Fiji (Republic of Fiji) is a state that stretches in the Pacific Ocean on the islands of the Fiji Archipelago, about two thousand kilometers south of the equator line, five thousand kilometers southwest of the Hawaiian Islands and three thousand kilometers east of Australia.
If you look at the islands from above, they will appear in the form of a square (incorrect). The north-western and western parts of this square form the largest islands of the archipelago – Vanua Levu (it occupies the second position in size, the area is about five and a half square kilometers) and Viti Levu (occupies the first position, the area reaches ten and a half square kilometers) .
Vanua Levu and Viti Levu together occupy eighty-five percent of the total area of the state. The eastern and southern part of the square forms a number of smaller islands: Totoya, Titiia, Lakemba, Vanua Vatu, Moala, Taveuni, Kandava, Fulanga, etc., as well as a large number of coral reefs.
In total, the Fiji group includes about five hundred reefs and more than three hundred twenty islands. The population lives, at most, on one tenth of the territory of the state.
The Republic’s area exceeds eighteen thousand square kilometers. The length of the coastline is one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine kilometers. The capital of Fiji is the city of Suva. The capital island is Vit-Levu. The population of the Republic is about nine hundred thousand people, fifty percent of whom are Fijians.
Fiji is a parliamentary republic. In administrative terms, the territory of the Republic of Fiji is divided into four regions (Western, Northern, Eastern and Central) and one dependent territory (Rotum). The majority of the population of Fiji professes the Christian faith (almost sixty-five percent). Also among the Fijians, there are Hindus (about twenty-eight percent), Muslims (about six percent). The proportion of Sikhs and atheists is negligible.
Fiji is a big state.
Formally, its area is about 1.3 million square kilometers, but this is taking into account the territorial waters of the state. And so the area of the state is 18.3 thousand square kilometers.
Fijians make up the bulk of Fiji’s population.
They make up about half of the population. About forty-four percent of Fiji’s population are Indians. In addition, the territory of the country is inhabited by people from the Pacific Islands, Europe and China. One of the features of the local ethnos is a minimized confusion between Indians and Fijians.
Fiji is a parliamentary republic.
At present it is an independent state. The state received its independence in October 1970 at the head of the state is the president. His term of office is limited to five years, the president is appointed to the post by the Supreme Council of Chiefs. The president has an advisory body, which is called: the Presidential Council. In addition, the aforementioned Supreme Council of Chiefs, which includes representatives of the most respected families of the country, also functions. Parliament (consists of two chambers) is a legislative body of power. The first chamber – the Senate (on local, Seniti) – includes thirty-four deputies. The second – the House of Representatives (local, Valais) – includes seventy-one deputies. The term of office of deputies is limited to five years.
Fiji is characterized by a tropical marine climate.
As a result – hot, humid weather over the territory of the islands of the archipelago. In May, the trade winds begin to blow, bringing with them a clear sky and dry weather. The temperature is at the level of seventeen to twenty-seven degrees of heat. It gets hotter in December – the air warms to thirty-three degrees. This weather lasts until April. This period is called the rainy season, as there is a lot of precipitation, storms and tropical hurricanes are not uncommon.Thus, when choosing a time for a trip to the islands of Fiji, one should stop for a month between May and December. Then the hurricanes are unlikely, and the weather is favorable – the heat is not too tiring.
Fiji Islands of volcanic origin.
At the base of most of the islands of the archipelago, indeed, are extinct volcanoes in antiquity. Because of this, many islands have a mountainous terrain, this is the “fate” of the two largest islands of Fiji. The average height of the mountains on Vanua Levu and Viti Levu is about seven hundred meters. On Viti Levu there is also the highest point of Fiji. It’s Mount Victoria Mountains (it’s Tomanivi), and its height is one thousand three hundred and twenty-four meters. The smaller islands of Fiji form coral massifs and limestones, characterized by the presence of a central lagoon.
Minerals are one of the riches of Fiji.
