brings together local and overseas exhibitors spanning from sectors such as Food and Beverage supplies, furniture, hospitality services and information technology and communication which are vital components of the tourism industry.
HOTEC 2014 feature
The Moffat Salon Culinaire 2014 Competition
A coveted culinary competition attracts hundreds of chefs from all around Fiji, coordinated by the Fiji Chefs Association
Barista of the Year Competition
This years Barista competition is made up of 4 regional competition winners who will compete for the title of Barista of the Year
Bartender of the Year Competition
Coordinated by the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, contestants are subject to strict competition criteria outlined by FHTA. Winners are granted the title and also the bragging rights as Bartender of the Year.
Seminars and Demonstrations
HOTEC provides informative seminars led by industry experts specifically for the trade show. Participants will receive first hand information on trends, business issues, growth and forecasting.
The seminar and demonstrations are surely not to be missed participants gain insight into growth and future development of the Tourism Industry.
Date: 29th - 31st October, 2014.
Venue: Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa.
For more info visit: www.fhta.com.fj
Vanuatu’s biggest free music festival, and arguably the Pacific, attracting more than 40,000 people each year, will be kicking off tomorrow in Port Vila.
The 5 night festival features 3 major themes Fest Napuan, Fest Nalenga and Zion Fest each event attracts different music lovers.
Fest Napuan features top contemporary artist from the region including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Hawaii.
Fest Nalenga is dedicated to local string band music unique to Vanuatu while Zion Fest showcases religious and gospel music.
This year 12 local bands and 8 international bands will be performing at Fest Napuan over a 3 day period starting on Thursday.
Wednesday is set for Fest Nalenga featuring local string bands while Zion Fest will feature 26 artists and 2 international groups performing on Sunday night.
Fest Napuan 2014 music festival kicks off in Port Vila this Wednesday 1st - 5th of October at Saralana Park 5pm – 12am. For more information on each event, including the band schedules and features, check out the event website http://www.festnapuan.org/