Sharing a Coke with Fiji
The “Share a Coke with (name)” ad campaign hit the US in 2013 and got to Fiji sometime in 2014 (I do remember seeing a “Share a Coke with Santa” last year). Not only is it still going here, I saw a new ad before a film last month that introduced a few different men name Raj (Rajesh, Rajendra, the Raj you know who is good at sports, etc) and suggest you should share soda with them, while showing the personalized Raj bottle. So I guess if the local Coke bottling factory is spending money on movie ads, these bottles will be sticking around a while.
While I’ve seen some names that are specific to Fiji and/or the Pacific Islands (like “Mere”, the local spelling of “Mary”), I do have to wonder if Anita and Gina are from a US or Australian name list. The US version of this campaign has a website for you to see if your name is on a bottle, but I haven’t found such a thing for other countries. I also have no idea how big the name list is in Fiji, but I’ve seen both iTaukei and Indo-Fijian names.
The thing I find more interesting is that many, if not most of the Coke bottles have the word for a type of family member (in both Fijian and Hindi) rather than a personal name.
If nothing else it’s a great way to learn new vocabulary words:
Bhaiya = Hindi for brother
Taciqu= Fijian for younger sibling (If you are a woman who says this word, you mean your younger sister; if you are a man, you mean your younger brother. There’s different words for siblings of the opposite gender from you).
Momo = Fijian for uncle
I’m assuming you can figure out “bro”, “mum”and “bestie”…
“Barewa” isn’t in my Fijian dictionary, but online sources suggest it refers to someone cute/pretty that you fancy. I keep meaning to ask someone at work about this one.
NPR fans may think of Kai Ryssdal, but this actually just means “people”, so I guess “your kai” is like your gang or crew.
“Yaca” means your namesake, so depending on circumstances, this person could be an adult now, a child, or a recently-named infant (please do not share Cokes with babies, even if they are your namesake).
I don’t have a photo of it, but I’ve also seen “your boso”, which is Fijian for “boss”. I’d be very curious to know if the US campaign had that one (I’m assuming they might have had “sister”, “brother”, “mom” and “dad”).