Market day to mark Bastille Day

Dharmen Singh with the snakes which was on display during the Bastille Day celebration at Fiji Museum yesterday. Picture: RAMA

People from all walks of life flocked to Thurston Gardens in Suva yesterday to celebrate Bastille Day and just have a day out with family and friends.

People were not disappointed with what local vendors had to offer from a variety of food, jewellery, clothes, bags, handicraft items and entertainment from musicians such as Inoke Kalounisiga (known as Knox) and others.

Rosy Tekairabe, 67, who hails from the island of Rabi, says business opportunities such as Bastille Day is welcomed.

“I have been selling handicraft at the Suva Handicraft Centre for the past 30 years and right now business is not good. “Because of COVID-19, we have very little or no sale during the week.”

Mrs Tekairabe said. She prepared about 10 baskets made from voivoi (pandanus leaves) and earrings to come and sell at the event yesterday.

“Now, my baskets and earrings are selling fast, it’s really good to have this kind of business events as we can have some business running,” she said smiling.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama also came to the Bastille Day celebrations and chatted with vendors and the people.

French ambassador Jean-Francois Fitou said the embassy decided to commemorate Bastille Day in a fashion that brought something to the Fijian people.

“Diplomats have to extend their hands to the communities, especially to the most fragile, the most suffering ones.

“We have decided to give back to the Fijian community a little of what it has given to us by helping the street vendors, especially women, and by offering them the possibility to have a good day’s sales.

“That’s why we organised our national day in Thurston Gardens in the form of a street market where everybody is welcome,” Mr Fitou said.

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