What language is spoken in Fiji?

One of the very first things that visitors have to consider before traveling to any country is the languages that are spoken in that country. When the first inhabitants arrived in Fiji thousands of years ago, they brought with them a language that has splintered over the years to form a multitude of different community dialects that total to more than 300. This is because the language evolved as more people migrated to the various islands. Additional input from recent immigrants from the other islands situated in the west has also helped to shape Fiji language today.

What language is spoken in Fiji?

There are many languages spoken by the multicultural people that live in Fiji. The majority of the Fijians speak Fijian, while the Indians mainly communicate in Hindi and Urdu, Rotumans speak Rotuman and nearly all islands have their own dialect of the Fijian language. But overall people mainly communicate with each other in English, which is the main medium of instruction in schools and the official business language.

The official language of Fiji

Fiji has three main languages that are spoken officially, English, Hindustani and Fijian.
Fijian is categorized as Austronesian, which means that it is a mix of thousands of other languages that are spoken in other parts of the globe. Mainly, the Fijian language is mainly influenced by the Melanesian and Polynesian cultures, however, it sounds similar to what you would hear people from Hawaii speaking.

The type of Fijian that is spoken prevalently today is called Bauan, which was named after the tiny island of Bau, which is where the dialect originated. More than half of the population speaks Fijian, however, Hindi and English are also spoken. Please note that the Hindi that is spoken in Fiji is very different from the one that is spoken by people in India.

When traveling to Fiji, you can communicate easily through English because English is considered as the national language of the islands. English can be heard on the radio, TV and can be read in the newspapers; therefore, you should feel safe and free to communicate if you can speak English.

Speaking and understanding the Fiji language

The Fiji language can be a little difficult to understand but nothing is impossible with a little bit of practice. A little knowledge of the local language might help you to navigate the expansive islands, if for no other reason other than learning how to pronounce some of the complicated locations. Some common Fijian words to know are:

Some common Fijian words to know are:

Bula – hello, cheers, good day, or welcome.
Vinaka – thank you.
Kava – ask for this national drink, if you are old enough.
Meke – traditional dance in Fiji, usually those dances tell a story
Viti -this means Fiji in the Fijian language

History of the Fiji Islands

For you to fully appreciate all that Fiji has to offer, it is important to understand Fiji’s long and interesting history. According to Fiji legend, Fijians found their way to the archipelago after the great chief Lutunasobasoba led them across the seas to the new land.

The history of Fiji

Most history experts agree that the Fijian people came into Fiji from the Southeastern parts of Asia through the Malay Peninsula. During the migration, the Melanesians and the Polynesians intermarried to create the highly developed and functional society which existed before the Europeans arrived. The earliest people in Fiji practiced animal husbandry, agriculture, and fishing.

The pre-European Fiji society

This society was extremely evolved and even had its own system of government and a functional stratified society. The communities and societies were interconnected through trade; items such as mats, pots and various arts and crafts were traded throughout the Fiji islands including Tonga. All through the pre-European Fiji society, community values and family helped to unify the different communities.

Early European settlement

Early explorers did not start arriving in Fiji until the discovery of sandalwood and the growth of the sea cucumber trade. The first European explorer to spot the Fiji islands was Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman. For a long time after the first Europeans settled in the islands, Fiji became a British crown protectorate in 1874, and it was not until the 1960s that the development towards independence begun.

After independence, Fiji struggled to stabilize the politics particularly because of the absence of a constitutional agreement which would not be acquired until 1971. On April 1972, Fiji finally conducted its first post-independence election that saw Ratu Mara’s Alliance Party win. Fiji’s international standing improved greatly after Ratu Mara and the party entered into government, however, Fiji’s politics was shattered once again when Lt. Col Sitiveni Rabuka staged a bloodless coup that overthrew the government that had been in power since independence.

Timoci Bavadra was elected as president after the coup, however, the tense political climate continued, which saw Fiji elected a few presidents after that. It was not until fresh elections were held in 2001 under the constitution that Fiji’s politics finally stabilized. Although Fiji has experienced years of ethnic and political tension, it has always been a safe destination of choice for many people across the world.

Fiji today

Fiji is still popular with tourists from all corners of the world. A holiday in Fiji can take any form that you prefer, however, while in Fiji, your experience will be enriched if you take time out to understand the difficult, but wonderful history of the country.

What to eat in Fiji? Traditional and popular food in Fiji.

Fiji is famed all across the world for its vibrant indigenous culture, the stunning beaches and the wonderful weather which allows you to participate in a range of different activities. But perhaps one of the best things about visiting Fiji is the chance to enjoy Fijian cuisine. Experiencing Fiji cuisine is like buying your first car because of the wealth of fresh produce available, which results in a truly diverse and fascinating cuisine.

