Kiribati 44th Independence Anniversary

‘Without my Kiribati INA, I can be Samoan,’ remarked the Kiribati High Commissioner to Fiji, Mr Tebuai Uaai. Mr Uaai joined PTC’s Kiribati families and the community at large in the memorial service marking the 44th Anniversary of Kiribati as an independent nation. Worship leader Rev. Toobora Tam’atone from Kiribati Uniting Church (KUC) and a Masters student, focussed her reflection on the importance of the INA or fish scales that identify a fish species. As do culture, language, the land, oceans etc like fish scales identify an i-Kiribati. “Thus, we should render ourselves to our INA as true I-Kiribati,” she said. “The colonisers may have colonised us, but they couldn’t take out our INA, and we will always be i-Kiribati,” she added. Rev. Tam’atone said similarly as Christians our INA (identity) is as Jesus portrayed in his humbling act of washing his disciple’s feet. It speaks to our INA as Christians to be humble, to serve, forgive and love others. Songs and dances in i-Kiribati and prayers offered in the mother tongue and a morning tea spread, marked a memorable day for our church families from KUC and Kiribati Protestant Church from the northern Pacific. Principal PTC Rev. Professor Dr Upolu Va’ai said PTC is the home of self-determination. The college has started on a journey of celebrating independence days for all Pacific Island countries. The Solomon Islands community at PTC also marked the country’s 45th Independence Day on July 7. “Decolonisation from the PTC perspective is also about reclaiming that life-affirming INA removed by colonial systems,” said Rev. Professor Vaai. “We thank God for the different Pacific countries, territories and identities and the diversity of cultures.” Congratulations our Kiribati families and friends on the 44th independence Anniversary of your country.