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     Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Permanent Secretary Mara Addresses Indonesian Cultural Event

 

solo mara

23rd June 2011, Suva: Tonight Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Mr Solo Mara addressed the 2011 Bula Indonesia Trade Exhibition and Cultural Performance at the MHCC in Suva. His address is as follows:

His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia,
H.E. Mr. Aidil Chandra Salim
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentleman

Assalamu'alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
Peace be upon you with God's grace and blessing.
Ni sa bula vinaka! Selamat siang!

Allow me to first of all say thank you to His Excellency for his warm welcome and hospitality and most gracious and kind comments.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Indonesian Embassy for hosting again this 2011 Bula Indonesia Trade Exhibition and Cultural Performance. I understand last year's event was a resounding success and I am confident that this will be surpassed this year!

Tonight's event again provide us an opportunity to embrace and acknowledge the many different cultures that exist throughout Indonesia. We are privileged to experience the sights and sounds of traditional Indonesian dances and art forms and to sample some of the vast range of delicious regional cuisine, originating from Sumatra to Celebes.

Diversity of cultures is an integral characteristic of the Indonesian archipelago of over 17,000 islands. This diversity of language, customs and traditions and beliefs and their great ability to co-exist peacefully is something for which Indonesians can be proud off.

Today is a chance to expose Indonesia's cultural diversity to Fijians. Fiji too, is home to a population stemming from a vast array of cultural backgrounds. It is with united passion that we should work together to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, religion or nationality and to embrace our diversity.

Indeed, diversity makes our nations vibrant, dynamic and colorful. It allows us to learn from each other, in acknowledging both out similarities as well as our differences. It teaches us to practice tolerance, understanding and cooperation.

Fiji and Indonesia enjoy close and deep relations. Early this year we opened our new Embassy in Jakarta and also signed a Development Cooperation Agreement.

We have continuously enhanced mutual trust, deepened mutually beneficial cooperation and will achieve rich results from cultural events such as this. Such events promote harmony because of its capacity to teach us to understand our differences, to learn more about each other, to understand each other better and affirm our common humanity.

You know, it has been said that culture may be described simply as that which makes life worth living.  It is the arts and humanities that give us roots, that foster our civil society and democracy, and that create a universal language so that we can understand each other better as nations and human beings, even when the dialogue of diplomacy is strained or doesn't exist at all.

Fiji therefore thanks the Indonesian Embassy for hosting this event. I look forward to enjoying the performances and festivities here today and look forward to many more successful events such as this in the future through which we hopefully could foster harmony in diversity.

On behalf of the Fiji Government I once again wish to congratulate the Indonesian Embassy and thank them on all your behalf for hosting this important event.

Vinaka vakalevu, dhaniyavad, Terima kasih, and thank you all very much.

END