15 Interesting Facts About Fiji to Expand Your Knowledge

Were you aware that Fiji is home to two native frog species, namely the Fiji tree frog and the Fiji wrinkled ground frog?

The Fijian archipelago has been inhabited for centuries by the indigenous Fijian population as well as European settlers who arrived during exploratory expeditions.

Today, Fiji is a blend of old and new cultures and is a favored tourist destination.

Here are 15 fascinating facts about Fiji that will leave you wanting to know more.

The Fijian Archipelago Comprises 332 Islands.

Contrary to popular belief that Fiji is a single island, it is actually a group of 332 islands situated between Hawaii and New Zealand.

The majority of the population resides on four primary islands: Viti Levu, Vana Levu, Ono-i-Lau, and Kadavu Island.

Viti Levu is the biggest island, covering an area of 4,011 square miles (10388.44 square kilometers), and is home to the capital city, Suva.

The second-largest is Vana Levu, which spans 2,157 square miles (5,587.1 square kilometers) and is located 39.77 miles (64 km) north of Viti Levu.

Ono-i-Lau refers to a group of islands that are enclosed by a reef. This island group is known as Lau Islands and is Fiji’s third-largest island area, covering a total area of 173.7 square miles (450 square kilometers).

The fourth-largest island in Fiji is Kadavu Island, which covers a total area of 158.68 square miles (411 square kilometers).

Fiji Has Three Official Languages.

Fiji is one of the few countries in the world with three official languages: English, Hindi, and iTaukei.

iTaukei is the native language spoken by the majority of indigenous Fijians who make up 54% of the population.

Around 37% of Fiji’s population is of Indian descent and mainly speaks Hindi.

English was introduced during British colonial rule and was the official language until 1997. It is still widely used in government, education, and business.

Fiji’s flag features a light blue background with the British Union Jack in the top left corner and the national coat of arms shield on the right.

The Union Jack was included on the flag when Fiji became part of the British Empire in 1874.

The blue background represents Fiji’s island surrounded by the sea.

The national coat of arms shield depicts a golden lion holding a cocoa pod, palm trees, bananas, sugar cane, and a dove, symbolizing the country’s exports and history with the British Empire.

Kava Is Fiji’s Traditional Drink.

Kava is a customary drink in Fiji and is still a significant part of Fijian traditions.

Kava is a root grown throughout the Pacific islands and is considered a herbal medicine for its sedative and anesthetic properties.

The root is dried and ground into powder, which is then mixed with water for consumption.

The drink mix known as “grog” is believed to have numerous healing properties. Fiji is comprised of a network of volcanoes, some of which still have thermal activity. The volcanic soil is responsible for the vast flora and jungle that covers Fiji’s islands. Fiji is home to the monkey-faced bat, which can only be found in the protected cloud forests high in the mountains. Cannibalism was once practiced in Fiji, earning it the nickname “Cannibal Islands.” Two native frogs, the Fiji tree frog and the Fiji wrinkled ground frog, can be found in moist jungle areas near streams. Saltwater crocodiles have been found to island-hop in the South Pacific, using the surface currents and tides to ride waves to reach far distances. The black and white banded sea snake found in Fiji’s coastline and lagoons is docile but has venom 20 times stronger than that of a land snake.

Legend has it that the mouth of a certain creature is so small that it can only bite the webbing between a baby’s fingers, but this has never been proven.

Fiji’s National Dish Includes Raw Fish.

Kokoda is a well-known Fijian dish made with raw fish, similar to ceviche, marinated in a blend of coconut milk or cream, onions, chili, and lime juice. The fish is safe to eat raw because the lime’s acidity cooks it without requiring fire. It is usually served in a coconut shell or a hollowed-out pineapple.

Firewalking Originated in Fiji.

Firewalking, which may seem painful to some, is a common practice in Fiji and the birthplace of the tradition. Legend has it that the practice began in the village of Nakarovu about 500 years ago when a young man named Tunaiviqalita encountered a spirit god who promised that he would give him the power to control fire in exchange for his assistance in finding an eel for his elder. As a result, he gained the ability to walk on fire, and the practice of firewalking was established.

Fijians believe that this power has been passed down through Tunaiviqalita’s blood and has been a traditional ceremony ever since.

Fiji Water is Produced in Fiji.

Fiji water, which has been bottled and marketed as a product since 1996, is genuinely from Fiji. The natural water source in Fiji contains minerals and other beneficial properties, which the natives have been drinking for centuries.

A Tooth Gift Represents Love in Fijian Culture.

According to Fijian tradition, the act of presenting a tooth from a sperm whale, known as Tabua, is a highly revered act that has been practiced for centuries as a sign of love. In Fijian culture, the more teeth presented, the more honorable the gift is considered. The giver is always humble about the gift, while the receiver always talks up its worth, as practicing politeness is essential within Fijian culture.

Meke is a Traditional Dance in Fiji.

Meke is Fiji’s traditional dance, a performance that tells a story through dance and song. Both men and women take part in the Meke, with women expected to perform graceful and elegant moves while men are expected to showcase strong and fierce movements.

The Lali is a customary drum employed to maintain the rhythm and tempo of the Meke dance. Fiji is a cluster of islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, teeming with natural resources and steeped in the legacy of its native inhabitants and settlers. Despite the changes that have occurred over time, the customs and practices of Fiji are still upheld and its heritage is highly revered.

FAQ

1. What is the capital city of Fiji?

The capital city of Fiji is Suva, located on the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu. Suva is the largest city in Fiji and the political, cultural, and economic center of the country. It has a rich history and culture, with many museums, galleries, and cultural centers to explore.

2. What is the official language of Fiji?

The official language of Fiji is Fijian, which is spoken by the indigenous Fijian population. English is also widely spoken and is the language of government, business, and education. Hindi is also spoken by a significant portion of the population, particularly those of Indian descent.

3. What is the currency of Fiji?

The currency of Fiji is the Fijian dollar. It is divided into 100 cents and is available in notes and coins. The Fijian dollar is pegged to a basket of currencies, including the US dollar, Australian dollar, and New Zealand dollar.

4. What are some popular tourist attractions in Fiji?

Fiji is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical forests. Some popular tourist attractions include the Yasawa Islands, the Coral Coast, the Mamanuca Islands, and the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park. Visitors can also enjoy activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and hiking.

5. What is the traditional food of Fiji?

The traditional food of Fiji is a mix of indigenous Fijian, Indian, and Chinese cuisines. Some popular dishes include kokoda (a raw fish salad), lolo (coconut cream), palusami (taro leaves cooked in coconut cream), and roti (Indian-style flatbread). Seafood is also a staple of Fijian cuisine, with fish, crab, and lobster being common ingredients.

6. What is the climate like in Fiji?

Fiji has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round and high humidity. The wet season runs from November to April, with the most rainfall occurring in January and February. The dry season runs from May to October and is the best time to visit the islands for outdoor activities and beach lounging.

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