FIJI: Putting the Mela back in Melanesia…

Fiji is one of the brighter spots of a South Pacific that doesn’t always live up to its image as Paradise, and probably THE brightest spot of Melanesia, the darker-skinned portion, where getting lei’d is not always guaranteed upon arrival…

Some of those places, particularly Papua New Guinea, whose ancestors form one of the oldest cultures on the planet, and which far pre-date the Polynesian island hoppers, can be pretty rough, and dangerous, and subject of many an anthropologist’s gap-year tale…

But Fiji’s primitive past is mostly just for show now, to the tourists, they long ago having succumbed to the Yankee dollar, or Australian, or Euro, or pound, whoever has the cheap flights from elsewhere, as long as it’s wealthy…

Comparisons to the Caribbean’s Trinidad might be appropriate, though, considering the large Indian population of each, courtesy of the Commonwealth, but not much help in the afterglow, when tempers flare and decisions must be made, like what to do with non-natives…

As they did elsewhere, like South Africa or Malaysia, the natives get the governmental roles here, while the newcomers get the economy–win-win, right? Here’s hoping. Me, I wonder why reggae is a pan-island phenomenon, no mater where the island is, which ocean, which people, with no other common denominator–weird. Is it in the water?

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