First voted in by the United Nations in 1990, International Older Persons Day was introduced to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse.
It is also a day to appreciate the contributions that they make to society that shaped a country. A sustainable foundation which they have laid before us, so that the next generation will have a better future.
The theme this year was ‘Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society’
Today’s celebration brought four cultural groups from the Fia Ola program together. The colours presented by the matching red and black puletasi’s of the Samoan group, blue puletaha’s of the Tongan group, coloured clothing of the Fijian group and bright green muumuu’s with the ukulele’s and ei’s of the Cook Island group painted the vibrant Pacific Island spirit.
A collection of wisdom, experience, and knowledge in one room. A tiny symposium that displayed years of joy, hardships and strength of the pacific. Each individual showed character, self- belief and self- worth, which was evident on their sun kissed wrinkles, matched with smiles and laughter.
In true Pacific Island fashion, the day began with a prayer which was led by the Tongan group followed by music and dance. Our otherwise ailed clients were so caught up in the excitement and energy of the room that they too got up to dance.
Once each group were satisfied that their song had been played and they had danced sufficiently to it, the exercises began led by coordinator Taua’aletoa Malaetele.
Taua has always been passionate about keeping a social forum for our elderly through Fia Ola.
“This is a good way to remember the elderly in our community and celebrate life,” says Taua.
The day ended with a beautiful spread prepared by some of the staff at Pacific Homecare. Lunch was shared and many talanoa sessions along with it. With a rejuvenated spirit and full tummies it was time to say goodbye to our mama’s and papa’s. Thus ending a wonderful day of recognition.
This story also featured in INSite Magazine HERE