I wear my Pacific Islander hat much more easily than my Christian one.
You can probably guess why.
Christianity has become a dirty word in the modern world. I have no defence against the reasoning. I mean, take your pick - the abuse, rape, and murder of children, the coverups, the delay in acknowledging and apologising for the atrocities committed, the "holier than thou" sermonising, the discrimination against the LGBTQI community... The list goes on.
I was raised Catholic, which of course is just one denomination of Christianity. Like many Catholics, I reject certain things the religion stands for.
Actually, reject is too weak a word. I hate certain things the religion stands for.
But there are things I do love. Like the hymns at Sunday mass. I grew up to the sound of them. Each Sunday, alongside the smell of frangipanis and hibiscus, the island air would be filled with the sweet strains of voices raised in harmony as Christians all over Fiji attended mass.
We'd get up, dress up, and go. For an hour, we'd listen to scripture, take holy communion, and, well, sing.
Listen to Mamamia Out Loud on the big jersey debate. Story continues below.
The singing was always my favourite part. Have you ever heard Islanders sing? There's nothing quite like it. The voices just soar. Some would say it was heavenly.
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed!
That's How Great Thou Art, one of the most famous hymns in the world. We sang it so many times the words are permanently embedded into my brain.