Seven Interesting Facts About Fijian Culture
The Fiji Islands are rich with culture and the diversity and the unique nature of the Fijian culture is often what is best remembered by people who have travelled to the island nation. In Fiji you will find influences from other nations as well as a blend of the country’s indigenous heritage and modern living.
Tourism is very important to Fiji and its economy and with such a variety of Fiji holiday packages now available, it is little wonder that the popularity of Fiji as a holiday destination continues. One of the main reasons why Fiji is so attractive to travellers is because of the exposure to a unique and beautiful culture that it offers.
#1: Essentially, Fijian culture blends and synthesises elements of Fijian, Indian, European, Chinese and other nationalities. Evidence of these influences on Fijian culture can be seen in the country’s food, language, traditions, practices, political system, costume, arts, architecture, music, celebrations and belief system. Thankfully, the indigenous culture of native Fijians remains a dynamic part of modern Fiji.
#2: Fijian culture has also been influenced by its neighbours in the Pacific, particularly the cultures of Tonga and Rotuman. Despite its various influences, the culture of Fiji successfully creates a sense of community and unique national identity.
#3: Travellers to Fiji should make themselves aware of the accepted and respectful practices and expectations with regard to entering local villages as well as sacred and significant places. Receiving and accepting such an invitation can be exciting and one of the most memorable parts of any Fiji cruise or other type of holiday. Although Fijians are generally quite relaxed and laid-back, you should always wear modest clothing and remove your hat when in a village. As you enter someone’s home, your shoes should be left outside the door and you should always remember that it is actually insulting to touch someone’s head, so resist the temptation, even when you are surrounded by delightful children with beaming smiles.
#4: Being invited to drink kava should be thought of as an honour and something that is definitely unique to your Fijian experience. Rather than refusing or asking for details about what it is, try the drink. It is also worth remembering that when you visit a Fijian village, it is customary to offer a gift of kava (also called yagona). This will not cost you very much money.
#5: When speaking with Fijian people and when visiting villages, accept that the people you meet are likely to be inquisitive and want to know details about you such as: where you are from, whether you are married, the number of children that you have and other personal details. It is important to be prepared to respond to these questions and shake hands with the local people.
#6: Fijians are some of the most genuine and friendly people in the world. Their warmth and accommodating approach makes them some of the world’s most affable people. When you are on your Fijian holiday, enjoy the experience of interacting, communicating and learning about some of the most delightful people you will ever encounter.
#7: Fijian cultural ceremonies include the Lovo – an incredible feast cooked with earth ovens and the Meke in which music and dance are used to explain the legends, stories, spirit and history of Fiji. If you are able to be involved or experience either of these, take advantage of the opportunity!
Fiji is a vibrant and interesting nation and has a culture that is rich and colourful. Tourists to Fiji should capitalise on opportunities to see, hear and learn about Fiji’s unique cultural practices and features.