Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon is the last place you’d expect to hear a Fijian war chant. But that’s exactly what Laragh Widdess found when she stumbled upon the Middle East Bowl – an annual rugby match played between Fijian soldiers stationed in the Golan (working for UNDOF), and their fellow countrymen stationed in Sinai (working for the MFO).
How did these sportsmen – some of whom have represented Fiji in international rugby – fare trying to play their beloved national sport in the Middle East, where snow, sand, and soldiering get in the way? Laragh reports on the match, and on the significance of the bowl itself as a traditional Fijian vessel for the mysterious “kava” drink.
“Bole” Fijian war dance
Kava ceremony, Koromakawa Village, Fiji
God Bless Fiji (Fijian National Anthem, performed at the Hong Kong rugby sevens, 2012)
Written by Laragh Widdess, produced by Laragh Widdess and Amy Racs