This archipelago nation in the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji, is known for its natural and manmade scenic wonders, the hospitality of its residents, apart from its historically-important spots!
Fiji gained independence in 1970, which is about 96 years after being a British colony!
The island of Fiji covers an area of 1,000,000 square miles with about 333 islands out of which close to 110 islands are inhabited! The island also has 500 small islets.
Out of the total Fijian islands, only one-third of these islands are inhabited.
There is enough archaeological evidence to prove that the settlement of Fiji by early Polynesian people took place in about 3 phases between 1230 BC - 860 BC.
During British rule, Indian servants were brought to Fiji to serve in the sugarcane fields. Today, the descendants of these people, known as Indo-Fijians, make up 40% of the island's population!
The capital city of Fiji, Suva, is a special place that is blessed by the rain Gods! It is not uncommon for the place to get rains, everyday of the week!
Fijians have had strong family behavioural taboos! One of these taboos was that a sister and brother weren't supposed to sleep in the same house, once they reach maturity.
The Fijian houses were built in a particular fashion to reflect the social status of the house inmates!
The rear of the house was reserved for the 'head' of the family as it was considered socially on a higher status side than the front part of the house.
As Indians are the second-largest community on the island, Fiji Hindi is also one of the island's official language. Apart from Fiji Hindi, English and Fijian are the other official languages.
Kava is the traditional drink of Fiji that is made of a ground root of a plant that is from the pepper family! It is believed to have medicinal qualities as well to treat insomnia, headaches and stress.
Known as the 'soft coral capital of the world', Fiji boasts of about 4000 square miles of coral reef with about 1000 species of fish. This makes it an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving!
About 800 species of plants found here are native to the island. The tagimoucia flower is an important part of the Fijian culture that features in romantic and heartbreak tales apart from being on the $50 bill!
Apart from being the world's leading sugarcane producer, Fiji's economic pillars are agriculture and tourism. In addition to this, cultivating pineapple, cocoa, kava, taro and copra is also economically fetching activities.
Though Fijians love to cook their dishes in a traditional matter, the modern Fijian cuisine shows influences from Indian cuisine and spices.
Rugby is one of the most popular sports on the island that has participation from nearly 10% of the population!
Another factor showcasing the influence of Indian culture on the lives of Fijians is the magnanimous Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple which is one of the major landmarks in Nadi!