Reflection on “Vanua”

2020_Blog Post Banner_A short reflection on Vanua

Vanua” refers to many tangible and intangible things in the life of Fiji Islands such as land, water, oceans, environment, trees, animals, cultures, customs and people.

When it comes to the relationship with “vanua” that is the relationship to the above factors.

I am a lover of nature, animals and of course, I always try to be kind to people. However, I did not explore the intimate relationship of these elements in the universe until I studied two courses: Holy Trinity and Ecclesiology 1. These two subjects helped me to understand that everything is inextricably linked in this universe. They interact and complement each other for survival and development. Since then I have become more aware to have an appropriate attitude towards “vanua”.

I should have an attitude of respect for all creatures, even the smallest because each creature is valuable in the eyes of God who created them. At the same time, I must respect the spiritual values ​​of each person, each region and each group such as cultures, customs and lifestyles.

Because everything is connected to each other, I am aware that protecting the environment, protecting the land, nature and so on means that I protect myself, my family, my society and the world where I am living. Respecting other creatures and the other persons is that I respect myself. When I grow more and more in relation to other creatures and the others and their values, I am going out of myself to live in communion with other creatures and especially with the Creator who is the cause of everything and makes everything in connection.

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Peter Minh Duc Nguyen (SDB), is a student of Theology at The Pacific Regional Seminary (PRS), Suva, Fiji Islands.