In the bowels of the islands, deposits of bauxite and uranium, iron and polymetals, even silver and gold have been discovered. There are also deposits of coal, which for the Pacific region is a phenomenon that is quite rare. Oil deposits exist in the coastal zone of Fiji Islands.
The vegetable world is another wealth of Fiji. And this, indeed, is so. There are mangroves, savannahs and thick forests. The eastern part is occupied by forests “uki”, “warriors”, sandalwood. The western side, which is distinguished by the sunny and dry climate, “liked” open forests (or, in local, “talatiga”) and savannah (in the local version, “grasland”). Along the coastal lagoons a narrow strip stretches mangrove thickets, and along the coastal plains – coconut groves. Forests cover almost thirty-five percent of the islands, and about eleven percent of the territory of the Republic of Fiji are agricultural land. The rest of the islands are volcanic cones, reefs and lagoons. In general, the islands recorded almost 3,000 plant species. It is interesting that approximately 1000 species of these plants are endemic.
The fauna of Fiji is diverse.
And this statement is only partly true. From the world of mammals originally on the territory of the islands of Fiji were only bats, diversify this world decided to come from Hindustan and Europeans. They were imported into Fiji, goats, pigs, cats, dogs and mongooses. The world of reptiles includes about twenty kinds of sea snakes and turtles. But the Fijian bird kingdom is indeed a variety, because there are more than hundred species of birds nesting here, of which twenty-three are endemic. The sea life is different. More than two hundred forty species of reef fish live in sea waters, about forty sponges, about fifteen species of sharks, three types of rays, sixty varieties of corals, and also whales and dolphins. The tourist will have to carry out some security measures. Be sure to consult on the safety of food, because the meat of some fish contains poisonous toxins. It is recommended to use wetsuits when swimming. If you are bathing on an unequipped coast, then you need to go into the water in strong shoes. This will save from injuring your legs with fragments of corals or needles of marine animals.
мало There are few rivers on the islands of Fiji.
On the contrary, there are many rivers and rivulets of different sizes running through their territory. The river Reva is the largest in the country, and on one hundred and twenty-eight kilometers of its channel it is navigable. There is a river on the capital island of Viti Levu. Such a number of rivers is unusual for other islands of the Pacific region, therefore Fiji in this regard is some exception to the rules.
The official language of the Republic of Fiji is English.
Along with Fijian. English is part of the compulsory school curriculum. However, the population of the country widely uses different dialects (and there are more than thirty). The most common dialect is “Bauan”. In addition, among the Indian population is a dialect of Hindi Hindustani.The basis of writing is still English graphics. True, pronunciation and writing vary considerably with the norms of canonical English.
Fijian cuisine keeps its traditions to this day.
Given the limited range of products for centuries, Fiji’s national cuisine was based on 3 main ingredients – coconuts, root vegetables and seafood. At present, many culinary traditions have been replaced by Latin American, Japanese, Chinese dishes, as well as fast food. Visiting cafes and restaurants, a tourist is unlikely to find here anything from primordial Fijian cuisine. To try her dishes, he will either have to look at distant islands (here the impact of the “big world” is less felt) or become a guest of one of the local residents of the Republic.
Yams – the basis of local cooking.
Along with the root of the colo-sausage (known as taro) and cassava. This is especially true of the remote islands and the Fijian village. Typical local dishes are “cassava” (baked or fried tapioca with bananas, sugar and coconut milk, usually served in the form of mashed potatoes), “rouro” (salad, the main ingredient of which are the leaves of the colo-sausage), “kakonda” (fish, pickled in lime juice), “lovo” (assorted fruits, fish and meat), baked fish “Ica” and many others. The primary product in Chinese communities is rice.
The Fijians are an original ethnos.
One of the most original in the world, this ethnos was formed under the influence of the cultures of the Pacific region. Fijians easily found their place on Earth, they are proud of their traditions, customs and history. Fijians seamlessly combine Christian attributes with their own ancient faith, modern democratic institutions with roots rooted in antiquity by the traditions of social organization, the newest household appliances with traditional dwellings.
