You are on page 1of 18


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Fiji (disambiguation).

Republic of Fiji
Matanitu ko Viti (Fijian) फ़िजी ठ—णराजà¥à¤¯ (Fiji Hindi) FijÄ« GaṇarÄjya (transliteration)


Coat of arms

M otto: "Rerevaka na Kalou ka Doka na Tui" (Fijian)
"Fear God and honour the Queen"

Anthem: God Bless Fiji Menu 0:00

Capital and largest city Official languages[1] Demonym Government

18°10′S 178°27′E

English Fijian Fiji Hindi Fijian Parliamentary republic run by military-appointed government Epeli Nailatikau

- President - Acting Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama Legislature Parliament

Density GDP (PPP) .133 billion[3] $4.100 nautical miles (2. The former contains Suva.Water (%) .Per capita HDI (2010) Currency Time zone . Fiji i /ˈfiËdÊ’iË/ (Fijian: Viti. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.[11] Fiji was a British colony until 1970.Upper house Senate House of .300 square kilometres (7. Tonga to the east.100 sq mi).620[3] 2011 estimate $3. Most Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts.Lower house Representatives Independence from the United 10 October 1970 Kingdom .Summer (DST) Drives on the Calling code ISO 3166 code Internet TLD 18. thousands of Fijians volunteered to aid in Allied efforts via their attachment to the New Zealand and Australian . Viti Levu's interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain. amounting to a total land area of circa 18. British administration lasted almost a century. 1. The two major islands.000. and more than 500 islets. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west. officially the Republic of Fiji [7] (Fijian: Matanitu ko Viti. Fiji Hindi: फ़िजी गणराजà¥à¤¯[8] FijÄ« GaṇarÄjya). either in Suva or in smaller urban centres. the Samoas.669[4] medium · 86th Fijian dollar (FJD ) FJT (UTC+12) FJST [6] (UTC+13[5]) left +679 FJ .Total ..[9] Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC.Republic 7 October 1987 Area .056 sq mi negligible Population 849. New Zealand's Kermadec to the southeast.3/sq mi 2011 estimate $4. France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north. France's New Caledonia to the southwest.[10] In the 17th and 18th centuries.4/km2 (148th) 120. some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1.000[2] (156th) 837.274 km2 (155th) 7.2007 census . of which 110 are permanently inhabited.000 km.Per capita GDP (nominal) .546 billion[3] $3.965[3] 0. account for 87% of the population of almost 850.271 46.2009 estimate .Total . the Dutch and the British explored Fiji. the capital and largest city.Total . Fiji Hindi: फ़िजी). The majority of Fiji's islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago.300 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island.[12] During World War II. The country comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands.

1 Casino tourism 12 Transportation 12. is supervised by the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development.2 Bus 12. mineral and fish resources. Today.[13] The country's currency is the Fijian dollar.1 Ethnic groups 5. the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) consist of land and naval units.[15] Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 3 Politics 3.[14] Fiji's local government. Following a coup in 2006.2 Rugby league 14.1 Rugby union 14.4 Association football 15 See also 16 Footnotes 17 References 18 Bibliography 19 External links Etymology Fiji's main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name "Fiji" is units. the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports.3 Rugby war dance (Cibi and Bole) 14.1 Air 12.3 Taxi 12. though the common English pronunciation is based on that of their island neighbours in Tonga. Fiji is one of the most developed economies in the Pacific island realm due to an abundance of forest.3 Religion 6 Administrative and provincial divisions 7 Geography 7.1 2006 military takeover 4 Law enforcement and military 5 Demographics 5. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau became Fiji's president after a high court ruled that the military leadership was unlawfully appointed. Its emergence can be described as follows: Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga.4 Ships and inter-island ferries 13 Languages 14 Sport 14.1 Climate 8 Economy 9 Culture 10 Holidays and festivals 11 Tourism 11. They were described . in the form of city and town councils.2 Demonym 5.

