Fijian Green Color, Healing and Language Around the World

Kimberly Burnham
3 min readApr 3, 2020


Dictionary Poetry and Found Poem from the Island of Fiji and the Fijian Language.

Traditional Fiji and Fijian language poetry and dictionary poems with Kimberly Burnham, photo by Old Youth on Unsplash

Ruru Times

In Fijian spoken in the Pacific islands
“cadra” is to rise
said of the sun, moon or stars
means just appearing
to appear or happen suddenly
as a plant sprouting
peace in a time of war
“na icadracadra ni siga”
describes the dawn of sunrise

“Igadigadi” is a place to relax
or pass the time peacefully
while “maravu” describes a calm and peaceful sea
ruru is a calm or peaceful sea or wind
and the easing of pain or sickness
may we find “ruru” in these times

Sautū Enough For Peace

In some societies peace
a metaphorical commodity
enough food to share
plenty of food for peace
or for a peace offering

In Bauan Fijian or Feejeean
spoken on Fiji
there is a word for peace
and plenty “sautū”

“Soro” is to sue for peace
to humble one’s self
and present something

May we each have
peace and plenty enough
to have peace

And “tikolò”
to be silent
to have enough sense to hold one’s peace
to hold back the words
not needed for peace

Topic(s) of this poem: peace, peace day, peaceful, silence, world peace Form: Prose Poem A dictionary peace poem on Fiji or Bauan Fijian or Feejeean who call the Magellinic Clouds “hearth of peace and plenty.’

Peace Verbs

Find nothing in ancient
or modern languages analogous
to the different forms of the Fijian verb
especially the different terminations
for in the reduplications
and partly reduplicated forms
and those which express causation and intensity
we have something very similar
to a world away’s Hebrew

Before and After Fijian Peace

“Sauvatu” a stone set up
or marked as a “tabu” or restricted food

“Sausauvatu” or “sauvinaka”
at peace
not at war

“Sauvoce” to take the bark off .
ai Sauvola, a doko ; s au with broad
flat ends for beating down reeds
in clearing grounds .

Beckoning Peace

In Fijian “vakatabatabataki”
means to beckon peace
or to hold peace
“soro” is to sue for peace

Think about your hands, what kind of signal or movement would you make if you were trying to beckon peace or hold it or sue for it?

Green and white parrots poetry with Kimberly Burnham, Photo by Tam Nguyen on Unsplash

Fijian Green

In Fijian there is a word “bativou”
for a person who prefers green fruit
rather than fruit fully mature
“vou” is new and by extension “bativou”
a person attracted to those younger
often said of men attracted to a younger woman

Another word “Mata drokadroka” suggests a fresh gleaming face
a baby-face or youthful countenance
while “matadrokadroka” is also queasy
sickly green faced

“Drokadroka” the color green
describes vegetation and sometimes fish
but not water or the sea
means green or uncured firewood
following a tradition
Fijians names of colors always associated
with specific objects

“Kara-karawa” blue things
the sky, the sea, fish
as in “sa karakarawa na draki”
a relatively cloudless day with a blue sky
formerly meant either blue or green
inspired by the color of light
bouncing from Fiji parrots
depends on the viewing angle

“Drokadroka” used for the abstract color of green
mainly plants
“karakarawa” a species of edible parrot fish
blue and green as implied by the name
Chlorurus sordidus

Topic(s) of this poem: colors, environment, healing Form: Prose Poem

Peace poetry from Fiji in Fijean with Kimberly Burnham, photo by Vijeshwar Datt on Unsplash

Originally published at on April 3, 2020.



Kimberly Burnham

Writer, Poet, Ekphrastic Writer-in-Residence, Nerve Whisperer, Brain Health Coach, Author of The Traveling Brain: Illuminating Peace Poetry in 5000 Languages.