Fijians are an aggressive people.
Largely due to missionaries, Fijians have a reputation for being aggressive warriors and cannibals. Contrary to this established view, the Fijians are such a friendly people that it can be confidently said that there are not many such peoples in the world. Similarly to many peoples of Oceania, Fijians assess the controversial situation from different sides and try not to make hasty conclusions, do not refuse ahead of time, etc. Those who come here to rest will notice that the warmth of reception largely depends on the degree of respect of tourists to local traditions.
“Yasuva” is the basis of the traditional organization of Fijian society.
The bottom line is that one common ancestor connects all members of the tribe that was formed by the clan. The clan included several families. Each community led its economic life in isolation from all the others, the hereditary leader was at the head of the clan. The mutual obligations of the clans were limited only by intertribal marriages. As for everything else, the relations between the clans were based on a fierce competition. A common phenomenon was wars between individual islands and tribes. It was this fact that became the reason for the belief in the militancy of the Fijians.
Going to Fiji, a tourist first thing is to get acquainted with the traditions of this country.
Treat members of the clan, and first of all to the master, with open respect. It’s okay if it looks even a little exaggerated. True. You have to be cautious with praise. In Fiji, it is customary that a guest who expresses great admiration for something should be gifted. Do not put the master of the house in an awkward position. Under no circumstances, under any circumstances, you can not touch the head of local residents, even if you have a child in front of you. Touching the head is taboo. You should know that a loud voice, in the view of the Fijians, is an expression of anger. In this regard, it is not customary to speak loudly on the territory of the country.If you are a guest in a Fijian village, you must present a small present to the owner of the house or to the leader. As a rule, they give dried jangon root (a bag weighing 500 grams), the cost of which is about ten dollars. You can give and something else about the same amount. It can be wine, cigarettes, etc.
The polished tooth of a sperm whale is the most valuable gift for a Fijian.
It is called “tabua”. The procedure for donating taboo gathered around itself so much taboos and ritual ceremonies that it took a firm place among the Fijian rituals. The giver will be very insulted if his gift is refused, because getting a “taboo” on the islands of Fiji is a tremendous honor. However, after some time this gift will be necessary to give away (however, not only this, but in general any – this is a tardition).
Traditional Fijian village is a fortified settlement.
This is so, because there was always a threat of raids. The population of the village varied from fifty to four hundred people, and they were members of the same “yasuva”. The entire population of such a village was connected with each other by a complex system of social relations. For example, all children of the clan were considered own. Often, care for them fell on the shoulders of elderly relatives, and it did not seem important what their degree of relationship. And at the present time children, first of all, are taught the ability not to be lost in the society of their peers, but also to be able to behave among the adult part of the population. Among the main virtues in Fiji is humility.
In the center of the village is built “storm” – a communal house.
And the higher the embankment on which it was built, the more important the clan in the community. The wooden frame, which is the basis of such a traditional house, is covered with a thatched roof, and there is only one room inside. The amount of furniture in a single room is kept to a minimum. They eat and sleep right on the floor. Cooking is usually done in a nearby smaller “storm”. Fijians never use locks, as their doors are always open to guests and, of course, relatives.
One of the ritual traditions of the Fijians is the drinking of yangon.
No important event can not do without this festive rite. Those taking part in the ceremony sit around the “tanoa”. It is a wooden or wicker ball, which has a special ritual meaning – from it to each passes a shell decorated with shells. The cord symbolizes the connection of the present generation with their ancestors. Yangon is actually the dried root of the plant. A traditional drink of kava is prepared from it. In this case, the elder is responsible for its manufacture. Kava is poured into a bowl cut from a coconut (“beat”). The right of the first gulp is the leader or the guest of honor, then the “beat” is transmitted in a circle. The official part of the event ends, as soon as everyone present will try the kava. Then come the feast, dances and other entertainment.
Fijians are strict with respect to clothing.