by missionaries and other travelers visiting Fiji.[17] was used in accounts and other writings until the late 19th century. and it was by this foreign pronunciation." Scarr also reported that the posts that supported the chief's house or the priest's temple would have sacrificed bodies buried underneath them. although the question of Pacific migration still lingers. and "men were sacrificed whenever posts had to be renewed" (Scarr. if it was not hauled over men as rollers. Lapita pottery shards have been found at numerous excavations around the country. a unique Fijian culture developed.[21] According to Deryck Scarr ("A Short History of Fiji". Ratu Udre Udre is said to have consumed 872 people and to have made a pile of stones to record his achievement. were highly esteemed and much in formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals. "Ceremonial occasions saw freshly killed corpses piled up for eating. Trade between these three nations long before European contact is quite obvious with canoes made from native Fijian trees found in Tonga and Tongan words being part of the language of the Lau group of islands. especially bark cloth and clubs. Fijians today regard those times as "na gauna ni tevoro" (time of the devil). They inspired awe amongst the Tongans. Also. Pots made in Fiji have been found in Samoa and even the Marquesas Islands. with the rationale that the spirit of the ritually sacrificed person would invoke the gods to help support the structure.[18][19] History Main article: History of Fiji Pottery art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled before or around 3500–1000 BC." the Tonganized spelling of the English pronunciation. They called their home Viti. Over the centuries. It is believed that the Lapita people or the ancestors of the Polynesians settled the islands first but not much is known of what became of them after the Melanesians arrived. and archaeological evidence shows that they would have then moved on to Tonga.[20] During the 19th century. but not great sailors. when a new boat. page 3). "it would not be expected to float long" (Scarr. was launched.[16] "Feejee. and all their Manufactures. page 3). or drua. Fiji. but the Tongans called it Fisi. Fiji has been a nation of many languages. that these islands are now known. builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific. first promulgated by Captain James Cook. The ferocity of the . Constant warfare and cannibalism between warring tribes were quite rampant and very much part of everyday life. page 19). crushing them to death. The first settlements in Fiji were started by voyaging traders and settlers from the west about 5000 years ago. they may have had some influence on the new culture. 'Eat me!' was a proper ritual greeting from a commoner to a chief. Samoa and even Hawai'i. 1984. Fiji's history was one of settlement but also of mobility. Ratu Tanoa Visawaqa Across 1000 kilometres from east to west. Aspects of Fijian culture are similar to Melanesian culture to the western Pacific but have stronger connection to the older Polynesian cultures.

[26] The population in 1942 was approximately 210.[27] The British granted Fiji independence in 1970. The British subjugated the islands as a colony in 1874. whalers and those engaged in the then booming sandalwood and bêche-de-mer trade. Arthur Charles Hamilton-Gordon. Three years later.[25] about one-third of the Fijian population. The Group Against Racial Discrimination (GARD) was formed to oppose the unilaterally imposed constitution and to restore the 1970 constitution. Sitiveni Rabuka. and the country changed the long form of its name from Dominion of Fiji to Republic of Fiji (and to Republic of the Fiji Islands in 1997). Fiji was unknown to the rest of the outside world. Part of a series on the History of Fiji . 102. The coups and accompanying civil unrest contributed to heavy Indo-Fijian emigration. who united part of Fiji's warring tribes under his leadership. in turn. The second 1987 coup saw the Fijian monarchy and the Governor General replaced by a non-executive president. which in 1997 led to a new Constitution. missionaries. In 1875–76.[28] In 1990. which was supported by most leaders of the indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian communities.000 native Fijians. an epidemic of measles killed over 40. the Lieutenant Colonel who carried out the 1987 coup became Prime Minister in 1992. [22] Fijian mountain warrior. 1870s The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman visited Fiji in 1643 while looking for the Great Southern Continent. Rabuka established the Constitutional Review Commission. giving Fiji the name Cannibal Isles. off the eastern coast of Viti Levu.000 of whom 94. the population loss resulted in economic difficulties but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. adopted a policy disallowing the use of native labour and no interference in their culture and way of life.cannibal lifestyle deterred European sailors from going near Fijian waters. and the British brought over Indian contract labourers to work on the sugar plantations as the then governor and also the first governor of Fiji.[23] Europeans settled on the islands permanently beginning in the 19th century.000 Fijians.000 were Indians. Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau was a Fijian chief and warlord from the island of Bau. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 because the government was perceived as dominated by the Indo-Fijian (Indian) community. the new Constitution institutionalised the ethnic Fijian domination of the political system. Fiji was re-admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations.000 Europeans. following elections held under the new constitution.[24] The first European settlers to Fiji were beachcombers.000 Chinese and 5. 2. He then styled himself as King of Fiji or Tui Viti and then to Vunivalu or Protector after the cession of Fiji to the United Kingdom.

