U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Joseph Cella, read three stories to children and patrons at the Suva Carnegie Library. Beyond spreading Christmas cheer, the holiday story hour encouraged cultural exchange and helped promote literacy for children. Ambassador Cella shared his personal reflections on Christmas and discussed how the holiday is celebrated in the United States.
Ambassador Cella said, “It was a great delight to read some of my new, and old, favorite Christmas stories with these children. Christmas is a time for giving of ourselves, sharing joy, laughter, and peace. A great way to build and fortify relationship and diplomatic bridges with all people is through art and culture – and numerous other mediums, even food! – and literature is one of the most powerful of mediums! The written word elevates the heart and mind, and stirs up the imagination, and is a special way to celebrate and elevate our common time-honored principles and traditions. It was an honor to share the spirit of Christmas with children from all walks of life and traditions at the Suva Carnegie Library with this story hour.”
Ambassador Cella read The Spider Who Saved Christmas, The Grumpy Old Ox, and the most reprinted newspaper editorial in the English language Is There A Santa Claus? to children participating in the story hour at the Suva Carnegie Library. All three are popular Christmas stories in the United States and are some of the Ambassador’s favorites.
The U.S. Embassy Suva has a long-standing relationship with the Suva Carnegie Library. Together, they have promoted American English, literacy, and programs advocating for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) studies through various workshops and events. The American Spaces program works with libraries across Fiji and the Pacific to share educational resources, promote English and STEAM education, encourage study in the United States, and increase skill sharing.