On the contrary, this people dress quite freely. Variants of casual clothing are a shirt, jacket, tie and “sulu”. As for the latter, the “sulu” is nothing more than a skirt, usually of a dark gray color. And “sulu” is not only the female part of the population, but also the male. However, for women there is a much greater number of ways to design “Sulu.” Often the use of “Sula” as evening wear. “Sulu” is worn as a uniform, for example, by policemen. However, modesty in clothes is an object of special value for the Fijians. In particular, this applies to those territories that are outside the tourist zones. Becoming a guest of a local home, you can not go there in shorts, bathing suits and even sports suits. Clothes for official events are spacious shirts and light trousers (in shorts indecent, in jeans it is hot).It is also worth knowing that you can not wear a hat in the village. This is the prerogative of the local leader.
Dance is an important part of Fijian culture.
Dance movements are roaming from one generation to another, their roots go to the hymns and oral traditions of the local population. Almost all important events to some extent involve dance. There are special dances for cases of marriage, birthdays, declarations of war. Yes, what to say, even buying and selling something meaningful is also accompanied by a dance. From time to time, the Fijian women perform the dance “vata”, men, armed with shields and spears, dancing “meek” or “sibi” (military dances).
Viti Levu is the capital island of the Fiji archipelago.
In translation, “Viti-Levu” means “big island” – and the area of the island, indeed, exceeds ten thousand square kilometers, which makes it a leader among the rest of the islands of the archipelago. In addition, Viti Levu is also the highest island in Fiji. The highest point of Viti-Levu is one thousand three hundred and twenty-four meters. Seventy percent of the population of the Republic of Fiji lives on the territory of the capital city, the largest cities of the country are concentrated here – Suva (capital), Sigatoka, Rakiraki, Nadi, Lautoka and others. Among other things, Viti Levu is also the air gate of Fiji – the airport international level operates in Nadi. Suva, the main port and the capital of Fiji, stretches along the south-eastern coast of the island, while the western part of Viti Levu is occupied by vast areas of sugar plantations, and a large proportion of Fijian resorts are concentrated here.
Suva is the primordial capital of Fiji.
No, the status of the capital city was given to Suva only in the late nineteenth century – in 1882. Before that, the capital of the country was the town of Levuk. The reason for the transfer was that Levuk could no longer expand to the extent required by the overall development of the country. Now Suva is the oldest city in Fiji, the main port of the country, its administrative and political center. Almost fifty percent of the urban population of the Republic resides exactly in Suva, as well as in the immediate territories adjacent to it. And once Suva was a very small settlement. Few stone houses that could be found here, were drowned in the mud in winter, and in the summer – in dust. Nevertheless, in the largest city of the country, Suva has evolved with the fastest power. The main port of Fiji Suva is already by 1922. Since that moment, the influence and weight of Suva in the region are growing rapidly. And now Suva is a pretty cosmopolitan city. The present Fijian capital has become a place of life not only for the Fijians themselves, but also for the Hindus, as well as for immigrants from Europe, China, Rotum, Samoa, Tonga and for the representatives of other peoples. As a result, the variety of historical and cultural monuments of Suva. The churches, temples, mosques of the capital city are original and unusually colorful. Among the main attractions of Suva: the Museum of Fiji, the University building, the Catholic Cathedral, the Church of Sentenari-Methodist-Church, etc. All these creations of human hands perfectly harmonize with natural masterpieces. Each penny of the capital’s land is framed by palm trees, and the city is almost buried in greenery. The number of parks in the territory of Suva reaches eighty. Yasawa is the location of the “Blue Lagoon”.
Yes, those picturesque landscapes that we see on the TV screen while watching this film, indeed, belong to the islands of Fiji. Yasawa is a group of sixteen small islands. The banks of Yasawa are truly beautiful, and the harmony of the Pacific waters is practically not disturbed by human civilization. Here the virgin magnificent nature, colorful birds, amazing beaches and a minimum of hotels. All this created favorable conditions for the filming of such a magnificent and vivid film as the “Blue Lagoon”.