December 11, 2017
Fiji Culture – Attractions in Fiji
The tiny island nation of Fiji is known chiefly for its tropical beaches and lush rainforests. But it is also a country rich in history and culture, from the native Melanesians to the Indo-Fijians, who are descendants of the Indian laborers brought to Fiji by the British. The cultures and traditions of Fiji are as diverse as its peoples, and there are many fine attractions that showcase Fiji culture, history, and archaeological artifacts in a fascinating and thought-provoking way that will help you to have a better understanding of the beautiful people of Fiji.
A center of Fiji culture is Suva, the nation’s capital city. Located in the southeast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest and best-known island, Suva is a hub of Fijian arts, culture, and tradition. It is also the home to the Fiji Museum, which houses archaeological finds and artifacts that date as far back as 3,500 years. It’s a great way to educate yourself on the basics of Fiji’s history and culture, as well as to marvel at the progression of the peoples of Fiji from the first Melanesian settlers to the Indo-Fijian transplants to the modern Fijians of today. It may be a small nation, but it boasts a rich history.
No look at Fiji culture would be complete without a nod to its Indo-Fijian population. Indo-Fijians are descended from Indian laborers who were brought to Fiji to by the British, who exercised colonial rule over Fiji between 1874 and 1970. Most of the first Indo-Fijians arrived in Fiji between 1876 and 1916, and the evidence of their influence on the island is nowhere more evident than in the majestic Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple in Nadi, on the western side of Viti Levu. This temple is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a striking example of a distinctly Indian architecture.
If you want to take a closer look at the weird in Fiji culture, then you’ll definitely want to visit the Tomb of Udre Udre. Ratu Udre Udre (“ratu” is a Fijian title meaning “chief”) was the most prolific cannibal in recorded history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. He is believed to have consumed anywhere from eighty-seven to ninety-nine human beings, and his son claimed that he never wasted a spare body part. Local tradition holds that the 872 stones surrounding his tomb represent each and every one of his unfortunate victims.
December 7, 2017
Fiji Culture – A Brief History of Fiji
It’s hard to believe that a place as tranquil and quiet as Fiji has such an exciting history. But the truth is that Fiji’s history has enough drama in it to interest even the most reluctant student. It’s filled with intrigue, conflict, oppression, and triumph. Fiji culture slowly adapted to its surroundings until it became a unique, distinct culture of its own. And, along the way, other people came to the island and affected its culture, which helped to shape the people of Fiji into the warm, vibrant, and hospitable people that make Fiji such a wonderful place to visit today.
Archaeologists estimate that Melanesian people first arrived in Fiji around 3,500 years ago, based on shards of pottery and other artifacts that have been found around the island. The Sigatoka Sand Dunes are a veritable treasure trove of ancient Melanesian artifacts. The people who are considered ethnic Fijians are descended from these ancient Melanesians and have largely retained the same appearance as their forefathers, making it difficult for foreigners to distinguish between Fijians and other Pacific Islanders of Melanesian heritage. A small minority of ethnic Fijians also have Polynesian blood as well. There is a woman living in the town of Levuka on the island of Ovalau. Her name is Bubu Kara, and she is directly descended from Silinatoba Saurara, the second Fijian man ever to arrive in Fiji. She can recite the tale of the Melanesians’ arrival to you.
Fiji culture received a jolt when its first European visitor, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, arrived in 1643. Europeans didn’t begin settling in Fiji until the late eighteenth century, but when they did, the British brought Indian laborers with them, establishing the existence of an Indo-Fijian ethnicity on the islands. In 1874, Fiji was subjected to British rule when the Deed of Cession was signed by Ratu (“ratu” is a title meaning “chief”) Seru Epenisa Cakobau.
British colonial rule lasted in Fiji until 1970. But, by that time, Fiji culture had already been irrevocably affected by the Western world. As a result, Fiji has become a popular tourist destination. Some argue that this has been good for the island nation, keeping it up to date with modern civilization. Others argue that it hasn’t been worth the cost of Fiji’s true identity as a unique culture in the South Pacific. In any case, most people agree that, despite the conflicts of the people living there, the islands of Fiji are a beautiful and interesting place to visit, rich in history and culture.
December 6, 2017
Fiji Beaches – The Best Beaches in Fiji
Many people want to visit Fiji for a quiet beach getaway. The only problem is choosing where to stay. Since Fiji is made up of hundreds of islands and islets, practically the entire nation is one big beach. Figuring out how to choose a beach to lie out on can be something of a chore, since you’re sure to want nothing but the best. The good news is that, with the diverse array of Fiji beaches that you can choose from, there’s sure to be a beach that’s so perfect for you that you’ll think it was created for the sole purpose of becoming your private beach destination.
If it’s a diversely cultural beach experience you’re looking for, you need go no farther than the big island of Viti Levu. Viti Levu is where you’ll most likely land when you travel to Fiji, since the town of Nadi boasts the nation’s only international airport. The capital city of Suva is also located on this island, and it a cultural center of the nation of Fiji. Aside from those things, Viti Levu also boasts miles of pristine white beaches. Natadola Beach is one of the island’s most unspoiled beaches, and it often pops up on lists of the best beaches in the world, not to mention the best Fiji beaches.
If you’re looking for more of a secluded island getaway, you may feel a bit more at home in the Yasawa Islands. As far as Fiji beaches go, the Yasawas offer a little more solitude than some of the other areas that can get overrun with tourists in the busy season. Only opened to land tourism as recently as 1987, it used to be that foreigners were only allowed to view these volcanic islands from the deck of a cruise ship. But, now, there are several resorts at which you can stay and enjoy the once-forbidden fruit of these lonely islands.
If it’s action and adventure you crave, Kadavu is the island for you. The tranquility of its white sands belies the action occurring under the surface of its waters. The Astrolabe Reef is the fourth largest barrier reef in the world and the largest living organism in Fiji. Fiji’s largest concentration of manta rays also calls this reef home. You can enjoy some amazing snorkeling or scuba diving, and then resurface.