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Music and song are traditional aspects in Fijian culture and predominant in their knowledge of history.

If you happen to attend one of Fiji's church services, you may well go home believing that music is the voice of the soul.

The hymns brought over by the early missionaries take on an enchanting sound when a gathering of devout indigenous Fijians make up a congregation.

Whether the music is backed by a gospel band or merely the clapping of hands, the passion in the voices of men, women and children in harmony is moving.

Music and song are traditional aspects in Fijian culture and predominant in their knowledge of history.

In pre-European times when there was no literature, the local people would perform mekes or theatrical dances, singing to the rhythm of a lali or drum hollowed from a tree trunk, to pass myths and past adventures to the people.
Todays modern instruments have been taken on with zest.

The guitar, ukalele (a dwarf four string guitar) and the wa dua (merely a box, pole and thick string which when plucked makes a bass sound) are favourites in the Fijian village.

Many an evening is spent by the locals drinking yaqona (kava) and playing their favourite Fijian folk songs.

Everyone joins in the singing, however bad their voice is, and every sound adds to the voluptuous melody. Perhaps the most moving of all songs I have heard in Fiji is the famous Isa Lei, a folk song bidding farewell to loved ones.

I once heard it sung by a group of huge rugby league players celebrating with their opposition at the hotel I was staying at. Request this song from the guitar player at your hotel and I guarantee that it will stay in memory for as long as you live.

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