People say they love hearing about my culture and all I am doing is talking about Kiribati food, language, religion etc. It may not seem it but I have worked hard at making sure I am connected to my culture.
I feel more comfortable using the written word to express my thoughts than to stand in front of people that are going about their business with a sign accusing their corporation for ruining the world. But that all changed this week.
The big question that in all honesty, I haven’t properly tackled is: Will Kiribati actually relocate due to climate change?
For thousands of years Pacific culture has lead to men believing that domestic violence is right and a man’s prerogative. This is absolutely wrong, but it doesn’t take a bill in parliament to change a society’s ways that they have held for thousands of years.
Malaria and dengue fever are also predicted to rise due to the temperature to increase the reproductive and biting rates of mosquitos. And while it’s not a communicable disease, malnutrition will also increase due to lack of agricultural farming options in the searing heat. See how this all is a giant snowball already?
By learning more about ourselves, we learn more about the world. The more we learn about the world, the more our diverse communities grow to learn and respect each other.It is everyone’s responsibility to share what they know about their own community.
As of last week, Kiribati President Anote Tong, announced that PIPA will be officially banned for all commercial fishing by the end of the year. In response to this, we can expect the numbers of tuna, billfish and sharks to double within a couple of decades, hopefully with a steady rise to their original numbers.
I walked back to the house with two cousins running ahead and a baby cousin on my hip. I was wearing a traditional Kiribati top (tiibuta) and a sarong. I was barefoot and despite my lighter skin, I could have been any other I-Kiribati woman. A baby on my hip, yelling at my younger cousins to stop fighting and going back to my house where my family waited.
Diabetes and obesity influenced diseases are the biggest health worries in not just Kiribati but throughout all of the Pacific Islands. I remember when I was little, we would be at the airport waiting to board Air Nauru to get to Kiribati and we’d sit there trying to figure out who were Nauruans and who were I-Kiribati. The most obvious difference? We followed the rule that ‘Nauruans are the fat ones and I-Kiribati are the small ones’.
And then he grinned, took my backpack and swung it over his shoulder while I stood there stunned. He hopped on the motorbike gesturing me to hop on behind him.
‘What, you didn’t recognise me cousin?’
I stared at him for way too long.
‘Kairo! You’re so tall! And handsome!’