HAU

“Wasting time” the Veratan Way: Conspicuous leisure and the value of waiting in Fiji

Matti Eräsaari

Abstract


This article explores time as a vehicle of values in Fiji through an analysis of abundant nonworking time. The analysis centers on the Fijian chiefdom of Verata, where an appreciation of slowness, preparedness, relaxing, or even “time wasting” illustrates an alternative to abstract, labor-based valuation of time. The article employs a village-centric viewpoint from just outside Fiji’s main metropolitan area, in Naloto village with a dispersed citizenry comprising both salaried urbanites and resident villagers with no access to wage work. From their point of view, it is argued, time-wasting might not be as precious as a good job in town, but can be a bearer of value nonetheless.


Keywords


Fiji, time, value, leisure, Protestant Christianity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau7.2.029