Bainimarama was instrumental in the 2006 Fijian coup d'État. was said to have signed a legal order dissolving the parliament after meeting with Bainimarama. and amnesty for its perpetrators. Bainimarama handed down a list of demands to Qarase after a bill was put forward to parliament. with power to recommend compensation for victims of the 2000 coup. In late November 2006 and early December 2006. especially the nation's top military commander. 1842. His attack on the legislation. Bainimarama agreed with detractors who said that it was a sham to grant amnesty to supporters of the present government who played roles in the violent coup. Frank Bainimarama. However. instigated by George Speight. Qarase adamantly refused to either concede or resign and on 5 December. who became the country's first Indo-Fijian prime minister following the 1997 constitution. possibly forced. a general election was held to restore democracy. Commodore Frank Bainimarama assumed executive power after the resignation. further strained his already tense relationship with the government. the president. and in September 2001. later in 2000 when rebel soldiers went on a rampage.[citation needed ] In 2005. the military strongly opposed this bill. Fiji was rocked by two mutinies at Suva's Queen Elizabeth Barracks. The new millennium brought along another coup. Ratu Josefa Iloilo. amid much controversy.Levuka. that effectively toppled the government of Mahendra Chaudhry. which was then won by interim prime minister Laisenia Qarase's Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party. which continued unremittingly throughout May and into June and July. He gave Qarase an ultimatum date of 4 December to accede to these demands or to resign from his post. part of which would have offered pardons to participants in the 2000 coup attempt. The High Court ordered the reinstatement of the constitution. of president Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Early history Discovery of Fiji The rise and fall of Cakobau Colonial Fiji M odern history Constitutional crisis of 1977 Coups of 1987 Military–church relations Coup of 2000 Timeline Mutinies Aftermath Mara deposed Iloilo plot Investigations Trials Court Martial Military unrest Reconciliation Commission Supporters Opponents Qualified positions Military opposition Religious reaction Foreign reaction Crisis of 2005–2006 Timeline Reaction Baledrokadroka incident Coup of 2006 Constitutional crisis of 2009 . the Qarase government proposed a Reconciliation and Unity Commission.

the military announced that it was restoring executive power to president Iloilo. He then reappointed Bainimarama as prime minister under his "New Order" and imposed a "Public Emergency Regulation" limiting internal travel and allowing press censorship. one in 2000 and one in late 2006. and of a multi-party system. Since independence there have been four coups in Fiji. Executive power is exercised by the government.[citation needed ] Politics Main article: Politics of Fiji See also: 2006 Fijian coup d'état Politics of Fiji normally take place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The military has been either ruling directly. staged a military takeover on the 5 December 2006 against the prime minister that he himself had installed after the 2000 coup. or heavily influencing governments since 1987. the President the head of state. Iloilo named . In April 2009. President Iloilo abrogated the constitution. The commodore took over the powers of the presidency and dissolved the parliament. Ratu Josefa Iloilo.v t e Bounty Island. Bainimarama had repeatedly issued demands and deadlines to the prime minister. [31] The next day. Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama. Fiji has fairly large armed forces. The coup was the culmination of weeks of speculation following conflict between the elected prime minister. and has been a major contributor to UN peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world. Laisenia Qarase. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Fiji. Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces. Bainimarama named Jona Senilagakali caretaker prime minister. Mamanuca archipelago. two in 1987. There had been two military coups in 1987 and one in 2000. the Fiji Court of Appeal ruled that the 2006 coup had been illegal. removed all office holders under the Constitution including all judges and the governor of the Central Bank. 2006 military takeover Main article: 2006 Fijian coup d'état Citing corruption in the government. For a country of its size.[30] who made a broadcast endorsing the actions of the military.[29] On 4 January 2007. whereby the Prime Minister of Fiji is the head of government. paving the way for the military to continue the takeover. The next week Bainimarama said he would ask the Great Council of Chiefs to restore executive powers to president. and Commodore Bainimarama. At particular issue was previously pending legislation to pardon those involved in the 2000 coup. a significant number of former military personnel have served in the lucrative security sector in Iraq following the 2003 U. In addition.-led invasion.S. This began the 2009 Fijian constitutional crisis. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

