There is a young man who has just been baptized and moved into our ward. His name is Wame and he is a very, very nice young man. He turned 21 on Friday and it seems that here 21 is a big birthday year.
He invited a lot of people to his birthday party which was to start at 6pm and go to 11pm. Since this is Fiji and everything runs on “Fiji time”, we went at about 7pm and only had to wait an hour for it to begin.
They had him dressed up in a native costume just like Mariah was when she came home from her mission and they had lovely tapa cloths hanging on the walls and on the tables and on the floor. He was also dressed in tapa cloth.
They sat him in the center of the floor cloth and then had people who had been instrumental in his life talk. Elder Tennis, his mother, Pres. Suru (who he lives with) and Elder Wakola all talked about him.
The tradition is that on their 21st birthday the parents give them a key, symbolizing the key to their life and they are now considered an adult. Funny thing is that they say that, but they don’t do it. Parents here have way too much say in their children’s lives, especially after they return from their missions. But moving on…
Rather than a key his mother gave him a set of scriptures. This was particularly important because he was raised by his grandmother and his grandfather is a Methodist Preacher. She was telling him he has her blessing on joining the church.
He is just waiting for his first year to be up so he can go on his mission. It’s amazing how many of these YSA’s join the church and serve missions as soon as they can. They are amazing young people.
After dinner, which was a catered affair they had entertainment. It was pretty interesting to watch the food line, I have never seen people load that much food on one of those flimsy paper plates. I think that if you were at the end of the line you probably went home hungry.