Fiji turns the page (source: The Hindu online newspaper)

Does this mean that Fiji is progressing? Turning the page means moving forward, no? I am trying to do speed reading and want to guess the headlines. Is my understanding right here?

Can I say that it is all about Fiji progress?

2 Answers 2


To turn the page is a (modern, relatively uncommon) variant of the long-established idiomatic usage...

To Turn Over a New Leaf
to make a fresh start, to change your behavior or attitude. In the 16th century people referred to pages in a book as “leaves”. When they turned over a new leaf it meant they were turning to a blank page in a workbook to start a new lesson. This could also be more generally used as to say you’re turning over a page of your life and starting a new one, etc.

In fact, even "Fiji turns over a new leaf" would be unlikely phrasing for OP's exact context, because essentially it means start to act or behave in a better or more responsible way. Thus it implies that previously, Fiji had been acting badly/immorally, which probably isn't the intent in OP's example.

The citation is from an editorial in The Hindu, so perhaps this usage is more "normal" in Indian English. But I'd expect British newspapers to use something more like...

"Fiji starts a new chapter"
"Fiji rewrites the book"
"Fiji breaks with tradition"
"Fiji breaks the mould"
etc., etc.

...all of which strongly emphasise the fact of starting something completely new, with less of the (probably unwanted) implications of having abandoned previous undesirable patterns of behaviour.


Yes, moving forward (improving) after not having done very well for quite a while. For example, a team that was on a losing streak and then wins two games in a row could be "turning the page".

EDIT: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/turn+the+page

  • 1
    I'm not too convinced by your example. The standard idiom there would be turning the corner when reversing/breaking a losing streak. Sep 23, 2014 at 15:39
  • "This marks a new democratic beginning for the South Pacific nation after suffering self-inflicted wounds over a period of some 28 years." from The Hindu editorial you cited. Emphasis mine. Sep 23, 2014 at 15:44
  • But I agree with you that "turning the corner" is the more common of the two idioms. Sep 23, 2014 at 15:51
  • I tracked down the original context, but didn't bother to read the whole article. I see your point that those emphasised words do push us closer to the abandon previous undesirable activity implications of page/leaf turning, but I still think it's a slightly unusual usage here. The article is far more about adopting a new desirable approach, rather than abandoning the previous undesirable behaviour. Sep 23, 2014 at 16:31
  • Well, the emphasis would depend on the eye of the beholder, and a newspaper headline does not always perfectly reflect the article. But there are other mentions of undesirable circumstances: "Bainimarama will be able to put behind him the phase of global condemnation and international sanctions that had followed the 2006 coup...long-simmering rivalries ... corruption, racial divisions ... policies steeped in racial discrimination and dispossession ...hereditary, rival power bases...restrictive media framework involving stiff penalties for critical coverage...cloud of human rights abuses " Sep 23, 2014 at 16:41

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