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Fiji (Republic of Fiji) is a state located in the Pacific Ocean on the islands of the Fiji archipelago, about two thousand kilometers south of the equator, 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 to your gaze in the form of a square (incorrect). The northwestern and western parts of this square are formed by the largest islands of the archipelago - these are Vanua Levu (occupies the second position in size, with an area of approximately 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 area of the entire state. The eastern and southern parts of the square are formed by a number of smaller islands: Totoya, Titia, Lakemba, Vanua Vatu, Moala, Taveuni, Kandavu, 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 and twenty islands. The population lives, at most, on one tenth of the territory of the state.
The area of the Republic is over eighteen thousand square kilometers. The coastline is one thousand one hundred twenty-nine kilometers. The capital of Fiji is Suva. The capital island is Viti Levu. The population of the Republic is about nine hundred thousand people, fifty percent of whom are Fijians.
Fiji is a parliamentary republic. Administratively, the territory of the Republic of Fiji is divided into four regions (West, North, East and Central) and one dependent territory (Rotum). The bulk of Fiji's population is Christian (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 large 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 is Indian. In addition, people from the islands of the Pacific region, Europe and China live in the country. One of the features of the local ethnos is the minimized mixing between Indians and Fijians.
Fiji is a parliamentary republic. It is currently an independent state. The state gained its independence in October 1970. The president is at the head of the state. His term of office is limited to five years, and the president is appointed by the Supreme Council of Leaders. There is an advisory body under the president, which is called the Presidential Council. In addition, the aforementioned Supreme Council of Leaders is also functioning, which includes representatives of the most respected families of the country. Parliament (composed of two chambers) is the legislative body. The first chamber - the Senate (local, Senity) - includes thirty-four deputies. The second - the House of Representatives (local, Valais) - includes seventy-one deputies. The term of office of the deputies is limited to five years.
Fiji has a tropical maritime 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 clear skies and dry weather. The temperature is between seventeen and twenty-seven degrees Celsius. It gets hotter in December - the air warms up 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 frequent. Thus, when choosing the time to travel to the Fiji Islands, you should stop at some month between May and December. Then hurricanes are unlikely and the weather is favorable - the heat is not too tiring.
Fiji Islands are of volcanic origin. At the base of most of the islands of the archipelago, there are indeed volcanoes extinct in antiquity. As a result, many islands have mountainous terrain, such is the "fate" of the two largest islands in Fiji. The average height of the mountains on Vanua Levu and Viti Levu is about seven hundred meters. The highest point of Fiji is also located on Viti Levu. This is Mount Victoria (aka Tomanivi), and its height is one thousand three hundred twenty-four meters. Fiji's smaller islands form coral and limestone massifs and are characterized by a central lagoon.
Minerals are one of the riches of Fiji. Deposits of bauxite and uranium, iron and base metals, even silver and gold have been discovered in the bowels of the islands. There are also coal deposits, which is quite rare for the Pacific region. There are oil fields in the coastal zone of the Fiji Islands.
The flora is another wealth of Fiji. And indeed it is. There are mangroves, savannas and dense forests here. The eastern part is occupied by forests of "uki", "voi-voi", sandalwood. The western side, which is distinguished by a sunny and dry climate, has been "chosen" by open forests (or, in local terms, "talatiga") and savannas (in the local version, "grasland"). Mangroves stretch along the coastal lagoons in a narrow strip, and coconut groves along the coastal plains. Forests cover almost thirty-five percent of the islands, and about eleven percent of the territory of the Republic of Fiji is agricultural land. The rest of the islands are volcanic cones, reefs and lagoons. In total, almost 3,000 plant species have been recorded on the islands. Interestingly, approximately 1000 species of these plants are endemic.
Fiji's fauna is diverse. And this statement is only partly true. From the world of mammals, initially only bats were found on the territory of the Fiji Islands; people from Hindustan and Europeans decided to diversify this world. They brought goats, pigs, cats, dogs and mongooses to Fiji. The reptile world includes approximately twenty species of sea snakes and turtles. But the Fijian bird kingdom is really characterized by diversity, because more than a hundred species of birds nest here, of which twenty-three are endemic. Marine life is abundant. More than two hundred and forty species of reef fish, about forty species of sponges, about fifteen species of sharks, three species of rays, sixty species of coral, as well as whales and dolphins live in sea waters. The tourist will have to follow some safety measures. It is imperative to consult on the safety of products, because the meat of some fish contains toxic toxins. The use of wetsuits is recommended when swimming. If you swim on an unequipped coastline, then you need to enter the water in strong shoes. This will save you from injury to your leg from coral debris or needles from marine animals.
