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The Cost of Being Fijian in the United Kingdom

Hulkenberg, Jara (2015) The Cost of Being Fijian in the United Kingdom. Anthropological Forum, NA . pp. 1-19. ISSN 0066-4677

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    Abstract

    This paper is the first within Fijian migration studies to discuss why indigenous Fijians migrate to the United Kingdom (UK) and the socio-economic challenges they face. The majority of these Fijians form a well-organised community based on similar principles as in Fiji (kinship, church, and chieftainship) and do their utmost to live ‘in the Fijian way’(na ivakarau ni bula vakaviti), a lifestyle also known as living ‘in the manner of the land’ (i tovo vakavanua). I argue this way of life is a central aspect of being a Fijian person, which is characterised, amongst other things, by supporting kin as part of one’s kinship obligations in the form of exchange and tribute. The tributes Fijian migrants make are predominantly in the form of services, goods, and especially monetary contributions towards church, communal, and ritual events to both kin in Fiji and in the UK. These monetary contributions regularly interfere with payments,such as utility bills and car insurances. As a consequence, electricity and phone lines are cut or cars are towed away. In Fiji, migrated relatives and friends are thought of as being millionaires, but this article illustrates that the reality is very different. Living costs in the UK are high and prioritising which bills to pay, how much one should contribute to church, communal, and ceremonial events, and how much money to remit to kin in Fiji can be very stressful. I discuss the pressures and motivation for these decisions in this article.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
    J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies
    Depositing User: Fulori Nainoca
    Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2015 16:38
    Last Modified: 15 Oct 2016 13:11
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/8098
    UNSPECIFIED

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