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Old 08-04-2015, 09:16   #31
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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Originally Posted by Livia View Post
...

We could get into an interesting academic discussion about moral relativism and culture but it would perhaps be beside the point of this thread so I will just agree to respectfully disagree with you. For me, a culture that says that it is OK to rape a woman for wearing short shorts is...wrong. As someone recently said to me, I feel post-overly-culturally-sensitive in my travel outlook.

And, like I said before, none of that means I am here to change anyone and if I don't like a place I move on. So far we're having a blast in Fiji.
I don't think that there is a culture where rape is allowed, at least I do not know one, but I know several cultures where a women using short and a bikini in public is seen as a slut. On such a culture you should respect the way they view reality, you should know about it...and if you don't want to be taken by a slut you should dress properly according to their dress code, at least in public.

Off course this don't justify rape. A rape on a slut is as bad as a rape on anybody else (according to my view point) but not all would have the same point of view, that is culturally influenced.

Ignoring the way others see reality in their own house is very rude, a very arrogant attitude that can lead to an aggressive response, not meaning physical, but kind of making you fell you are not welcomed there.

There is nothing academic about this, it is just understanding the ways of other cultures, respect them and not judging their practices according to one's own cultural ways. As I have said, it is you that have chosen to visit them and their culture. You have a choice to be there or not but if you chose to be there the least you can do is respect the way they see the world and be careful not to offend them or to pass wrong messages regarding you.

Livia, don't take it wrong I have read your posts on other forums, I have a very positive image about you and I have the felling that in the end we agree about this.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:29   #32
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

It's been a few years since we were in Fiji. We spent three months there in various places so feel I can make a couple of comments.

First, the culture and politics are much more complicated than some have stated. The traditional chief system is not the same it was in the "old" days. There was a military coup before we got there in 2006 and the new "leader" was intent on lessening the power of the chiefs, and to a great extent did so. I don't know if it has come back to what it was before. But sevusevu was only done/expected in the more rural areas and islands. We did perform sevusevu on any island where there we could find a chief. We loved doing it. Sometimes it didn't seem to be expected or even welcomed. Go figure.

Second, the Indian sub-culture has been a huge issue and was a major reason why the military coup came about. The indigenous people greatly resented the Indians whose culture is radically different. One aspect of that was that they were more commercial-minded and were coming to dominate the economy. One of the stated reasons for the coup was to push back on the Indians and their "rights".

Third, there is wide variation in "wealth" on the islands and in certain areas. Poverty is an issue in most places.

Fourth, Savusavu has a very large expat population with their own "suburbs" - literally. They are more than a little than obviously wealthy and "different".

Fifth, some (not all by any stretch) of yachties are not very good ambassadors. Complain too much and ignore the local standards and customs of the locals. I've seen it so bad that I cringed at times. Rude, disrespectful people acting badly. It happens everywhere but it is so easy to identify yachties as perpetrators regardless of whether it is only a few or many.

The young kids could have been Indian kids or they may have been indigenous. If they were Indian the local chief would not have any sway on them at all, other than to come down on them in cultural warfare. (I don't remember how many Indians were local to Savusavu so there may or may not have been many.) The "power" of the chiefs was being weakened in any case and in this new age, kids don't follow authority as much as in the past even in countries like Fiji.

I remember really great, friendly people in most everywhere we went in Fiji, except in Suva. We were warned many times about the crime in the capital and to not walk in several areas at night, even in groups. One couple actually picked us up and took us to a better part of town one night over their concerns. So paradise is not the same everywhere. All the tension and poverty and breakdown in norms probably had something to do with the misbehavior of the kids in Sevusevu. And - without any doubt at all - they were misbehaving according to any norms of the society.

One thing is sure, the kids behavior would have been obvious to the locals there in the little town. So either the local authorities didn't care or they really couldn't stop it. I do know the yachties make a significant contribution to the local economy but if they are harming some local interests that might not be enough. Sorry to say but not everyone likes yachties.

If the Italians were grossly violating the local norms by dress then they were opening themselves up to some grief - whether you personally believe they should have been or not. And women are not always given the same treatment in all cultures, especially single women, again, whether you think that is appropriate or not.

