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Once the preserve of men and consumed in ritualistic ceremonies by villagers and chiefs alike, Fijian traditional drink kava is attracting a new market as coronavirus restrictions prompt more women to sample the mildly narcotic brew.
Kava, known in Fiji as yaqona, is an essential part of South Pacific culture, used throughout the region for relaxation and stress relief. The root of the kava plant is ground, mixed with water and then strained to produce a gritty grey liquid. First-time users sometimes liken the taste to muddy water but the drink's effect is undeniable, a mild numbing of the mouth and a general feeling of calmness.
"We drink it because our grandfathers drank it, our great-grandfathers drank it," said Kaiava Davui, a gardener who regularly has kava on the weekends.
"We talk, share ideas. It takes away stresses." It is ubiquitous in all layers of Fijian society-visiting dignitaries such as Britain's Prince Harry sup at ceremonies alongside chiefs, while in rural villages groups of men can often be seen gathered around a bowl of "grog".
But for the most part it has been a custom for men only. Now, most of the traditional, male-dominated kava ceremonies have been curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
They typically go into the early hours but Fiji is currently under a 11pm-4am curfew, as it seeks to continue its success in preventing community transmission of the virus and keeping active cases down to single figures.
To minimise the risk of transmission, there was also a temporary ban on sharing the bilo, the communal cup from which the kava is sipped. But the restrictions have encouraged new methods of imbibing-and brought new consumers to the drink. "Hipster favourite - Kava bars-inspired by outlets in the United States, where some hipsters have turned to kava as a soothing substitute to booze-have popped up in Fiji.
Weta Coffee, in the capital Suva, features a kava bar at one of its cafés, offering bowls of instant kava made from a powder that readily mixes with water.
Weta director Mue Bentley-Fisher said the bars offered an alternative to the masculine culture around kava in Fiji.
"Groups of young women are coming in. They feel safe drinking kava here," she said.
At Mauri Kava Dealers, owner Keti Suli Hannah Balenacagi said the beverage was an important part of her social circle's gatherings.