|Feast at the Fatele|
Even in the ceremonial Fatele dance, there was no one performer highlighted. There were dancers, singers, and drummers, but no solos or showcased performances. The performers were a community.
Certainly this collective style of life has its drawbacks. Privacy, for example, is nonexistent, and individual freedoms were limited. I also didn’t notice the variety in personality or dress that one would expect in a similar-sized American community. But, collectivism isn’t the sole cause of these differences, as factors like religious conservatism or low socioeconomic status should be considered as well.
To conclude, I hope to use my experiences in Fiji, and especially Kioa, to teach the individualism-collectivism spectrum with more vivid examples, at a minimum, and ideally, to help me and and others deepen our understanding that there is more to a person than “what do you do?”
Singelis, T. M., Triandis, H. C., Bhawuk, D. P. S., & Gelfand, M. J. (1995). Horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism and collectivism: A theoretical and measurement refinement. Cross-Cultural Research, 29, 240-275. doi:10.1177/106939719502900302