“One of the best parts of life in a Fijian village is the amazing music and dancing. The whole community just comes together; whether they’re singing or beating a plastic box, the most earthy, soulful harmonised sound fills the whole room.
The ‘Meke’ is a kind of traditional Fijian dance, and our meke lessons were definitely the highlight to my week. Once the word spread to the village we were learning meke, the whole village flooded the hall and the beautiful singing and laughter lit up the room. As a dancer back home, I found it particularly interesting and fun learning a new style and soaking up the atmosphere.
We performed our meke at the opening of the health clinic and I’ve honestly never had more fun! The boys did their meke and dressed up in grass skirts with war paint on them which was so funny while all of us girls wore beautiful ’salusalus’ (flowers around our necks) and garlands of leaves around our waist and wrists. Everyone was clapping along and smiling and I got a huge buzz from performing as it was the culmination of all our hard work both at lessons and celebrating the build. The meke gave us a great flavour for traditional Fijian culture and was thoroughly enjoyed by all, definitely something to get involved in if you have the chance!”
“There have been so many memorable experiences during our time in Fiji but performing the Meke, which we had rehearsed for weeks, was the highlight of them all, as I cannot imagine doing anything of the sort again. We performed an out of sync routine to the whole village, who repeated the verses again and again for us to carry on. I don’t know who enjoyed it more; the villagers or us! We then sat with the village for tea and cakes. It was an honor and a privilege and I will cherish those memories forever!”