Pacific comes to autumnal Suffolk

A TASTE of the Pacific is being brought to Wattisham airfield next week as the army base celebrates Fiji Day.The airfield will be opened to the public and transformed with a Fijian flavour as Fijians serving in the British Army show off the island's culture.

A TASTE of the Pacific is being brought to Wattisham airfield next week as the army base celebrates Fiji Day.

The airfield will be opened to the public and transformed with a Fijian flavour as Fijians serving in the British Army show off the island's culture.

There are around 3,000 Fijians in the British Army and 1,000 will be at Wattisham on Wednesday for a day of traditional dancing, singing and food.

The day was chosen coincide as closely as possible with Fiji Day, October 10, when the country gained independence from the UK.

The event is being organised by Lance Corporal Usaia Soqoiwasa, 31, who has been in the army for three and a half years.

He has been at Wattisham for a year and a half and is one of 26 Fijians based at the airfield.

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LCpl Soqoiwasa said: “This year the Fijian community at Wattisham decided to broaden its usual Fiji Day celebrations by extending invitations to the whole of the military community and the public at large.

“The main purpose is to exhibit our culture, our people and our way of life that is not normally seen in a normal working military environment or by the community.

“People can taste the food, feel the vibrant atmosphere and learn so many other things about Fiji that they never knew before.”

Two professional dancers have flown in from the Dance Theatre of Fiji to help choreograph the celebrations and dancing.

The day's special guest will be the Fijian Ambassador to the UK, Amitai Boladuadua.

There will also be displays of cultural artifacts, including mats, spears and costumes.

The day runs from 10am to 2pm and entry is £3 per family.

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