We had problems with kids in multiple countries though. In Mexico the kids thought it was great (with parents looking on fondly) to fill our dinks with sand on the beach. Of to just climb and bang on them and pull the fuel lines in other places. Or to climb on to our boat after swimming out in the anchorage. Mostly harmless fun.

Any place we really didn't appreciate any behavior we just hauled anchor and went someplace more welcoming. You can't always fix things in any specific location without a strong local authority (of some type) where the local authority feels like they should fix something.

We enjoyed Sevusevu and never saw any problems there. But we did see a few disrespectful yachties in that specific anchorage that we would have liked to not see and it was obvious that the locals didn't appreciate them either.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:32   #33
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

Hi Ann, is there a code of conduct that has been written for Fiji, which tells what is an appropriate gift to the Chiefs, and recommended decorum? In Nigeria, a "Prince" from the village would come to the vessel and let you know what was expected in the form of gifts and to turn away the prince empty handed was tantamount to showing your behind to the whole village, the vessel, crew, and you were fair game after that.
I haven't been to the Marquesas since the mid 70s, and at that time, bubble gum for the children and suit jackets for the elders, .22 cartridges for the village hunters, steel fishing hooks for the fishers, were appropriate, but I have not been to that area since then so I feel I am out of touch with current custom. I am projecting here, but the behaviors of the young men in the OPs post makes me think that these young men would never had considered such an action with regards to their own women and that this behavior was due to the fact that this woman was not under the umbrella of the village collective. Doesn't excuse the behavior and I expect if it were brought to the Chief's attention it would have been dealt with immediately.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:00   #34
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

Every society has bullies and perverts.

We shouldn’t treat them like children because they are different. To think “Aww, honey, I know you are frustrated because you feel she is a rich slut on your island, but can you use your words instead of wagging your penis at her?” is patronizing. It is dehumanizing and demeaning to grade their moral choices on a curve, and is a polite way to call them savages.

I am interested in their motivations. But I have no doubt they know it’s wrong, and that they are bullies or perverts. I don't agree that travelers should view foreigners through patronizing glasses that stereotype them as mere products of their culture and situation. It is more respectful to be aware of their perspective while still treating them as individuals and equals. We all have the ability to make moral choices, and to make excuses for them is to demean them as individuals.

NoTies, you keep taking ad hominem tacks. It is boring. I should not have goaded you, but I was frustrated that you are not adding anything interesting to the discussion and being hostile.
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Old 08-04-2015, 13:08   #35
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post

There was a military coup before we got there in 2006 and the new "leader" was intent on lessening the power of the chiefs, and to a great extent did so. I don't know if it has come back to what it was before.

Second, the Indian sub-culture has been a huge issue and was a major reason why the military coup came about. The indigenous people greatly resented the Indians whose culture is radically different. One aspect of that was that they were more commercial-minded and were coming to dominate the economy. One of the stated reasons for the coup was to push back on the Indians and their "rights".
Hogwash, the 2006 coup, unlike previous ones, had nothing to do with the Indo-Fijians.
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Old 08-04-2015, 13:16   #36
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
NoTies, you keep taking ad hominem tacks. It is boring. I should not have goaded you, but I was frustrated that you are not adding anything interesting to the discussion and being hostile.
Put me on ignore then. I am tired of the culture of entitlement that many cruisers now have and tired of people posting ill informed rubbish purporting to be fact.
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Old 08-04-2015, 14:54   #37
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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Put me on ignore then. I am tired of the culture of entitlement that many cruisers now have and tired of people posting ill informed rubbish purporting to be fact.
Would you suggest that Curly Carswell is NOT a reliable source of information ?

See link :

CURLY, in Savusavu, Fiji: ANTI-CRIME
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Old 08-04-2015, 15:51   #38
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

I didn't realise Curly had posted here. I was refering to the comment about the coup.
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Old 08-04-2015, 22:05   #39
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

In Savusavu, it is mostly ethnic Fijians and the expats. In Lambasa, mostly Fijian Indian.

Actually, Maggie Drum is so right in their extensive post: I did oversimplify the politics. I also have not been in Fiji since the coup.

Claude_Marie, most of our beforehand info came out of the Lonely Planets Guide to Fiji. But if you behave respectfully and supportively and ask reasonable questions, you can learn a lot more, and more up to date, too. And this goes for both the Fijian-Indians and the ethnic Fijians.

