My Kiribati, my soul

The culture seeps into my soul, like coconut oil being gently rubbed into my skin. The smells of salt, rotting rubbish, raw fish, sugar, bananas, dirt, sand, dead dogs, sweet toddy, bars of velvet soap, coconut oil, salted smoke fish, soy sauce and fresh bread buns. The sounds of cards slapping the floor on the…

Te Toonati (Kiribati Donuts)

I’ve been writing long enough to know that the writing mojo comes in waves. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it isn’t. It’s so frustrating when it isn’t, but it will pass. So, I’ve decided to pass the buck somewhat. Instead of forcing something that’s not there, I have asked my mum to write down her recipe for Kiribati donuts.

Kiribati architecture and design

The canoe is made by the men in the village, but this couldn’t be done without relying on the strength and quality of the women’s rope. A thought which I find so wonderful 🙂

The Kiribati woman

In my own cultural journey, these points are just some of the reasons I allow myself the title of upholding what it means to be a proud I-Kiribati woman…

Teaote & The Wall

I have written a children’s book. It is a Kiribati story, with Kiribati characters and told with a Kiribati heart. It is called Teaote & The Wall.

Say NO to the death penalty in Kiribati.

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.

Looking forward, looking back.

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.

Tong must work harder for Kiribati women

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.

Non-communicable diseases in Kiribati and Pacific Island nations

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’.