Letters to the Editor – May 12, 2019

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Happy Mother’s Day

“Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles. A mother is clothed with strength and dignity, laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness” (Sharon Jaynes). While Mother’s Day will be celebrated in Fiji today with much joy and enthusiasm, Christians had their turn last Sunday to celebrate this important day in our calendar. The joy of celebrating Mother’s day is incredible to every human being no matter how old we grow because a mother’s place cannot be taken by anyone else. Hence, Mother’s Day is celebrated every year in the honour of a woman who has the unfathomable power to give birth to another life into the world. A mother carries out her enormous duty with unconditional love and without any expectation. She has to wake up early to prepare food for us every morning and pack lunch. After this she has to clean the house and do household chores without complaining. A mother does so many things for us and does not expect to be paid. Mother’s day, therefore is a great celebration to remember how our moms have given up a lot of their time taking care of us! In addition, the whole of the mother’s fraternity is adept at judiciously managing everything from household chores to affairs related to her family. She budgets whatever money she has in her custody and plans family events and meals. No wonder women have become successful in looking after their career as well as the household affairs. We must learn to love and respect our parents and they have nothing but love to give in return. Spending quality time with our mothers should not just be restricted to Mother’s Day, which I believe should be every day. My mother has always been my emotional barometer and my guidance. I am lucky enough to have a mother who truly helps me through everything. She inspires and advices me and does not forget to scold me when I do wrong. When she’s away from me I miss her like a kid. Finally, I conclude with the words of Kristin Hannah “My mother is the bone of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot imagine life without her.” Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful and wonderful mothers out there! May you have a peaceful and blessed Mother’s day celebration! Let’s also spare a thought to mother’s who have lost their lives or have fallen victims at the hands of perpetrators! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

They must be remembered

Mother’s Day will be celebrated today and the mothers will be adored by their children. However, those mums who have passed away and are in heavenly abode must also be remembered. My moum Budhia aka Jasoda passed away some 20 years ago. I have been thinking about my mum who was born in the colonial era. Her parents were illiterate farmers at Kilikoso in Labasa. As per practice prevailing at the time she was married to my father Mithu Lal at a very young age (wild family guess suggests that she was 14 and dad was 17 years old). They reared 13 children (eight sons and five daughters). This is some sort of a record breaking family rearing story. It is simply unthinkable in this day and age. My parents eked out a living in a small rice farming village named Vitandra, Labasa. My mum seemed to be perpetually pregnant and the house was always full of the cacophony created by the fights, shouting, crying and laughter of children. The poverty never seemed to leave our home and our parents were constantly working hard to feed the growing number of mouths in the family. Lucky for us they were able to grow enough rice for the family and other vegetables and legumes to sustain their brood. The cows provided enough milk and chicken and ducks
provided ample protein. Nakai (water mussels) and fish from the adjacent Qava River was always a welcome addition to our diet. Mum did not wear much jewellery or new clothes. She had to make do with a string of mohars (gold coins) and some bangles. During the village Ram Lila Festival she occasionally got a new sari. I can still see her face blooming with a smile.
Children also got new clothes during Diwali or Ram Lila. There was no electricity and no piped water in the village. Households carried hurricane lamps or tilly lamps or Coleman lamps. The traditional chulha (open fire stove) was used for cooking and our
mum had to endure belching smoke. Because of this she constantly coughed and her health continued to deteriorate. We had to fetch water from the well and mum was always there to give us bath. So bath time in the evenings was always filled with
fun. During dry season the village women had to trudge long distance to the dam located at the base of the Three Sisters Mountain. This dam provided fresh water to the FSC Mill located on the lower reaches of Qava River. Weekly expedition to wash clothes at the dam was a chore the women had to endure. Our mum would tie bundles of washing clothes to be carried
on head. It was a day long journey as clothes had to be washed, dried and re-bundled to be brought back home in the afternoon.
Rice planting and harvesting seasons were particularly hectic for the family. All family members had to work and hired labourers had to be fed. So there was additional work for mum and our elder sister. Apart from this mum also helped in collection of dry coconuts for cutting copra, chopping firewood, milking cows, boiling milk and making ghee at home.
If children fell sick she had to nurse them back to health. While my mum was totally illiterate, she had a great sense of humour.
She had inherited dancing from her father and an expert dholak (musical drum) player. During village weddings she was in great demand to entertain visitors. She was a leader of sorts and demanded attention in any crowd. Our mother died at the age
of 78. In my view she led a very successful and productive life. Her sacrifice will always be remembered with love and affection.
May her soul rest in peace. DEWAN CHAND, Namadi Heights, Suva

Female vendors

ON Wednesday, while on an errand at Labasa market with all the hive of activities, I heard a sweet feminist voice requesting all female vendors to make their way slowly up to a special venue and celebrate a “spread” prior to Mother’s Day. I believe this happens too, to every municipalities around the nation. It is really touching indeed. So let’s treat them proportionately
for everyday to be a Mother’s Day. You are beautiful women. JOJI O. TORONIBAU, Tunuloa, Cakaudrove

 

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