To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

[P.O Box 13, Honiara, Solomon Islands/ Email: Tel:+677 7424025]

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Monday, August 07, 2006

TARD founding member tied the knot over the weekend

The weekend saw one of TARD's founding member, Mr Eddie Konairamo, tied the knot with Ms Salote of Fiji and Vanuatu origin in Suva. It was indeed a unique moment as we incorporate both the North Malaita and Fijian traditions in that marriage ceremony on Saturday.

The planning of the bride price presentation and other prior arrangements was held just over two weeks ago. Next about five of our student leaders went to the bride's home and presented a "sevu sevu" (kava) and a "tabua" (Fijian shell money) as a form of compensation and arrangement for the actual big day for Eddie.

Wednesday last week was the day where the bride price (rau) was collected and final plans were made. Preparation for the feast started on Friday afternoon and continued through the night till Saturday morning with an intensive grog session being coordinated by Samani Dausabea and Lazarus.

On Saturday, more than 40 people (including those from To'abaita, Baelelea, Lau, Fataleka, Kwara'ae, Fiji/Solomon origin and other Solomon Islands' friends) gathered at Luke Mani's residence where the marriage was hosted, and went to Narere (about 10km from Suva City) to pay the bride price for Eddie's wife.

We presented 4 Fijian "tabuas" in total, 2 drums of kerosene, 5 bundles of taro, 3 large fish, 2 North Malaita tafuliaes (North Malaita shell money), and a Fijian "sevu sevu" as the bride price for Eddie's wife. In the Fijian culture, the highest bride price which is only accorded to a chief's daughter is a maximum of 5 Fijian tabuas, and they value things such as kerosene and dalo more than what we expect in a typical North Malaita marriage such as rice, tinned meats and so forth. Thus, the bride price that we paid for Eddie's wife is more than enough in the Fijian culture.

But the most unique thing about the marriage is that we made sure to showcase our To'abaita culture and tradition by decorating the bride with shell monies and the blue "kiokio" dress. It was culture-oriented even more than what we can see in marriages in To'abaita nowadays. The bride's family accompanied us back to our base and feasting and dancing followed on until dusk. We also made sure to share (toli ngia) a pig to the people who contributed towards Eddie's marriage, as a show of our North Malaita culture, before dispersing to our various homes.

In overall, it was a great success which all of us are proud of as this is a kind of activity that only elders can attend to back home but here, it's students who are leading it. The cooperation shown amongst the students also highlight the seriousness of our TARD members in assisting a brother or sister in his or her personal or academic welfare. In fact, Eddie was really happy with the support that all of us have shown towards his special day.

Finally, on behalf of the To'abaita students we would like to convey our sincere thank you message to all who have contributed in one way or another towards Eddie's marriage. The support shown has outweighed what we can say to you as a thank you. We also thank Mr Luke mani and his family for their willingness to host the marriage at their residence.



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