Fiji offers visitors a range of local, as well as international culinary delights; traditional Fiji cuisine is made up of primary ingredients such as sweet potatoes, bananas, coconut, fish and fresh veggies. Although all the ingredients help to make Fiji cuisine distinct, it is the amazing amalgamation of various flavors that help to make Fiji cuisine impressive.

What is Fijian food made up of?
With cultural influences from China, Britain, South Asian countries and India, Fiji cuisine is a delightful fusion of a little bit of everything, which means that you cannot go wrong with Fiji food. The Fiji cuisine is characterized by:

Fresh seafood

The endless seafood choices in Fiji are enough to turn anyone into a seafood lover. The wonderful offerings available come from the beautiful lagoons, as well as from the Pacific Ocean. Your selection here is varied to include lobsters, Cray, crab, sea cucumber, prawns, octopus, tuna, parrot fish, Mahi-mahi, and so much more, all of which are caught fresh daily.

Local farming

Agriculture in Fiji is very important and if you want to experience an authentic farm to table eating experience, Fiji would be the best place to do it. Most of the produce is harvested and is free from commercial farming methods which insist on the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers.

Foods that you must absolutely try in Fiji

Kokoda
This dish is made from fresh fish that has been marinated in freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh coconut cream, tomatoes, spring onions and a range of spices. Kokoda is typically served in half a coconut shell and sometimes in a clamshell.

Lovo, earth oven
This is one of Fiji’s signature dishes that is commonly found in special occasions. A Lovo meal is made from a mix of veggies, and different meats such as chicken, beef, and lamb. Traditionally all this is wrapped in leaves and cooked in a pit on white-hot. Lovo food has a distinct taste, a bit a smoky flavor with a hint of barbecue taste.

Kava
Kava is a must try while you are in Fiji. Kava is a drink that is made from the Yagona plant, and it is generally served in a coconut shell. Kava can be a nice way to start your adventure in Fiji.

 

Where are the Fji Islands?

The Fiji islands are situated south west of the Pacific Ocean  and they are renowned in many parts of the world for their beautiful warm climate, unique and relaxed island atmosphere and the stunning beaches. Indeed, the Fiji Islands are one of the most visited islands on earth not just because you get to experience a vacation of a lifetime, but also because of the wide-ranging geography and landscape.

In total, Fiji is made up of over 320 islands, many of which still remain uninhabited even today; of the 332 islands, 106 remain uninhabited. As such, Fiji is blessed with an abundance of islands that have plenty to do and see. Whether you are interested in finding a decadent resort of a backpacking adventure, the Fiji islands have it all, so much so that you will be spoilt for choice. The main Fiji islands include:

The Fiji islands destinations include:

Vitu Levu
Vitu Levu serves as the international gateway to many of the Fijian islands owing to the Nadi international airport. It is the largest of all Fiji islands and is the site of the nation’s capital city, Suva. As such, Vitu Levu hosts the largest population of the island and has access to a number of activities that make it easier to enjoy yourself while on holiday. If you are interested in experiencing Melanesian life firsthand, a trip to the capital Suva is worth including in your itinerary.

Denarau Island
Denarau Island is perfect if you are looking for a community feel, fun, and intense social interaction. The island is located just off the main island of Viti Levu and is only 5 km away from Nadi city, which is closely situated next to an airport and big name hotels and resorts such as Sheraton and the Hilton. Denarau Island is joined to the mainland via a small causeway which makes it possible to move around to the Yasawa or the Mamanuca islands.

Vanua Levu
This island was formerly known as Sandalwood Island and is the second largest island in Fiji. Vanua Levu is characterized by lowlands of coconut and sugarcane plantations and high waterfalls. Outside the main city centers, the periphery of the town is characterized by miles of unoccupied beaches, some of which have resorts, traditional villages, and miles of jungle waiting to be explored.

Yasawa Islands
Yasawa Islands are remote, but they are accessible, which is part of what makes the islands so appealing. Yasawa Islands are situated northwest of Viti Levu and they feature a wide array of affordable accommodation options to suit every budget. There are no banks or shopping malls in the Yasawa Islands; however, you will not run out of outdoor activities to take part in.

Dive Fiji

Bula! Welcome to diving the Fiji Islands.

Fiji Diving is about diversity, mainly famous as the Soft Coral Capital. But this does not even come close to describe the ultimate dive adventures the Fiji Islands have to offer.

From the smallest critters barely visible with the unaided eye to the largest inhabitants of the ocean, the Fiji Islands have it all.

There is endless diving opportunity to explore coral reefs full of marine life that in its diversity and beauty is matched only by very few destinations on the planet.

Fiji caters for the backpacking independent dive-traveler with lots of budget accommodations to a number of luxury live-aboard dive vessels