. Bainimarama's takeover of Qarase's government was lawful and declared the interim government to be direct the issuance of writs for an election. The Land Force comprises the Fiji Infantry Regiment (regular and territorial force organized into six light infantry battalions). "appoint[ed] [him]self as the Head of the State of Fiji under a new legal order". Critics. The Law Enforcement branch is composed of: Fiji Police Force[38] Fiji Corrections Service[39] Demographics Main article: Demographics of Fiji . in his own words. Cmdr. In the wake of the take over. The former had allowed restrictions on some public gatherings and speech. and president Iloilo was to appoint "a distinguished person independent of the parties to this litigation as caretaker Prime Minister. "You will agree with me that this is the best way forward for our beloved Fiji". dismissed the Court of Appeal and. He had also announced the nationwide consultation process leading to the new Constitution under which the 2014 elections will be held. On 9 April 2009. Fiji Engineer Regiment. Bainimarama announced the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER).[34][35] Nevertheless. The PER had been put in place since April 2009. Fiji became the first nation ever to have been suspended from participation in the Pacific Islands Forum.. censorship of news media reports and gave security forces added powers. includes a 300-man strong Navy Unit. along with his government. Bainimarama was reappointed as Interim Prime Minister. in turn.Bainimarama as the interim prime minister. Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations. reports emerged of alleged intimidation of some of those critical of the interim regime. it remains a member of the Forum. Law enforcement and military The military consists of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) with a total manpower of 3. when the former constitution was abrogated. The action was taken because Cmdr. he said.[32] indicating that the military was still effectively in control." On 10 April 2009. but that position had been determined by the Constitution itself.000 reservists.. the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision that Cmdr. . Bainimarama failed to hold elections by 2010 as the Commonwealth of Nations had demanded after the 2006 coup. re-instated his previous cabinet.[36][37] In his 2010 New Year's address. Logistic Support Unit and Force Training Group.. Bainimarama agreed to step down as interim PM immediately. he. President Iloilo suspended the Constitution of Fiji. claimed that he had suspended the constitution and was responsible for human rights violations by arresting and detaining opponents. On 1 September 2009. for its failure to hold democratic elections by the date promised. however. Cmdr. Iloilo had been Head of State prior to his abrogation of the Constitution.500 active soldiers and 6. Bainimarama stated a need for more time to end a voting system that heavily favoured ethnic Fijians at the expense of the multi-ethnic minorities. The two regular battalions are traditionally stationed overseas on peacekeeping duties. The "new legal order" did not depend on the Constitution.[33] As President. On 2 May 2009. thus requiring a "reappointment" of the head of State.

1%).[44] Deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase reacted by stating that the name "Fijian" belonged exclusively to indigenous Fijians. If the proposal were adopted. but economically significant.[45] The Methodist Church. the Fijian word for indigenous Fijians. although many also have Polynesian ancestry.300. shortly before the proposed People's Charter for Change.[46] In an address to the nation during the constitutional crisis of April 2009 . whose culture has more in common with countries such as Tonga or Samoa than with the rest of Fiji.Ethnic groups Native Fijian women. whatever their ethnicity. Peace and Progress was due to be released to the public. Constitutionally. Relationships between ethnic Fijians and Indo-Fijians at a political level have often been strained. descendants of Indian contract labourers brought to the islands by the British colonial powers in the 19th century. citizens of Fiji are referred to as "Fiji Islanders" though the term Fiji Nationals is used for official purposes. The percentage of the population of Indo-Fijian descent has declined significantly over the last two decades due to migration for various reasons. military leader and interim .[41][42] There is also a small but significant group of descendants of indentured laborers from the Solomon Islands. In August 2008. also reacted strongly to the proposal. The level of political tension varies between different regions of the country. groups of Europeans.2% are Rotuman—natives of Rotuma Island. There are also small. 1935 The population of Fiji is mostly made up of native Fijians. it was announced that it recommended a change in the name of Fiji's citizens. About 1. who are Melanesians (54. all citizens of Fiji. the term Fijian refers solely to indigenous Fijians: it denotes an ethnicity. would be called "Fijians". stating that allowing any Fiji citizen to call themselves "Fijian" would be "daylight robbery" inflicted on the indigenous population. and that he would oppose any change in legislation enabling nonindigenous Fijians to use it.[43] Demonym Within Fiji. Chinese. and Indo-Fijians (38. and the tension between the two communities has dominated politics in the islands for the past generation. not a nationality. to which a large majority of indigenous Fijians belong.3%). The proposal would change the English name of indigenous Fijians from "Fijians" to itaukei.[40] The Fiji coup of 2000 provoked a violent backlash against the Indo-Fijians for a time. and other Pacific island minorities. The total membership of other ethnic groups of Pacific Islanders is about 7.

