Fiji starts week-long celebrations to mark 50th independence anniversary

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SUVA, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Fiji started on Monday its week-long celebrations to mark the island nation's 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Speaking at the launch of the official song "Children of Fiji" for the occasion, Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the song is an anthem of the moment which captures the spirit of courage and compassion in these difficult times.

The song, which is composed in collaboration with the government broadcaster, Fijian Broadcasting Corporation (FBC), is sung in English, iTaukei, Fiji-hindi and Rotuman languages.

Meanwhile, 32 Fijian people, including former Fijian President and now parliament speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, were awarded on Monday the 50th anniversary of independence commemorative medals.

Fiji's President Jioji Konrote commended their contribution to moving the island nation forward over the years.

He noted that the week beginning Monday will be devoted to nationwide celebrations of the independence anniversary to mark Fiji's collective progress and development as one nation and people.

The week leading up to the Fiji Day, which falls on Oct. 10, is known as the Fiji Week -- a week full of events featured with the nation's cultural diversity.

During the week, people are expected to share traditional food such as the lovo with friends, pitch flags, plant trees, and decorate homes ahead of the Fiji Day when the military forces will stage parades at the Albert Park in the capital city of Suva.

As part of the celebrations, the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji's central bank, has planned the issuance of commemorative currency while the Fiji Airways, the national carrier, will give a special Airbus flight around the country. Enditem

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