Com­mu­nity over in­di­vid­u­al­ism & COM­ING OF AGE

mailife - - Fashion - By VANISHA MISHRA-VAKAOTI

What could the phrase ‘com­mu­nity over in­di­vid­u­al­ism’ pos­si­bly have to do with com­ing of age? Com­ing of age is, af­ter all, linked to birth­days and more of­ten par­ties, cen­tred around the per­son whose birth­day is be­ing cel­e­brated. There is a log­i­cal con­nec­tion, how­ever. ‘Com­mu­nity over in­di­vid­u­al­ism and com­ing of age are con­nected when a per­son cel­e­brates their birth­day with the in­ten­tion of fos­ter­ing com­mu­nity and con­nec­tions, em­brac­ing and show­cas­ing dif­fer­ent cul­tures and striv­ing to make a dif­fer­ence. I re­cently turned 30, not dis­heart­ened by the fact but rather in­dif­fer­ent to it all. Just months be­fore my 30th I gave birth to a happy, healthy lit­tle boy and my per­cep­tions to­wards a lot of things changed. When I found out I was preg­nancy I fo­cused my work as a World Vi­sion Blog Am­bas­sador to­wards rais­ing money to help sup­port ma­ter­nal and child health in Africa. With post­par­tum hor­mones still rag­ing I de­cided I wanted to celebrate my com­ing of age. I saw 30 as that mo­ment be­cause it was at this point in my life I felt truly ma­ture and like an adult. I sup­pose it could be ar­gued that it was more the life event of hav­ing a child then my chrono­log­i­cal age. I see it as a mix­ture of both. I wanted to celebrate my joy and make a dif­fer­ence. There were cer­tain things I wanted for this cel­e­bra­tion: as much of the pro­duce and prod­ucts used at the party to be lo­cal and or­ganic and to sup­port small busi­nesses in­stead of larger cor­po­ra­tions. I didn’t want gifts, in­stead I asked my guests to con­sider do­nat­ing to my World Vi­sion ma­ter­nal health fund. I also wanted to in­tro­duce the dif­fer­ent groups of peo­ple in my life to each other: the Fi­jian com­mu­nity in Dunedin; my small busi­ness owner friends; my new-found mum friends; and mu­tual friends of Pa­trick and my­self. There were some over lap­ping groups. I wanted a cel­e­bra­tion that would fi­nally phys­i­cally bring to­gether all the dif­fer­ent as­pects of who I am.

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