3%. we must be patriotic. Sikh 0.Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. but the statement was again met with protest.9%. the Assemblies of God (4%).3% of all Hindus) or else are unspecified (22%). These and other denominations also have small numbers of Indo-Fijian members. Anglican 0.9%) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (2. Assembly of God 5. The largest Christian denomination is the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma. in legislation. our different cultures and we should. stated: I know we all have our different ethnicities. no political matters were to be discussed only church matters[52] Roman Catholics (8.9%). celebrate our diversity and richness. we must put Fiji first. none 0.2% of the total population (including almost two-thirds of ethnic Fijians). and that it should only last for three days. also are significant. other 10.[49][50] said he "would not be surprised" if the new definition of the word "Fijian" were included in the government's projected new Constitution. Muslims are . (General Secretary: Revd Tuikilakila Waqairatu) With 36.9%. However. New Zealand and Polynesia). which spans the whole of Fiji.[47] In May 2010.5% (Methodist 34.[51] Religion Main article: Religion in Fiji Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu temple. at the same time we are all Fijians. the Seventh-day Adventists (2.1%. we must. and added that the term refers to a legal standing. and that he personally saw "no reason the term Fijian should not apply to everyone from Fiji".4%).1% of the IndoFijian population. A spokesperson for the Viti Landowners and Resource Owners Association claimed that even fourth-generation descendants of migrants did not fully understand "what it takes to be a Fijian".7% (2007 census). and the Indo-Fijians are mostly Hindu or Muslim although a small minority are also Christian.3%. Muslim 6. We must all be loyal to Fiji. a prominent critic of the Bainimarama government.7%. indigenous Fijians). permission was granted by the Government for Methodists to hold their annual Conference.[48] Fiji academic Brij Lal.6%. since legislation affords specific rights to "Fijians" (meaning. In 2012. who has been at the forefront of the attempt to change the definition of "Fijian". Breakdown per the CIA world factbook: Christian 64. Hindu 27. We are all equal citizens. which has since been renamed the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Suva. Seventh-day Adventist 3. Much major Roman Catholic missionary activity was conducted through the Vicariate Apostolic of Fiji . Attorney-General Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum reiterated that the term "Fijian" should apply to all Fiji nationals. other or unspecified 0. Christians of all kinds comprise 6. Roman Catholic 9. with condition it does not coincide with the national Hibiscus Festival.8%. the proportion of the population adhering to Methodism is higher in Fiji than in any other nation. Nadi Indigenous Fijians are mostly Christian (40% at the 1996 census). Fiji also is the base for the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia (part of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa. for the first time in 4 years.3%. The small Arya Samaj sect claims the membership of some 3.7% of all Hindus in Fiji.2%).[citation needed ] Hindus belong mostly to the Sanatan sect (74.

[citation needed ] The Bahá'í Faith has over 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies throughout Fiji and Baha'is live in more than 80 localities. with a small Ahmadiyya minority (3.[53] The first Baha'i in the islands was a New Zealander who arrived in 1924. they are still considered important in the social divisions of the indigenous Fijians: The Burebasaga Confederacy .9% of the Indo-Fijian population. The Sikh religion comprises 0. though these are not considered political divisions.6%).[53] There is also a small Jewish population.4% of the national population in Fiji.[citation needed ] Administrative and provincial divisions Main article: Local government of Fiji Map of the divisions of Fiji Fiji is divided into Four Major Divisions: Central Eastern Northern Western These divisions are further divided into 14 provinces: Ba Bua Cakaudrove Kadavu Lau Lomaiviti Province Macuata Nadroga-Navosa Naitasiri Namosi Ra Rewa Serua Tailevu Fiji was also divided into 3 Confederacies or Governments during the reign of Seru Epenisa Cakobau. but they are a fairly recent wave of immigrants who did not live through the indenture system. or 0.4%) following the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Every year the Israeli Embassy organises a Passover celebration with approximately 100 people attending.mostly Sunni (96. Their ancestors originated from the Punjab region of India.

The Kubuna Confederacy The Tovata Confederacy Geography Main article: Geography of Fiji See also: Flora and fauna of Fiji Fiji's location in Oceania Map of Fiji Coconut trees line the beaches of Fiji Fiji covers a total area of some 194.000 sq mi) of which around 10% is land. midway between Vanuatu and Tonga.000 square kilometres (75. The 180° meridian runs through Taveuni but the . The archipelago is located between 176° 53′ east and 178° 12′ west. Fiji is the hub of the South West Pacific.

