Kava culture

I witnessed this during my last mission to Fiji, where I learned how the culture of kava drinking opens opportunities for dialogue and cooperation in a country with a rich history of volunteerism, and where traditional values play an important role in the development of civil society. Traditional family units, large extended families and clans working together for the advancement of their village can be seen as early forms of civil society organizations in Fiji. As an outsider, sharing a cup or two of kava with local villagers can help develop mutual trust, an important element in forming constructive partnerships. We took part in a traditional welcome ceremony by local leaders in Wailotua, a small village in Tailevu province on northern Viti Levu, the country’s main island. Residents there are benefiting from an ADB-supported road upgrading project that has made social services more accessible, and opened up opportunities for trade and tourism for communities along its route. — blogs.adb.org/blog