As Fijians prepare to celebrate Diwali, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says values of the festival such as the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of goodness over evil, resonate with Fijians of all backgrounds.
While officiating at the Diwali Utsav organised by the India-Fiji Friendship Forum, in conjunction with the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre and the High Commission of India at Suva’s Kshatriya Hall, Rabuka emphasised the significance of the ‘festival of lights’.
Rabuka stressed that Diwali carries a profound message that resonates with people across the world, transcending nationalities, race, caste, gender, and every human-made boundary.
Acknowledging Fiji and India’s cultural bond, Rabuka highlighted that Diwali is no longer confined to one religion or culture as it has evolved into an international celebration, symbolising hope and prosperity.
“In Fiji, Diwali has seamlessly woven itself into Fiji’s social fabric and over the years, this celebration has become an integral part of our nation’s cultural landscape, enriching our collective identity and nurturing bonds of friendship and unity,” he said.
“Diwali is the time when our Indian neighbors, friends, and even strangers open their hearts and share the delightful Indian sweets and treats that define this festive occasion. This act of sharing symbolises the spirit of togetherness and generosity that has come to define Fiji’s Diwali celebrations.”
Diwali, the Prime Minister added serves as a powerful reminder that, regardless of our backgrounds, we can come together to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
“Diwali reminds us that when goodness and prosperity are celebrated, they radiate beyond our homes and communities to bless our entire nation.
“It represents the shared values of hope, unity, and the enduring human spirit that seeks to overcome adversity.”
Also at the event, Rabuka acknowledged India’s continued support in areas of common interest and enhanced diplomatic relations with Fiji and paid tribute to the Girmitya, adding that it is through Diwali that we will continue to celebrate and acknowledge their contributions to Fiji.
As the nation looks forward to celebrating the festival of lights on 13 November 2023, the head of the People’s Coalition Government has urged all Fijians to value the diversity and richness of our cultural bond and traditions and diplomatic ties.
The pre-Diwali function also marked 75 years of India’s diplomatic presence in Fiji.