24 Oct 2007

Fiji-based Vanuatu Descendants Association puts request to Port Vila

8:25 pm on 24 October 2007

The Vanuatu Descendants Association in Fiji says a proposal for descendants of those kidnapped during the Blackbirding era and taken to Fiji to be re-married back into Vanuatu would depend on each family involved.

Following a recent visit to Fiji by Vanuatu's Foreign Minister, talks have been in place over the possibility of repatriating some descendants by re-marrying daughters back to Vanuatu families.

The Minister, George Wells, indicated that it would be one of the best ways for the descendants to reconnect with their ancestral roots.

However, the Association's assistant co-ordinator, Josephine Tokona, says their main request to Vanuatu is to provide scholarships for descendants wishing but currently unable to further their education in Fiji.

"But in terms of our custom and culture, that's what they're thinking, so that the descendants can marry back to their descendants, their families back in Vanuatu so this family thing can again become really strong in terms of custom and culture. It really depends on the families. If they really want this to happen then it's up to them to arrange this kind of marriage."

Josephine Tokona