10 Oct 2006

Reconciliation a relief for Vanuatu expatriates in Fiji

7:38 pm on 10 October 2006

The Vanuatu Descendants Association of Fiji says that it's relieved a reconciliation ceremony has taken place over grievances committed by ni-Vanuatu in Fiji in the 1800s.

A Vanuatu delegation led by the country's Council of Chiefs has made a presentation in Fiji to seek the forgiveness of the Fiji chiefs yesterday.

The delegation presented traditional gifts to Fiji's Vice President as a token of apology for what their ancestors may have done in Fiji after being brought here through blackbirding in the 1800s.

The Association's assistant co-ordinator, Josephine Tokona, says it is important to apologise for wrong-doings that had been spoken of by their own elders back in Vanuatu.

"They knew all the stories before, because during those days when these people were brought over some of them were still in the stage where they had to kill people and eat them up. So we thought it would be the right time to do this during this Melanesian Culture and Arts festival. So we thought in a Melanesian cultural way it would be a good idea to do things on behalf of these things."