With the exception of Rotuma. Winds are moderate. which are popular tourist destinations. The islands are mountainous. 250 mi) north of the group. has a special administrative status in Fiji. is one of the more developed of the Pacific island economies.324 metres (4. endowed with forest. Rotuma. The two most important islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. the Fiji group lies between 15° 42′ and 20° 02′ south.341 ft). Other islands and island groups include Taveuni and Kadavu (the third and fourth largest islands respectively). The warm season is from November till April and the cooler season May to October. and is home to nearly three quarters of the population.International Date Line is bent to give uniform time (UTC+12) to all of the Fiji group. offshore oil and hydropower. copper. Viti Levu hosts the capital city of Suva. Graphical depiction of Fiji's product exports in 28 colorcoded categories. The main towns on Vanua Levu are Labasa and Savusavu. and fish resources.[54] Economy Main article: Economy of Fiji Fiji. mineral. Temperature in the cool season still averages 22 °C (72 °F). and the remote Lau Group. some 270 nautical miles (500 km. Rainfall is variable. the Lomaiviti Group. Fiji's second city with large sugar cane mills and a seaport. The highest point is Mount Tomanivi on Viti Levu. gold. The expiration of leases for sugar cane farmers (along with reduced farm and factory efficiency) has led to a decline in sugar production despite a subsidized price. though still with a large subsistence sector. . Climate The climate in Fiji is tropical marine and warm most of the year round with minimal extremes. The coup of 1987 caused further contraction. Fiji consists of 322 islands (of which 106 are inhabited) and 522 smaller islets. off Suva. especially inland. though cyclones occur about once a year (10–12 times per decade). 12° 30′ south of the equator. 360 nautical miles (670 km. Natural resources include timber. 310 mi) north of the archipelago. the warmer season experiences heavier rainfall. Subsidies for sugar have been provided by the EU and Fiji has been the second largest beneficiary after Mauritius. 410 mi) from Suva. and Lautoka. Rotuma is located 220 nautical miles (410 km. fish. and covered with thick tropical forests. which account for approximately three-quarters of the total land area of the country. which nearest neighbour is Tonga in the east. the Mamanuca Group (just off Nadi) and Yasawa Group. Economic liberalization in the years following the coup created a boom in the garment industry and a steady growth rate despite growing uncertainty of land tenure in the sugar industry. with peaks up to 1. Fiji experienced a period of rapid growth in the 1960s and 1970s but stagnated in the 1980s. Other important towns include Nadi (the location of the international airport).

Indo-Fijian.8% in 2000 and grew by only 1% in 2001. Fiji is highly dependent on tourism for revenue. but last-minute design changes made sure that the Reserve Bank building remains the tallest. as well as heavy influences from Europe and Fiji's Pacific neighbours . This recovery continued into 2003 and 2004 but grew by 1. Canada in 1986 and. The Suva Central Commercial Centre. which shrank by 2.[citation needed ] Fiji's culture was showcased at the World Exposition held in Vancouver. Culture Main articles: Culture of Fiji and Music of Fiji Huts in the village of Navala in the Nausori Highlands Fiji's culture is a rich mosaic of Indigenous Fijian.25% in February 2006 due to fears of excessive consumption financed by debt. where Bainimarama would have met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. the various cultures of Fiji have come together to create a unique multicultural national identity. food (based mainly from the sea. which was inaugurated in 1984. The political turmoil in Fiji has had a severe impact on the economy. The tallest building in Fiji is the fourteen-storey Reserve Bank of Fiji Building in Suva. which has since resulted in a modest economic recovery.[56] In 2008. however. the policy indicator rate of the Reserve Bank of Fiji was raised by 1% to 3. costume. Its vision is to become a regional exchange. there has been a housing boom from declining commercial mortgage rates. craft. Indigenous Fijian culture and tradition is very vibrant and is an integral component of everyday life for the majority of Fiji's population. dance and sports. Thus. architecture. language.Urbanization and expansion in the service sector have contributed to recent GDP growth. However. Fiji's interim Prime Minister and coup leader Frank Bainimarama announced election delays and that it would pull out of the Pacific Islands Forum in Niue. belief systems. dalo (taro) & other vegetables). Trade and investment with Fiji has been criticized due to the country's military dictatorship. Although inflation is low. music. arts. such as Indian and Chinese.particularly Tonga and Samoa. with visitor arrivals reaching pre-coup levels again during 2002. However. was planned to outrank the Reserve Bank building at seventeen stories.0% in 2006. Fijian society has also evolved over the past century with the introduction of more recent traditions. Asian and European traditions. comprising social polity.800 tourists in 2003[55] and increasing in the subsequent years — are the major sources of foreign exchange. which opened in November 2005. Long-term problems include low investment and uncertain property rights. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity. more . Sugar exports and a rapidly growing tourist industry — with 430.7% in 2005 and grew by 2. plus casava. The tourism sector recovered quickly. Lower interest rates have so far not produced greater investment for exports.[57] The South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE) is the only licensed securities exchange in Fiji and is based in Suva.

Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) is responsible for the operation of 15 public airports in the Fiji Islands. [64] Nausori International Airport is about 23 kilometres northeast of downtown Suva and serves mostly domestic traffic.[62] Fiji has a significant amount of soft coral reefs.500-seat convention centre. casino and luxury hotel complex is being developed on Denarau Island. These include two international airports.recently. just offshore from Nadi.[58] Holidays and festivals See also: List of festivals in Fiji This is a list of holidays celebrated in Fiji: New Year's Day Good Friday Easter Saturday Easter Monday Fiji Week Diwali Christmas Boxing Day Prophet Mohammed's Birthday The exact dates of public holidays vary from year to year. and scuba diving is a common tourist activity. southwest of Labasa Town. but the dates for this year and recent years can be found at the Fiji Government Web Site The following holidays are no longer celebrated in Fiji: Queen's Official Birthday [59] National Youth Day Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day[60] Tourism Fiji has a significant amount of tourism and many people visit the Nadi and Denarau islands.[61] The biggest sources of international visitors by country are Australia.[63] Transportation Air The Nadi International Airport is located 9 km north of central Nadi and is the largest Fijian hub. New Zealand and the USA. The largest aircraft handled by Labasa Airport is the ATR42. Fiji’s capital city. along with other Pacific countries in the Pacific Pavilion.[61] More budget resorts are being opened in remote areas.[61] Casino tourism A new 1. The main airport in the second largest island of Vanua Levu is Labasa Airport[65] located at Waiqele. Nadi international Airport – Fiji’s main international gateway and Nausori Airport – Fiji’s domestic hub and 13 outer island airports. A smaller convention centre and casino have also been earmarked for Suva. at the Shanghai World Expo 2010. . which provides more tourism opportunities.

Missionaries in the 1840s chose the language of one island off the southeast of the main island of Viti Levu. Buses also serve on roll-on-roll-off inter-island ferries. and in rural areas buses are often simply hailed as they approach. The 1997 Constitution established Fijian as an official language of Fiji. Nadi charge a flagfall of F$5.000 speak it as a second language. but another 200. though English and Hindustani would remain official. Taxis operating out of Fiji's international airport.[61] There are bus stops. there are others that are licensed to serve rural or semi-rural areas. was home to Cakobau. Taxi Taxis are licensed by the LTA and operate widely all over the country. transporting vehicles and large amounts of cargo between the main island of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Apart from urban.50 and tariff is F$0. This island.10 for every 200 meters. Standard Fijian is based on the language of Bau. The flagfall for regular taxis is F$1. the flagfall is F$1. to be the official language of Fiji. The elderly and Government welfare recipients are given a 20% discount on their taxi fares. some similar and some very different. and other smaller islands.[67] For taxis that are allowed to charge Value Added Tax (VAT). There are many other dialects that make up the West Fijian languages including all dialects spoken in the Nadroga/Navosa and those of the western island groups and provinces. Missionaries were interested in documenting a language and in standardising all of Fiji on one official language to make their job of translating and teaching in Fiji a bit easier. The Fiji Islands developed many languages. Bus and taxi drivers hold Public Service Licenses (PSVs) issued by the LTA. along with English and Fiji Hindi. town-based taxis. It has 350 000 first-language speakers. Fijian is a VOS language. and F$0. Languages Main article: Languages of Fiji Fijian is an Austronesian language of the Malayo-Polynesian family spoken in Fiji. and there is a discussion about establishing it as the "national language".[61] Buses are the principal form of public transport[66] and passenger movement between the towns on the main islands. English Hello/hi Good morning Goodbye Fijian bula yadra (Pronounced Yandra) moce (Pronounced Mothe) Fiji Hindi नमसà¥à¤¤à¥‡ सà¥à¤ªà¥à¤°à¤à¤¾à¤¤ चलता हूठ[69] Sport Main article: Sport in Fiji . the chief that eventually became the self-forged "King" of Fiji. Bus fares and routes are heavily regulated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Bau.[68] Ships and inter-island ferries Inter-island ferries provide services between Fiji's principal islands and large vessels operate rollon-roll-off services.11 for every 200 meters thereafter.50 and tariff is F$0. which is an East Fijian language.Bus Fiji's larger islands have extensive bus routes that are affordable and consistent in service. which is less than half the population of Fiji.30 for the first 200 meters.

