Thursday, January 08, 2009

The reunion that was

The Tiatia Family Reunion has come and gladly gone.

Three Days of pure disorganisation, chaos and screaming children.

On Tuesday, the descendants of Tiatia Lokeni met 'together' for the first time ever.

It was a wonderful sight, seeing all the brothers and sisters seated together for the first time having a photo taken, smiling from ear to ear, interrupting their arguments momentarily.

It is never easy trying to organise 18 adults from the same father to agree on the same issue.

My grandfather was a bit of an enigma.

In that he was respected in the chirstian circles, travelling from village to village teaching choirs, meanwhile, when the kerosene lights were snuffed out, he planted a seed with every high suprano in the choir.

He was an eloquent speaker, who had a air of authority about him and always the cheerful charisma that wowed everyone he met.

Don't be misled though, he was not saint (no shet sherlock), he did have a temper and he did have very high and something impossible standards.
It is suffice to say, he was also a cocky bastard at times.
But hey, he's my grandfather.

He met my grandmother in Manase, her home at the time.

He went to her after a village meeting and asked,
"Ua e pa'u?" (Have you lost your virginity? or direct transliteration: "Have you fallen?")
"No" (and rolled her eyes, i'd imagine)

He checked, realised she was being truthful and a marriage eventuated.

Multiply this by 10 women and you get 8 baby girls and 10 baby boys.
These children are parents and for some, grandparents.

I looked around at the 12 siblings and the resemblance was amazing, everyone had a high forehead like the old man, most were fair like him (bar some Fijian genes sneaking though), most had the same lips and facial expressions and frightfully, the majority had his air of authority and command for attention.

Put this mix into one marae and things heat up, because they are their father's children, they are 'their own person', they are chiefs and orators, they have very high standards and sadly, it became a case of too many chieves and no Indians.

So on Day 3, this Indian bailed out and went back to work while those Chieves argued out their differences.

Little do they know is that it is their similarities that is keeping them from having a very successful gathering.

The Message from this Indian is "
Wear Protection and stick to one partner if you can help it please
" Less dramas, Less Ecological Footprint, Less Dishes to wash. Chhooooooohoooooo...

1 comment:

fltoala said...

I love this post especially since I just came back from my family reunion in Samoa and your sentiments mirrored mine as I was asked to prepare the family tree...lots of questions asked and answered as I tried to tip toe through alot of sensitive issues.