Auckland Conference to bring together Fijians of the World

Auckland Conference to bring together Fijians of the World

Venkat Raman
September 18, 2019

The challenges and successes of the Fijian Diaspora and the potential for their contributions to the growth of the Fijian economy are among the topics that are expected to be discussed at a conference in Auckland early next month.

Organised by the Fiji-based ‘Genda Project,’ the one-day event titled, ‘Genda Diaspora Talks- Fijians of the World,’ will be held at Mangere Arts Centre located at Corner Orly Avenue and Bader Drive in the South Auckland suburb of Mangere on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Tickets for the Programme, to be held from 230 pm to 5 pm, priced at $30 per person, can be obtained online https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2019/genda-diaspora-talks-fijians-of-the-world-auckland/auckland/mangere

Genda Project Curator Sharon Narayan (From Genda Project Website)

Sharing and inspiring

Curator Sharon Narayan described the Genda Project as ‘An Alternative Media Organisation’ creating spaces and platforms for storytelling and ideas sharing to inspire and motivate Fijians to live and work with more purposeful choices.

“One of our talk platforms is ‘GendaDiaspora,’ featuring stories of the Fijian Diaspora and our current series “Fijians of the World” is touring Sydney, Auckland and Brisbane. Our Auckland talk event will have the benefit of many well-known people, who will speak about their life journey and career,” she said.

Vinod Kumar

Among them would be Vinod Kumar, who is currently building ‘Nido,’ New Zealand’s largest retail store offering an extensive range of products for homes, offices and for other corporate and social entities. Mr Kumar has won several accolades for his Magsons Hardware (former franchisees of Mitre 10 Mega) including the Supreme Business of the Year Award at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards.

The Genda Project website said that its task is finding Fijians and about them.

The Fijian Connection

“Today, while we are connected to all aspects of life via technology, modern travel and a freedom to pursue things not so possible few decades back, some of us have lost that connection to ourselves. Be it career expectations, family obligations, civic duties or just living the norm – it is very easy to get caught in the whirlwinds of life.

Defining Fijian (Gallery from Genda Project Website)

“It is cliched but we all are looking for something that makes our hearts sing and it is amazing how as adults we have a notion that happiness is something of our childhood. As we grow up, our lives are not defined by what makes us happy but what is right or wrong.”

Promoting Fijian Culture

Ms Narayan said that people do not often talk about Fijian culture and its richness.

“We don’t really do deep. Most of us are never even compelled to question ourselves. Our surnames, our relationships, our faiths, our cultures, our jobs, our social media bios are definitive enough,” she said.

Ms Narayan said that the Genda Project is an initiative to break that norm. 

“We all have a story within us. And one day it has to be told. The Genda Project provides you the space and the platform to venture out, discover the possibilities and connect to others and ultimately to your own self. It is all about finding what makes you happy. Through a number of organised talks, the Project will connect you to different individuals to share your stories,” she said.

Ms Narayan said that Genda Interactions events are small and intimate but the Genda Connections and GendaDISRUPT talks are held on a large scale.

Our talks are tailored to put you out of your comfort zone, question you, make you question others and to inspire you! 

About Genda Project

Established in 2015, Genda “meaning Marigold flower in Hindi) is a social enterprise to motivate Fijians to live a more purposeful life.

It also aims to empower Fijians to find themselves and find their happiness.

The stories shared on its platforms are narrative of the Fiji now. Individuals who are invited to speak on platforms do not conform or fit in the boxes of race, religion, politics and international agendas that Fiji is often portrayed.

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