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About Fijian Culture and Cuisine – Part 2




Fiji is a Melanesian country that is placed in the South Pacific Ocean. It is located between Hawaii and New Zealand. It consists of an archipelago.

Music of Fiji

• Music of Old Fiji includes various chants.
• These chants engrossed a story or philosophical information which was meant to be passed on from generation to generation.
• These chants and songs used various traditional instruments.
• When European and Asian cultures music merged in Fiji music the songs evolved.
• These songs are sung in the Fijian vernacular.
• There are songs in Indian and English.
• There are local artists who mix all three languages.
• There are traditional instruments from each culture.
• Overall all these together make a very interesting musical experience.
• A typically unique Indian sound has evolved in Fiji.
• This type of music is a modern Indian music and even jazz.

Clothing and Costume of Fiji

• The traditional attire of Fiji which was used in earlier days was loin cloths for men and grass skirts for women.
• Skirts were short for single women.
• Skirts were long for married women.
• Girls wore virgin locks before marriage.
• Ladies of rank used to get tattoos on their lower parts of their bodies.
• Chiefs dressed more elaborately.
• The modern Fiji’s national dress is known by the name sulu.
• This is similar to a skirt.
• It is common for both men and women.
• One type is worn by both men and women.
• It is known by the name ‘Sulu va Taga’ and pronounced Sulu vah Tanga.
• It is a type of wrap around piece of rectangular material.
• It is elaborately decorated.
• The decoration is embedded with patterns and designs with different styles.
• It is used for casual and informal occasions.
• Sulu va taga is a tailored sulu.
• It is at present tailored as part of their suit in many urban areas.
• On the top they wear a shirt with a western-style collar, tie, and jacket.
• This matches Sulu va taga and sandals.
• It is worn on a semi-formal or formal occasion.
• Even the military uniforms have incorporated the Sulu va taga.
• This is a ceremonial dress.
• Women wear a multi-layered Tapa cloth.
• They wear these on formal occasions.
• A blouse that is made of cotton, silk, or satin is a top for this bottom.
• Sulu I ra, a sulu is a specially crafted top.
• Residents of the village of Dama which is in Bua Province and Cakaudrove i Vanua (Province), Fiji still wear finely woven mats.
• They are known by the name kuta.
• It is made from a reed.

Traditions and Ceremonies in Fiji

• Etiquette is an indigenous Fijian ceremony. This includes:
– It shows respect between two communal groups
– It strengthens tribal and family ties.
– It reinforces social, tribal and family ties.
• Various items are used in ceremony.
• Kava which is also known as yaqona in Fiji is a national drink.
• It is a social beverage currently.
The protocol is:
– One should clap once
– clasping the hands
– Take the cup
– Drink the yaqona in a single draft prior to returning the cup to the bearer.
– The other highly prized item in ceremony is the tabua.
– It is a Whale’s tooth.
– Masi or mats are other items used for this ceremony.
– Traditions that have been followed over generations is another aspect of this ceremony.
– The one main aspect is fire walkers of beqa.
– This is where the members of Sawau tribe of Beqa walk on hot stones without getting their foot burned.
– There are special rituals before walking on the fire.

Cuisine of Fiji

The cuisine of Fiji in pre-colonial times included:
– Root crops
– Vegetables
– Fruits
– Land animals such as wild pig, human, and various birds.
– Local seafood
• The cuisine is made incorporating local herbs and spices.
• This is made on wood fire rock ovens.
• Cooking areas were situated in the center of house.
• This was so for the smoke to repel insects and strengthen the roof thatching.
• Lovo is an earth oven.
• It is a fire that is made on in a pit in the ground.
• It is lined with heat-resistant stones.
• This type of cooking is still used today in many areas.
• It is similar to hangi of the New Zealand M?ori.
• When the stones are hot the food that is covered in banana leaves is put in this pit and covered with soil.
• Later, it is removed from the pit.
Dishes cooked this way include:
– Palusami
– Parcels of taro leaves saturated with coconut milk
– Onions
– Tinned meat.

Best time to visit / climate

• The climate in Fiji is tropical marine and warm most of the year round with minimal extremes.
• The warm season is from November till April.
• The cooler season is May to October.
• Temperature in the cool season still averages 22 °C (72 °F).
• Temperature sensitive visitors may wish to visit during the Southern Hemisphere winter.

Location on Google Maps


View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:
http://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=Vanua+Levu+&hl=en&sll=-16.780453,179.33044&sspn=0.71394,1.234589&hnear=Vanua+Levu&t=m&z=9

How to get there?

Air
• The Nadi International Airport is situated about 9 km to the north of central Nadi.
• It is the largest Fijian hub.
• Nausori International Airport is located about 23 kms to the northeast of Suva.
• This helps serving mostly domestic traffic.
• Labasa Airport is the main airport in Vanau Levu island.
• It is situated at Waiqele.
• This is to the southwest of Labasa Town.
• The largest aircraft that is known to be handled by Labasa Airport is the ATR42.
• Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) operates 15 public airports in the Fiji Islands.
• These include two international airports.
• Nadi international Airport is the main gateway of Fiji.
• Nausori Airport is Fiji’s domestic hub.
• It is also hub for 13 outer island airports.

Bus
• Fiji’s larger islands are equipped with extensive bus routes.
• They are consistent.
• They are affordable to the common public.
• Buses are the general transport service for the public.
• They form service between the towns on the main islands.
• Rroll-on-roll-off inter-island ferries are also served by buses.
• Bus fares and routes are regulated by the LTA.

Taxi
• Taxis are licensed by the LTA.
• They operator all through the country.
• The prices for regular taxis is F$1.50 and tariff is F$0.10 for every 200 meters.

Ships and inter-island ferries
Inter-island ferries also serve between islands of Fiji.

Some Travel Books about Fiji

Fiji (Country Travel Guide) Fiji (Travel Reference Map) Getting Stoned with Savages

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at sa-venues.com
Hotels at booking.com

Blogs / Sites about Fiji

blogs at traveltoads.com
blogs at en.wikipedia.org
blogs at everyculture.com
blogs and reviews at fijianfoodsafari.com

Images and photos about Fiji

images at everyculture.com
images at traveltoads.com
images at fijianfoodsafari.com
images at google.com

Videos of Fiji

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