May 2013
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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:,179.33044&sspn=0.71394,1.234589&hnear=Vanua+Levu&t=m&z=9

How to get there?

• 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.

• 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.

• 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
Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at

Blogs / Sites about Fiji

blogs at
blogs at
blogs at
blogs and reviews at

Images and photos about Fiji

images at
images at
images at
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Videos of Fiji


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