The first settlers of Fiji were the Lapita peoples, who originated from southeast Asia and inhabited the South Pacific islands. From around 1000 to 500 BC, Melanesians began to settle in Fiji. Melanesians are the closest ancestors to present-day inhabitants of Fiji. These settlers established hierarchical communities and farmed the fertile land. In the 1860s, Europeans sought control of Fiji, which resulted in a decade of disputes over the area. In 1874 Fiji yielded to Europe and became a crown colony. Sir Arthur Gordon was made the first governor of Fiji and was influential in the shaping of the country. Fiji remained a European colony for about 100 years, until gaining independence in 1970.
The national flag of Fiji was adopted on October 10, 1970. It features a blue field, which represents the Pacific Ocean. It has a Union Jack on the upper lefthand corner, which represents Fiji’s ties with the United Kingdom. The flag also features a shield that was derived from Fiji’s national coat of arms.
Fiji is an archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean. The country is made up of 300 islands and 540 islets. The two largest islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Fiji’s terrain is made up of volcanic hills and mountains, rainforests, and beautiful beaches.
World Land Mass Ranking: 156th
Highest Mountain: Mount Tomanivi, 1,324 m (4,344 ft)
Longest River: Rewa River, 145 km (90 mi)
Fijian, English, Fiji Hindi, Rotuman
Fiji Population: 896,444 (as of 2020)
Capital City: Suva
Capital City Population: 87,000 (as of 2022)
Fiji has a warm, tropical climate. The islands have two distinct seasons––a hot and humid rainy season from November to April and a cooler dry season from May to October
The cuisine of Fiji combines native island ingredients, traditional cooking methods, and cultural influences. The country’s diverse cuisine is noted for its variety of seafood and locally-grown produce. For centuries, foods like rice, sweet potatoes, coconuts, taro, breadfruit, and a variety of fish, have made up the majority of the Fijian diet. The national dish is called Fiji Kokoda, which is fresh raw fish marinated in coconut milk and citrus juices.
The most popular sport in Fiji, which is also considered the national sport, is rugby. The national rugby team has competed in five Rugby World Cup championships since 1987. Football is also a very popular sport in Fiji. Since Fiji is an island nation, many water sports are common, including scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, and kayaking.
Fijians are known for their warm, welcoming nature. They have a strong belief in the importance of the family and a strong community. The islands are home to many different cultures and beliefs. Fiji’s diverse population is made up of indigenous Fijian, Indian, Chinese, and European heritage. Sports, arts and crafts, literature, traditions, and ceremonies are all important aspects of Fijian culture.
10 facts about Fiji
1. Fiji draws many tourists each year.
2. The main export of Fiji is water.
3.Fiji is home to the largest temple in the southern hemisphere.
4. Most of Fiji’s islands are uninhabited.
5. The country has a national drink called Kava.
6. Fiji is known as the soft coral capital of the world.
7. The Collared Lory is Fiji’s national animal.
8. Only chiefs are allowed to wear hats and sunglasses in Fiji.
9. Cannibalism was once a common practice in Fiji.
10. The life expectancy in Fiji is 67 years.