Ann
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:49   #40
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

Just got back from Fiji, spent the day in Suva. Good catching up with a few at the yacht club. Observations during a stroll: The people are reversed from 2008, the Fijindians are polite and non pushy, the Fijians are still polite but forceful and very pushy.

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Old 09-04-2015, 11:31   #41
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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Originally Posted by NoTies View Post
Hogwash, the 2006 coup, unlike previous ones, had nothing to do with the Indo-Fijians.
I am a bit of an (amateur) news and political junkie and try to make up my own mind about current and historical affairs. The 2006 coup was one of the most complicated affairs I have ever seen. Reading the newspapers while there during this whole process was bizarre and confusing. We missed giving sevusevu to a chief at one island because he had to go to a meeting of all the chiefs concerning the coup.

In any case, please forgive my "hogwash" - in your opinion. Here is something I just copied from Wikipedia (not a first source of course) but I think all of it can be checked to first sources as it is annotated. I would tend to interpret it as directly stating that the feuds between the indigenous peoples and the Indo-Fijians was indeed a major player in the coup. There were other more personal issues as well, e.g. who might go to prison because of their roles in the previous coups. Bainimarama was the coup leader.

I don't want to belabor this so I won't pursue it any more.

"Bainimarama's stated justification for the coup, regarding the long-term aims of the interim government, has been to "lead us into peace and prosperity and mend the ever widening racial divide that currently besets our multicultural nation".[79] Above all else, he has emphasised the need to root out racially discriminatory legislation and attitudes, and emphasise the common national belonging of Fiji's citizens, above any form of ethnic self-identification.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007, he stated:
[I]n 1970, Fiji started its journey as a young nation on a rather shaky foundation, with a race-based Constitution, one which rigidly compartmentalised our communities. The 'democracy' which came to be practised in Fiji was marked by divisive, adversarial, inward-looking, race-based politics. The legacy of leadership, at both community and national levels, was a fractured nation. Fiji's people were not allowed to share a common national identity.
Of the two major communities, indigenous Fijians were instilled with fear of dominance and dispossession by Indo-Fijians, and they desired protection of their status as the indigenous people. Indo-Fijians, on the other hand, felt alienated and marginalised, as second-class citizens in their own country, the country of their birth, Fiji. [...]
[P]olicies which promote racial supremacy [...] must be removed once and for all. [...] Fiji will look at making the necessary legal changes in the area of electoral reform, to ensure true equality at the polls. [...] [E]very person will be given the right to vote for only one candidate, irrespective of race or religion.[80]"


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Old 09-04-2015, 11:32   #42
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
In Savusavu, it is mostly ethnic Fijians and the expats. In Lambasa, mostly Fijian Indian.

Actually, Maggie Drum is so right in their extensive post: I did oversimplify the politics. I also have not been in Fiji since the coup.

Claude_Marie, most of our beforehand info came out of the Lonely Planets Guide to Fiji. But if you behave respectfully and supportively and ask reasonable questions, you can learn a lot more, and more up to date, too. And this goes for both the Fijian-Indians and the ethnic Fijians.

Ann
Sorry Ann, I failed to answer your previous answer, my mistake.

As a matter of fact, I am checking this topic created by Dutch people (there is another one about their experience of the Fidji life style and also because it involves an Italian lady or a group of ladies.

Should you like to know, I am getting slighty irritated at reading a number of comments.

I shall start with Polynesia.
Been there, done that....
BY L.A.W, I am entitle to the same rights (and duties) that any other citizens includes locals !
Therefore, I shall not care less about cultural or "so called" cultural issues.
As a law abiding citizen, either an attitude, a dress code or any other behaviour IN THE PUBLIC SPACE (within private properties, like a church for instance or a public building there are dress codes which apply) is LEGAL or is NOT LEGAL, and of course I shall not infringe the law.
For instance, in a Post office should you collect a registred mail and have to show proof of identity, one can be required to take off base ball cap or scarf for identification purpose.
Such is the law...some are not happy about it....deal with it.

