English is a unifying language here in our country and meant to bridge the "communication" barriers that other "vernacular" languages could contribute to.
Yes, English in itself is a "vernacular" language and one of the most widely spoken universal languages of communication today not only in Fiji but around the world especially by our friendly neighbours, New Zealand and Australia. Practising to only speak "English" prepares our young people for their futures as many choose to go and study or work abroad in these English speaking countries. What better way to prepare them? Fijians are popular for speaking and writing proper English all over the world.
Also, speaking in another "vernacular" language like Hindi or iTaukei or others can be deemed rude if there are others present who may not understand and therefore, are excluded from the conversation or communication for obvious reasons. Yes, you are right not speaking English flawlessly does not define people as individuals nor does it measure anyone's intelligence the same as speaking the languages of science or arts or Hindi or iTaukei. I suppose this has ignited some feelings of inferiority in the "non-English" speakers, however, that shouldn't be the intention. Sadly, some have reverted to speaking in different mother tongues to "taunt" those that may not speak their language. Not only in Fiji but universally as well.
Communication in itself in whatever language is meant to be liberating as a wise old sage once wrote: "Impression without expression can lead to depression".Home | Top