Songs of the South Pacific, a welcome from Fiji. Fijians just have a knack for music, they are without doubt one of the most naturally musically-inclined people I have met (Filipinos are pretty high up in the list as well). Everywhere we went, there was music. At dinner, someone would be strumming the guitar in the corner, in a queue, someone would be humming a tune to themselves, at church, the singing was glorious, and the congregation would be in full belt. Music seems to be fundamental pillar of Fijian life and culture. This duo were singing at breakfast at the Sofitel and I asked if they would mind doing a rendition for me by the beach and they were more than happy to. I don’t know what the exact title of the song is but I call it ‘The Bula Song’. *Bula, which literally means ‘life’, is a a word imbued with a variety of meanings, chiefly, ‘hello’ or ‘welcome’. Check out the aerial photos of Fiji and the rest of the Fiji series.
Kids messing around at church Lovely girls at a local school Cheeky Fijian boy Fijian river guides posing by the waterfall Fijian warrior Mr Khan, an Indian cowboy in Fiji Maria Rova, local artist Vegetable seller at Nadi Market Faces from a bus Ladies at the bus stop in Nadi Bula! The friendly faces of Fiji I staggered off the plane after 24 hours spent either in the air or transiting at airports to a crisp, mountain-fresh breath of air. I was in Nadi, the capital of Fiji, a collection of 333 islands in the tropical South Pacific. The first word I heard was ‘Bula!’ from the immigrations officer, not typically the friendliest of people. A tropical paradise in every sense of the word, but Fiji’s greatest treasures lay not in the glorious beaches, the islands dotted about a never ending cobalt blue sea or the chilled out island life, but in the warmth of the many Fijians we met on the trip. Laid back, generous and hospitable, most Fijians are genuinely welcoming to outsiders, and I don’t remember ever…
Faces of Mongolia Outside of the main cities, the nomadic way of life still predominates, as it had for the past 3000 years. People tend to live very close to nature, in a relationship of dependance and interdependance. The climate on the steppes is harsh, with scorching summers and freezing winters, with temperatures dropping to -40˚C. Their livestock is a literal lifeline, providing milk, food, wool and labour, needless to say, a large portion of nomadic life is dedicated to caring for their livestock, horses, sheep, goat, cows or yaks and camels. Subsistence farming, whilst possibly a ‘romantic’ notion, is a harsh reality and the numbers of nomads are dropping, with the younger generation being lured by the bright lights and opportunities of the city. See more photos and read my other posts on my Mongolia adventure here.