Fiji in a (Coco) “nut shell”

by isvolunteers on Monday, 22 April 2013

You can join ISV on our optional excursion as part of our Tropical Fiji Escape.  Here are a few things you may not have known about this Pacific paradise…

Fijian village school children © Kirsty Prior, Australia Project Manager & Fiji Operations Manager

Hello in Fijian: “Bula”! (Boolah)

Population: > 850,000 (about half are indigenous Fijians and around 40% are of Indian descent)

Islands: LOTS! 322 (106 are in habited) plus 522 smaller islets

Languages: Fijian, Hindi and English

Religion: Christian (~50% followed by Hinduism and Islam)

Climate: Tropical marine. Warm season (Nov-April) and cooler season (May to Oct)

Temperatures: Cool season averages between 21 °C and 27°C (70 – 80 °F)

Economy: Tourism! Textiles, sugar and coconuts as well as other agricultural exports

Traditional dress in villages: includes a liku (grass skirt) for women and a malo (loincloth) for men

Contemporary dress: Women now typically wear sulus (sarongs or long dresses)

Kava: Fijians love the sedative and anesthetic properties of this ceremonial root, prepared in a wooden kava bowl and served as a drink in a coconut shell

Kava making in Fiji © Kirsty Prior, Australia Project Manager & Fiji Operations Manager

Village etiquette:

  • Visitors should not enter a village without a guide or permission
  • Dress conservatively: do not wear short shorts or a hat, both men and women should wear a sarong and cover their shoulders
  • You should bring a gift (kava root is a appreciated- about 1kg per group) upon entrance to the village

Currency: Fijian Dollar

Sports: Fijians love rugby, soccer (football) and cricket

Lovo: a feast cooked under the earth with heated rocks similar to the Maori hangi

Kokoda: raw pieces of white fish marinated in coconut cream, lime, onions and tomatoes

Thank you in Fijian: “Vinaka”!

Goodbye in Fijian: “Moce”. (Mo-they )

To learn more about ISV’s programs and our excursion in Fiji visit our website.


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