Bula from Fiji.
I’m here on the raw, wild island Vanua Levu, one of the three hundred or so islands in the Fijian chain, working with Tony Robbins during some business programs he’s hosting at Namale Resort. I’ve been here a couple weeks and I thought I’d give you an update and share my experience of the Fijian culture.
There’s a simplicity here. Things move at a different pace, a slower pace a much slower pace. Actually, the pace is so slow they’ve even got a name for it: “Fiji-time”.
In Fiji-time, fifteen minutes seem to be about 45 minutes in our time, but there’s little consistency so it could be 30 minutes or it could be an hour. If you ask a Fijian what time it is, they’re likely to tell you “It’s day time!”, which should give you an idea about their concept of time.
The local Fijians I’ve met are amongst the warmest, friendliest and most passionate people I’ve come across in my travels. Whenever you meet a Fijian (even when you’re just driving past one walking alongside the road) they’ll look you right in the eye and you’ll hear a boisterous shout of “Bula!” The word Bula (pronounced boo-lah) literally means “life” and is used as a greeting meaning “hello”.
Although Fijian culture certainly isn’t untouched by Western influences (my conversation with the hotel staff revealed that the Fijians love Steven Seagal action movies and the British comedian Mr. Bean) there is a connectedness, a tangible unity amongst the people that is severely lacking in the US. Here, each village is one big family and from what I can see everybody seems to embrace their role and fully participate.
In the video below, an entire village from the elderly to young children, are all participating. They all know the songs, they all know the rhythms, they’re unified as one voice. The most beautiful thing to me about the Fijians I’ve met here, is that they seem to inherently know that they “belong”.
Unfortunately in our culture so many families have been fragmented. Kids move across the country from their parents as soon they’re old enough. Parents are sent off to homes by their adult children to ease the burden as soon as they’re too old. There’s a diminished sense of unity, of connection, of belonging on all levels.
At the Well Being Center we understand, and so we do our best to create a 21st Century “village” environment where you can come to open up, express yourself, connect with others and remember that you do belong, that you are the perfect piece needed to complete the puzzle, and that you are “family”.
From Fiji, “Ni sa bull vinaka” (wishing you happiness and good health) until our paths cross again soon!