The Duke of Sussex has toasted his arrival in Fiji with a sip of traditional drink kava, at a lavish welcoming ceremony attended by an estimated 15,000 people. The Duke and Duchess were treated to offerings of roast pig, a whale’s tooth – representing wealth – and the ceremonial drink, which is celebrated for its rumoured sedative and euphoric properties. Cheered by crowds in the pouring rain, the couple watched dozens of men perform a welcome dance for them, accompanied by song. The Duke, who took a sip of kava to whoops and applause from locals, told the audience:”Bula venaka! The Duchess and I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the next two days and celebrating the links and close friendship between Fiji and the United Kingdom.” He signed off “Venaka”, or thank you, to cheers and laughter. In darkness, the couple then made the short journey to the Grand Pacific Hotel, where they are staying, before appearing on the balcony to wave at admirers. Both the ceremony and the balcony appearance mirror the Royal visit to Fiji in 1953, when the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh watched the same traditional elements of the 45-minute-long welcoming… Read full this story
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