There are few rivers on the Fiji Islands. On the contrary, many rivers and rivulets of various sizes flow through their territory. The Reva River is the largest in the country and is navigable at one hundred and twenty-eight kilometers of its bed. The river is located on the capital island Viti Levu. Such a number of rivers is unusual for other islands in the Pacific region, so Fiji in this regard is an exception to the rule.
The official language of the Republic of Fiji is English. Along with Fijian. English is included in the compulsory school curriculum. However, the population of the country widely uses various dialects (and there are more than thirty of them). The most common dialect is "bauan". In addition, the Hindi Hindustani dialect is popular among the Indian population. The basis of writing is still English graphics. True, pronunciation and spelling differ significantly from the norms of canonical English.
Fijian cuisine retains its traditions to this day. With a limited range of products for centuries, Fiji's national cuisine has been based on 3 main ingredients - coconuts, root vegetables and seafood. Currently, many culinary traditions have been supplanted by Latin American, Japanese, Chinese, and also fast food. Visiting cafes and restaurants, a tourist is unlikely to find anything from the original Fijian cuisine here. To taste her dishes, he will either have to visit the remote islands (here the influence of the "big world" is less felt) or become a guest of one of the local residents of the Republic.
Yams are the staple of local cuisine. Along with taro root (known as taro) and cassava. This is especially true for the outlying islands and the Fijian countryside. Typical local dishes are cassava (baked or fried tapioca with bananas, sugar and coconut milk, usually mashed), rourow (salad with taro leaves as the main ingredient), caconda (fish marinated in lime juice), “lovo” (assorted fruits, fish and meat), baked fish “ika” and many others. The staple food in Chinese communities is rice.
Fijians are a distinctive ethnic group. One of the most distinctive 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, history. Fijians seamlessly combine Christian attributes with their own ancient faith, democratic institutions of our time with traditions of social organization rooted in antiquity, the latest household appliances with traditional dwellings.
Fijians are aggressive people. Largely thanks to missionaries, the Fijians have a reputation for being aggressive warriors and cannibals. Contrary to this well-established belief, Fijians are such a friendly people that it can be said with certainty that there are few such peoples in the world. Similar to many peoples of Oceania, Fijians assess the controversial situation from different angles and try not to make hasty conclusions, not refuse ahead of time, etc., those who come here to rest will notice that the warmth of the reception largely depends on the degree of tourists' respect for local traditions.
Yasuva is the foundation 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 own economic life in isolation from all others, at the head of the clan was a hereditary leader. The mutual obligations of the clans were limited only to inter-tribal marriages. As for everything else, the relationship between the clans was based on fierce competition. Wars between individual islands and tribes became a frequent occurrence. It was this fact that became the reason for the belief in the militancy of the Fijians.
Going to Fiji, the first thing a tourist should get acquainted with the traditions of this country. You need to treat the members of the clan, and first of all the owner, with open respect. It's okay if it looks even a little exaggerated. True. One has to be careful with praise. In Fiji, there is a custom that a guest who expresses great admiration for something should be presented with the item. Don't embarrass the owner of the house. In no case, under any circumstances, should you touch the head of local residents, even if there is a child in front of you. Touching the head is taboo. You should be aware that a loud voice, in the mind of the Fijians, is an expression of anger. In this regard, it is not customary to speak loudly in the country. If you become a guest in a Fijian village, you should present the owner of the house or the leader with some small gift. Typically, dried yangon root (500 grams sachet) is presented, which costs about ten dollars. You can also give something else for about the same amount. It can be wine, cigarettes, etc.
A polished sperm whale tooth is a Fijian's most precious gift. It bears the name "tabua". The “tabua” donation procedure has gathered around itself so many taboos and ritual ceremonies that it has taken a firm place among Fijian rituals. The giver will be very offended if his gift is refused to be accepted, because it is a great honor to receive a “tabua” on the Fiji Islands. True, after some time, this gift will need to be given (however, not only this one, but in general any - such is the tardy).
A traditional Fijian village is a fortified settlement. This is so, because there has always been a threat of raids. The population of the village varied from fifty to four hundred people, and they were members of one "Yasuwa". The entire population of such a village was linked by a complex system of social relations. For example, all children of a clan were considered their own. Often, care for them fell on the shoulders of elderly relatives, and it did not seem important what the degree of their relationship was. And at present, children, first of all, are taught the ability not to get lost in the society of their peers, and to be able to behave among the adult population. One of the main virtues in Fiji is humility.