When abroad, as I do not know what legally applies, I shall observe the local code of practice and behave accordingly.
I have no problem, unless language issues get in the way to ask politely LEO about the do and dont, if something is not illegal, therefore it is permitted.
Period.
Culture just does not get into the equation.
Should I suffer from some kind of discrimination : I move (and my $ or € with me) elsewhere !
As simple as that, at the end of the day, I am not the one who suffers from tourists going to some other place.
The locals do, not me !

Getting back, to the original post, in my humble opinion, that is a lot of comments about a bunch of Chavs.
I fail to see any cultural issue ( perhaps, my simple logic and myself are too stupid).
The situation described could just have happened anywhere, that includes "civilized Europe", these chavs, taking advantage of women on their own, displaying a herd behaviour and looking down at women as if they were a prey are far too common.
Definetely a NOT a cultureal issue.
They are all the same worldwide : early school leavers, un-educated, bored and making a nuisance of themselves.

Back in days when REAL men still existed, any of them who would have witnessed these " Untermensch" behaviour would have talked some sense to this bunch of morrons in the form a of nice black eye, a couple of broken teeth and/or a number of broken bones should they insist.
Sadly, there are not many gentlemen to be found, these days.

Last, but not least, "We civilized Europeans" are raising our children in a way that they should not display the slightest form of prejudice regarding race, religion, colour, origin, social back ground AND gender or sexual orientation.
We welcome the whole world from Syrian refugees to economic migrants from Africa.
Italian coasties spend their time rescuing skiffs adrift, the Italian Red Cross feeds them, supply them with warm clothes.
"French Doctors" take care of the ills and wounded for free.
Should a hurricane, a typhoon, a cyclone or an earth quake strike we come (with other G20 countries of course) for help.
School destroyed, we rebuild, no food, we give.
It is HIGH time, the rest of the world reciprocate !!!!
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:34   #43
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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....
...
We welcome the whole world from Syrian refugees to economic migrants from Africa.
Italian coasties spend their time rescuing skiffs adrift, the Italian Red Cross feeds them, supply them with warm clothes.
"French Doctors" take care of the ills and wounded for free.
Should a hurricane, a typhoon, a cyclone or an earth quake strike we come (with other G20 countries of course) for help.
School destroyed, we rebuild, no food, we give.
It is HIGH time, the rest of the world reciprocate !!!!
Yes, we are rich because we are hard workers, they are poor because they are lazy. Nothing in what regards the calamity situation on the middle east and their millions of refugees are our responsibility. They created alone that humanity crisis and we have helped in many ways. We have no blame to have managed to get away one away or other with most of the world's resources. We were only smarter and more civilized. Yes it is time the rest of the world to reciprocate even if I am a bit afraid of that.
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Old 09-04-2015, 12:55   #44
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

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Yes, we are rich because we are hard workers, they are poor because they are lazy. Nothing in what regards the calamity situation on the middle east and their millions of refugees are our responsibility. They created alone that humanity crisis and we have helped in many ways. We have no blame to have managed to get away one away or other with most of the world's resources. We were only smarter and more civilized. Yes it is time the rest of the world to reciprocate even if I am a bit afraid of that.
Well, this is getting off topic.
So, in a few words, many members of my familly lost their life during WWI and WWII some killed by Germans others due to US and British massive bombings (most of them civilians).
Nobody is to blame, so goes war.
I am not prejudiced against Germans, got a few germans friends as a matter of fact, a large number of British friends and I am definetly NOT an anti american (even if I love to disagree sometimes).
;-)
Therefore, I am NOT prepared to deal with the burden of colonialism or of "war for freedom" ad vitam eternam and refuse to pass it to my children and grand children.

Freedom comes at a price, should civilians pay, sadly, a high price.
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Old 09-04-2015, 13:02   #45
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Re: ITALIAN TOURISTS VISITING ON A YACHT, ABUSED IN FIJI.

I think I see the crux of the problem here. Some people refuse to realize that exporting our own values and morals, as much as we believe they're of the highest and most just order, is just another form of exporting colonialism upon native populations. Just as most of us in the West would not agree to say wealthy compared to us Taliban yachties coming over and demanding that we behave cosistent with their morals and customs we should not demand from the locals to comply with ours. If they wish to stand around the docks and flash their wee-wees it is their right if that's their cultural thing. We can only avert our eyes or move on to the next island.
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