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FOR SUZANNE

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By JOHN MITCHELL Photos by MELA KATONIVUAL­IKU

SUZANNE Howard of North-East England could not believe her fortune when she recently sat down to the sort of feast that existed years before westernisa­tion impinged on Fiji’s shores. As a first time visitor to Fiji, she bravely took her first bite of freshwater fish that had been sealed in a length of bamboo, an ancient cooking style used in Fiji for millennia. “This is unbelievab­le. It tastes so lovely,” Howard said. “I’ve drunk fresh coconuts, soaked up a bit of sun and watched fire dancing but this is different. This is such a memorable experience.” Nasautoka villager, Josefa Rokoraivok­a, said cooking in bamboo stems, drolea, improved the flavour and captured the natural taste of food. “Raw fish, prawns, taro leaves and root crops are stuffed into young bamboo stems with a little bit of water and broiled in the open fire. Leaves are used to seal the bamboo to keep the moisture within,” he said. “This method of cooking was practiced by our ancestors. Demonstrat­ing it helps us revive our age old traditions and encourages our young people too.” Suzanne Howard is a learning support assistant in an English mainstream school where some students have autism or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactiv­e Disorder). She helps them with mathematic­s and other subjects. She had never been on a raft like a bilibili before… “you have to be really balanced and it’s lovely feeling the water beneath.” “It’s been wonderful being invited into the village and get accepted through a kava drinking ceremony.” The Sigacadra Entertainm­ent Group, a part of Nasautoka

 ??  ?? Suzanne enjoys a ride on the bilibili
Suzanne enjoys a ride on the bilibili
 ??  ?? Broiled food is transferre­d to split bamboo stems for serving
Broiled food is transferre­d to split bamboo stems for serving

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