In the center of the village a "bure" is being built - a communal house. Moreover, the higher the embankment on which it is built, the more significant the clan is in the community. The timber frame, which is the basis of such a traditional house, is covered with a thatched roof on top, but inside it provides only one room. The amount of furniture in a single room is kept to a minimum. They eat and sleep right on the floor. Cooking takes place, as a rule, in a nearby smaller "storm". Fijians never use locks because their doors are always open to guests and, of course, relatives.
One of the ritual traditions of the Fijians is the drinking of the yangona. Not a single important event is complete without this festive ceremony. Those taking part in the ceremony are seated around the "tanoa". This is a wooden or wicker ball, which has a special ritual meaning - a cord decorated with cowrie shells runs from it to each. The cord symbolizes the connection of the current generation with ancestors. Yangon is the actual dried root of the plant. It is used to make the traditional kava drink. In this case, the elder is responsible for making it. The kava is poured into a bowl cut from a coconut ("bilo"). The leader or the guest of honor has the right to the first sip, then the "beat" is passed in a circle. The official part of the event ends as soon as everyone present tastes kava. This is followed by a feast, dancing and other entertainment.
Fijians are strict about dress. On the contrary, these people dress very freely.Casual wear options are shirt, jacket, tie and sulu. As for the latter, the "sulu" is nothing more than a skirt, usually dark gray. Moreover, "sulu" is worn not only by the female part of the population, but also by the male. True, for women there are many more ways to design "sulu". It is not uncommon to use "sula" as an evening dress. "Sulu" is also worn as a uniform, for example, by the police. However, modesty in clothing is an item of special value for Fijians. This is especially true for those territories that are outside the tourist areas. When you become a guest of a local house, there is no way you can go there in shorts, swimsuits and even tracksuits. Clothes for formal events are loose shirts and light trousers (it is indecent in shorts, hot in jeans). It is also worth knowing that a hat cannot be worn within the village. This is the prerogative of the local leader.
Dance is an important part of Fijian culture. Dance movements wander from one generation to another, their roots go back to the chants and oral traditions of the local population. Almost all important events are related to dance to one degree or another. There are special dances for marriages, birthdays, declarations of war. But what can I say, even buying and selling something significant is also accompanied by a dance. From time to time, Fijian women perform the vate dance, men, armed with shields and spears, dance “meke” or “sibi” (war dances).
Viti Levu is the capital island of the Fiji archipelago. Translated "Viti Levu" means "big island" - and the area of the island really exceeds ten thousand square kilometers, which makes it a leading position 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 island, and the largest cities of the country are concentrated here - Suva (the capital), Sigatoka, Rakiraki, Nadi, Lautoka, etc. Among other things, Viti Levu is also the air gate of Fiji - the airport international level operates in Nadi. Suva, the main port and capital of Fiji, is located on the southeastern coast of the island, and the western part of Viti Levu is occupied by vast territories of sugar plantations, and a significant proportion of Fijian resorts are concentrated here.
Suva is the original capital of Fiji. No, the status of the capital city was assigned to Suva only at the end of the nineteenth century - in 1882. Before that, the capital of the country was the city of Levuka. The reason for the transfer was that Levuka could no longer expand to the extent that the general development of the country required. 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 lives in Suva, as well as in the territories immediately adjacent to it. And once Suva was a completely small settlement. The few stone houses that could be found here were buried in mud in winter and dust in summer. Nevertheless, Suva has grown into the largest city in the country with the most rapid force. Suva became the main port of Fiji by 1922. From that moment on, Suva's influence and weight in the region grew rapidly. And now Suva is a pretty cosmopolitan city. The current Fijian capital has become a place of life not only for the Fijians themselves, but also for the Indians, as well as for immigrants from Europe, China, Rotum, Samoa, Tonga and for representatives of other peoples. As a result, the variety of historical and cultural monuments of Suva. Churches, temples, mosques of the capital city are original and unusually colorful. Among the main attractions of Suva: the Fiji Museum, the University building, the Catholic Cathedral, the Centenari Methodist Church, etc. All these creations of human hands are in perfect harmony with natural masterpieces. Every patch of the capital's land is framed with palm trees, and the city is practically buried in greenery. The number of parks on the territory of Suva reaches eighty.
Yasawa is the location for the Blue Lagoon. Yes, those picturesque landscapes that we see on the TV screen while watching this film really belong to the Fiji Islands. Yasawa is a group of sixteen small islets. The shores of Yasawa are truly beautiful, and the harmony of the Pacific waters is practically not disturbed by human civilization. There is virgin magnificent nature, colorful birds, amazing beaches and a minimum of hotels. All this created favorable conditions for filming such a magnificent and bright film as "Blue Lagoon".