FIJI VILLAGERS AWAIT HOMECOMING OF ILOILO

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Traditional ceremony for Former Fiji president, chief

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, September 1, 2009) – The people of Vuda are preparing for the homecoming ceremony of their paramount chief and former President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, despite being in the dark about when that will be.

Vuda spokesman Ratu Tevita Momoedonu said the ceremony would include the presentation of Vuda's traditional item - salt - to Ratu Josefa.

"We are making salt especially for that occasion."

Ratu Tevita said other preparations included renovation to the main chiefly bure, Lewa Tu ni Lomo, where they will hold the traditional ceremony.

He said men from Lauwaki and Nagaga would repair the bure.

"They need about 5000 bundles of a particular grass," he said. "We are also cleaning up the village."

Ratu Tevita said the villagers had started collecting their traditional gifts.

"We are now doing the kumuni yau (collecting gifts)."

He said the last thing they would want was to be unprepared for Ratu Josefa's return. "He will return home, but we do not know when," he said.

"We are doing our part and are preparing for it."

Ratu Tevita said that Vuda would be a hive of activity once Ratu Josefa returned home.

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