. Despite this low rating. and contributes to the Pacific Islanders rugby union team. the first being in 1987. Fiji is one of the few countries where rugby is the main sport. and has competed at five Rugby World Cup competitions. Lote Tuqiri. nicknamed the Bati (pronounced [mˈbatʃi]). At the club level there are the Colonial Cup and Pacific Rugby Cup. as many have contracts in Europe or with Super Rugby teams. Fiji has won the most Pacific TriNations Championships of the three participating teams. represents Fiji in the sport of rugby league football and has been participating in international competition since 1992. South Africa. Fiji competes in the Pacific Tri-Nations and the IRB Pacific Nations Cup. One of the problems for Fiji is simply getting their players to play for their home country. notable examples are Fiji-born cousins and current New Zealand All Blacks. The Fiji national rugby union team is a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) formerly along with Samoa and Tonga. The sport is governed by the Fiji Rugby Union which is a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance. The team also competes in the Pacific Cup. Fiji also defeated the British and Irish Lions in 1977. There are approximately 80. where they reached the quarter-finals.000 registered players from a total population of around 950. The Fiji sevens team is one of the most successful rugby sevens teams in the world. The repatriated salaries of its overseas stars have become an important part of some local economies. It has competed in the Rugby League World Cup on three occasions. leaving just Fiji and Tonga in the union.Rugby union The Fiji national rugby union team during the 2007 Rugby World Cup playing against Canada Main article: Rugby union in Fiji Rugby Union is the most-popular team sport played in Fiji. a significant number of players eligible to play for Fiji end up representing Australia or New Zealand. In addition. with their best result coming when they made the semi-finals of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. In 2009. Samoa announced their departure from the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance. The national rugby union team is very successful given the size of the population of the country. in the 2007 Rugby World Cup Fiji defeated Wales 38–34 to claim a quarter final spot (theoretically placing them in the top 8 teams in the world) and proceeded to give eventual winners South Africa a scare eventually going down 37 –20.000. where monetary compensation is far more rewarding. The Fiji national side did not match that feat again until the 2007 Rugby World Cup when they upset Wales 38–34 to progress to the quarter-finals where they nearly beat the eventual Rugby World Cup winners. Joe Rokocoko and Sitiveni Sivivatu and as well as Australian Wallabies Winger. having won two world cup titles and the 2006 IRB Series. Fiji is currently ranked sixteenth in the world by the IRB (as of 26 September 2011). Rugby league Main article: Rugby league in Fiji The Fiji national rugby league team.

My strength can reach the crushing of the waves. I'm ready. Jarryd Hayne. Peni Tagive and Sisa Waqa.[70] on their way to a jointrecord third placed finish. . the Bati were captained by Lote Tuqiri and Wes Naiqama respectively. let's turn them up side down. The Bole war cry has a lot more energy compared to the Cibi and seems far more fitting for the gruelling match that is about to commence. or soccer. I can uproot you. Fiji won the Pacific Games football tournament in 1991 and 2003. I'm the rooster.Members of the team are selected from a domestic Fijian competition. It was replaced in 2012 with the new Bole (pronounced mBolay) war cry. The 'Cibi' had perhaps been used incorrectly though. You're only a hen. Lote Tuqiri. Tradition holds that the original Cibi was first performed on the rugby field back in 1939 during a tour of New Zealand. yes it will be achieved. you think you'll defeat me by drowning? Your fence is only made of wawamere creapers. you think I'm afraid of you. I can uproot you. Association football Association football. but with international funding from FIFA and sound local management over the past decade. The Bole war cry was composed by Ratu Manoa Rasigatale. yes. Akuila Uate. was traditionally a minor sport in Fiji. popular largely amongst the Indo-Fijian community. For the 2000 and 2008 World Cups. However. let's fight and you'll see. as the word actually means "a celebration of victory by warriors. The national football team defeated New Zealand 2–0 in the 2008 OFC Nations Cup. The Fiji Football Association is a member of the Oceania Football Confederation. It's easy to untangle. I don't sleep and will watch you. they have never reached a FIFA World Cup to date. I will not be drowned. you can't break my defence." whereas 'Bole' is the acceptance of a challenge. It is now the second most-popular sport in Fiji after rugby (union 15's and union 7's). Rugby war dance (Cibi and Bole) The Cibi (pronounced Thimbi) war dance was traditionally performed by the Fiji rugby team before each match. when then Fijian captain Ratu Sir George Cakobau felt that his team should have something to match the Haka of the All Blacks. They have produced legendary players like Petero Civoniceva. Wes and Kevin Naiqama. it will be done. the sport has grown in popularity in the wider Fijian community. as well as from competitions held in New Zealand and Australia. and is translated as follows: I'm challenging you to be uprooted.