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Revealing All in Fiji: Wet-T-Shirts and Traditions

by Jane McLellan

I knew that when I travelled to Fiji, visiting a local village would be an excellent way to meet the locals and immerse myself in their traditional culture.  I was very anxious to respect all their local traditions but little did I know that I was inadvertently about to break all the rules!  When I stayed in the Yasawa Islands, I arranged a day trip to a local village on a nearby island.  We were told to dress in a respectful way because of the local customs so I wore a long pink skirt and a white t-shirt. The weather turned as we were on the boat and the waves came crashing over us. It was quite scary, but what was even scarier was my outfit. The waves had soaked me completely and my once respectable outfit was now see-through! As soon as we landed, I was told that we were then going to meet the village chief! I wanted the ground to swallow me up. One by one we presented ourselves to the chief. I smiled sweetly and hoped the chief didn’t mind or notice the state of me, but I think I got away with it.  I soon dried off in the sunshine and enjoyed the rest of the day.

Our guide told us all about the village, its history and about the local culture and we had plenty of time to explore the village and play with the local kids. Unfortunately, once again, I had to partake in some embarrassing dancing, but it was very funny. After that we were served a delicious lunch – a feast of rockfish, curry and root vegetables. Yummy!  After more singing and dancing it was time to go home. It was a lovely day, and a great way to see how the locals live I just wish I hadn’t given that village their first taste of a wet-T-shirt competition!

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