A fascinating and all too rare look at ourselves through another culture’s eyes. —The Ottawa Citizen (Editor’s Choice, August 8, 1999)
In Tuiavii’s Way, his insightful writings for the first time enjoy careful translation and adaptation. —chaptersglobe.com
Profound and prescient, written from an innocent yet enchanting perspective, Chief Tuavii’s judgments of Western society are invariably fair… —PGW Canada –This text refers to the paperback edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chief Tuiavii comments on a clocktower striking the hour:When this time noise happens, the white man complains: “It is a heavy burden that another hour has passed.” Then he makes a sad face, like a man who has to bear much suffering, even though a new hour has just arrived. I have never understood this, but I think that it may be a burdensome sickness. “The time eludes me!”–“The time runs like a horse!”–“Give me a little time!”–these are the complaints of the white man.
Here is why I say this could be a sickness: Assume that the white man is inclined to do something which his heart desires; he might want to go into the sunshine, or take his canoe down the river or be in love with his maiden–most of the time, he will spoil his desire by clinging to the thought “I was not given time to be merry.” The time is there, but no matter how hard he tries, he cannot see it. He names a thousand things which take time from him, bends over his work, complaining and sullen, even though he has no fresh air and doesn’t love his work, and even though no one forces him to do it, except he himself.
But if he suddenly sees that there is time, that it is still there, or if another man gives him time (white men sometimes give each other time and nothing is so highly esteemed as this), then he lacks the air, or he is too tired from his work and his joy is gone from him. And then he vows to do tomorrow what he has the time to do today. –This text refers to the paperback edition.