So Sorry We Ate Your Great-Grandpa
October 15, 2003 3:08 AM   Subscribe

Never Too Late? Descendants of the only European ever eaten in Fiji will get an apology next month from natives. (Another account, and a nice commentary.) We did cannibalism last April, but this is more about saying you're sorry. Is it worth apologizing, after 136 years?
posted by LeLiLo (14 comments total)
I forgot to say that he died with his (boiled) boots on, at least one of which is still on display in the Fiji Museum. (No specific photo, sorry.)
posted by LeLiLo at 3:17 AM on October 15, 2003

Yes, it is worth apologizing if you think you should.

Touching people's heads is still a no-no in many parts of Asia. You probably won't get killed, but it is good to know that in some places even touching the head of a small kid is extremely rude
posted by magullo at 4:38 AM on October 15, 2003

Is it worth apologizing, after 136 years?

No. Especially when it is done under duress in the expectation that it will lift a "curse" which you believe yourself to be suffering under.
posted by rushmc at 4:53 AM on October 15, 2003

this is just to say

we have eaten
the missionary
that came over
from England

and who
probably did not want
to wind up
as breakfast

forgive us
he was delicious
so fleshy
and so warm.
posted by ptermit at 5:18 AM on October 15, 2003

We'd like to apologise on behalf of some people we never met for something they did to somebody you've never met? What's the point of that?

Maybe they just want to send a message to Jehovah's Witnesses to stay the hell away.
posted by biffa at 5:23 AM on October 15, 2003

We'd like to apologize on behalf of some people we never met for something they did to somebody you've never met?

Nope, we'd like to apologize for what our ascendants did to your ascendants.

What's the point of that?

Getting rid of a curse, for one thing 8?)


General question to all: Do people in the thread feel that, for instance, the Japanese government should apologize to the Chinese and Korean WWII sex slaves or should we all just wait till they all die and then it doesn't matter any more?
posted by magullo at 6:05 AM on October 15, 2003

Getting rid of a curse

Well if it makes them feel better sure, but if it was my ancestors who'd been ate, I wouldn't give a damn, (though an all expenses trip to Fiji might persuade me otherwise).

I do feel that the Japanse Government should be apologising, (and compensating) and the sooner the better. Probably will have implications for offspring of the women too as some are bound to have suffered as a result of Japanse policy. But 136 years down the line? - by then it will be pointless
posted by biffa at 6:15 AM on October 15, 2003

I spent about 3 months in Fiji, years back, and I've always told anyone who asked that the Fijians are the kindest, gentlest, most excellent (in the traditional sense of the word) people that I've met in my wanderings around the world.

Further, that they are the most genuine - the only genuine - Christians I've come across as a group (and I ignore the 49% of Fiji that is Indian immigrant here, and deliberately, as I have little to say about them) on the planet.

Most - well, almost all, to speak plainly - Christians I have met in western nations are so full of shit and self-regard and pointless ritual as anaesthetic and complete lack of hewing-close-to-the-bone that I write them off as a matter of habit.

(Fijians, if you are interested in renewing your faith, my crucifix-fetishist friends, will help you understand what Living Faith really is.)

But I digress. I have always found it amusing that these kind and loving people were, less than a century back, the fiercest man-meat-eating warrior race of the west. They are the finest people, collectively, that I've ever been lucky enough to break bread and beer with.

I love Fiji, and the people there, without reserve.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:27 AM on October 15, 2003

Is it worth apologizing, after 136 years?

Ya damn right it's werf it. But dat shit bettuh come wit some REPARATIONS YO!~
posted by Witty at 6:30 AM on October 15, 2003

[paging rschram...]

stavros, google "rabuka", "coup", "rotuma", "bavandra", "choudry" along with Fiji. I'm afraid there's more to Fiji than an idyllic Methodist paradise, and the kindness and gentless only stretches so far.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:44 PM on October 15, 2003

That you would presume to try and educate me about Fiji by suggesting that I google a few familiar keywords is both annoying and laughable, Mr Spleen.

I am very familiar with Fiji's recent history, and that has no bearing whatsoever on my previously expressed opinions, and the experiences I had there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:45 PM on October 15, 2003

Does apologizing for the sins of centuries past matter? Is it worth it? Good question. I think the jury's still out. Maybe in time we'll be able to measure just how little such apologies matter. In the short term, I'm sure it makes somebody feel better, but unless you personally got eaten, I doubt such an apology is ever going to matter to you.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:15 PM on October 15, 2003

Sorry stavros - you did say it was some years back that you were there last, so I hope I could be forgiven for wondering if you were out of touch with current events. I don't intend to contradict your experience, merely to add some additional background for the reader who is not familiar with Fijian politics.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:25 PM on October 15, 2003

I was thinking about the Pope, too, Zach, specifically in terms of Galileo. Condemned in 1633 for having the wacky idea that the earth went around the sun, 'excused' in 1992. (Still, I suppose it was a happy ending of sorts, since the Pope didn't cook and eat him.)
posted by LeLiLo at 10:01 AM on October 16, 2003

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