Fiji: The core of the South Pacific

Fiji Flag Fiji has one of the most advanced economies in the Pacific, dependent on tourism and sugar industries. At the heart of the country's political rise is the conflict between the Fijian and ethnic Indian communities, which gained independence from Britain in the 1970s.

The archipelago covers an area of about 1,000,000 square miles (3,000,000 sq km) with 300,000 islands and 540 islands. A total of about 100 people live on 300 islands. Fiji is a country in the South Pacific Ocean and islands. The island surrounds the Coro Sea about 1,300 miles (2,100 km) north of Auckland, New Zealand. The island has a complex geological history. The islands are mainly the product of volcanic activity, sedimentation and coral formation based on submerged platforms of ancient formations.

Weather and Agriculture

The average summer temperature in Suva is moderate to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (about 29 degrees Celsius). Temperatures are usually lower in the upper interior region. Between November and March, all districts receive the heaviest rainfall of the season, and it is during this period that tropical cyclones continue to strike, probably once every two years.

About half of the forest covers the entire area of the island, and dry grasslands are found in the western part of the larger islands. As it is a coastal region, coconut and date palms are found almost everywhere in these areas. Moreover, vegetables and all kinds of tropical fruits are grown here.

Language and Religion

The island is home to 56.8% Fijians, 37.5% Indians, 1.7% European/Part-European, 1.2% Rotuman, 0.6% Chinese and 2.2% other ethnic groups. English, Fijian and Fijian Hindi were given the same status as the official language in the 1997 constitution. There are many dialects in the widely used Fijian language: Bauan Fijian is one of the most widely used languages. Most people speak at least two languages, one of which is English, and the other is a language of their own ethnic community.

Fijian Christians are all indigenous but Methodist majority. There are also Indian Hindus, most of whom are minority Muslims. The Roman Catholics of the island state are about one-tenth of the total population and have a small assembly of the God-community.

Art & Culture

Highly attractive to tourists are the performances of traditional Fijian culture, music and dance. Also popular with tourists are the model village and the handicraft market. The main theme of the traditional story is the performance of a traditional song and dance, known as "Meke". "Meke" is a traditional theatrical performance at Arts Village, a model community and tourist center near Deuba. Imported Indian films are very popular on the island. The Fiji Museum has a fine collection of war canoes and other artifacts located in the Thurston Botanical Garden.