Overview of the Fiji Islands
More then anything else, Fiji is an exotic destination.
Fiji's 333 islands can sizzle with excitement or murmur with the
quiet calm of pristine nature. Where else can you swim with huge,
harmless manta rays congregating by the shore, snorkel over giant
rainbow gardens of soft coral, or scuba dive the White Wall and
famous Astrolabe Reef. Fiji is where the Cloud Breaker, the incredible
six-metre wave found offshore at Tavarua, draws surfers from around
the world. It is also where you can float in the calm, quiet waters
of a turquoise lagoon at sunset or walk alone through lush rainforest.
It is where the sun shines almost everyday and when it does rain,
people rush outside for a rainbath in the warm, brief downpour
of a tropical shower which ends as quickly as it began. This is
where life is lived for the joy of it all, where rushing is rude,
and the name of a new friend is never forgotten. Fiji is where
people wear flowers tucked in their hair, not to impress visitors,
but because they like to.
The Fiji archipelago is at the cross roads of the South Pacific.
In the days of sailing ships it was known as The Cannibal Isles
and carefully avoided by mariners because of its fierce warriors
and treacherous waters. However, in the age of jumbo jets and global
travel, Fiji has become the central hub of the exotic South Pacific.
More than 85 flights land at Nadi on the main island of Viti levu
every week. From there it is only a quick seven minute hop to one
of the offshore island resorts, or less than an hour of flying
time to Vanua Levu or Taveuni,
the second and third largest islands, where the outside world
is quickly left behind
For those who like to keep their feet on the ground once they
arrive, the big island of Viti
Levu offers a wealth of tropical
scenery, from rushing mountain rivers and waterfalls in the depths
of the rainforest, to palm-fringed beaches where time seems to
stop. This is where you can fish from the reef in the morning,
picnic at the edge of a waterfall plunging into a rocky jungle
pool at midday and eat native food cooked in an earth oven in the
evening, and then dance to the beat in a swinging discotheque until
long after midnight. Along with it's pristine tropical beauty,
Viti Levu offers several large towns and the bustling capital of
Suva, a shopper's paradise and you will never have to travel more
than a few hours to get anywhere on the island.
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Say it in Fijian
Almost everyone in Fiji speaks English - as
it is the official language, but the Fijian language is preserved
and widely spoken
in many different dialects. Almost everyone is bilingual
and many Fijian terms are included in everyday English usage.
is handy to know some of the more common words and phrases,
and the Fijians will be delighted to know you picked up some
of their language.
Fijian pronunciation is similar to English, but with a few changes
to the phonetic alphabet. Below is a brief guide which will bring
you close to the correct pronunciations. The best way to learn,
since there are many subtleties, is to have a Fijian instruct
you and then listen closely.
View our Say
it like they do in Fiji (note: a new window will open
just close it to return)
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Etiquette In A Fijian Village
When visiting a village it is
customary to present a gift of yaqona, which is also known
as kava. The gift, called a sevusevu,
is not expensive-half-a-kilo (which is appropriate) costs
It is presented to the Turaga ni Koro, the executive head of
the village. The presentation is usually in his house and will
generally be attended by some of the older men who happen to
be in the vicinity at the time and can quickly turn into a social
occasion. Pounded into powder, the yaqona will be mixed with
water and served. Be prepared to shake hands and to answer many
personal questions such as where you are from, are you married,
how many children do you have, how much money you earn etc.
It is important to dress modestly when away from the immediate
vicinity of your resort or hotel. Always carry a sulu (sarong,
lavalava, pareu) to cover bathing togs or shorts and halter tops.
Do not wear a hat in a village as it is considered an insult
to a chief. Do not wear shoes into people's houses. It is considered
an insult to touch someone's head.
Fijians are known as the friendliest people in the world. Your
respect for their customs and traditions will not only make you
a welcome guest in their villages and homes, but add another
dimension to your Fijian holiday.
Important Tips About Visiting Villages:
Dress modestly. Don't
wear shorts, and women must not wear halter tops and shoulders
Do not wear hats. They are interpreted as a sign
Always remove your shoes before entering
any house or other building.
Stay with your assigned
host. If other villagers ask you to eat or accompany
them, politely note
are with your
and would be honoured to visit with them
at some other time. Remember, Fijians will, out of customs,
ask you to eat
with them or share whatever they have.
Speak softly. Raised voices are interpreted as expressing
Show respect, but be cautious with praise.
If you show too much liking for
an object, then the Fijians
it to you as a gift, whether they
can afford to or not.
If you spend a night in the village,
reward your host with a useful
gift of similar
value for each
of your party.
is not recommended that
you stay in a village which is in the habit of
If you feel obliged
to pay more, then ask your
host what he or she might like and purchase
it for them.
A bundle of groceries
is graciously appreciated
by large Fijian families.
You will find some villages
more traditional than others,
from towns and
are not judgmental of other
people and will rarely
express a negative
you will find
that the more you
their customs, the warmer
your village welcome will be.
Call our Fiji Island specialists at - Global: 808.876-1570
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