Fiji or the Republic of Fiji is a multi-island nation in the Pacific known for its white sand beaches and all-year tropical weather. People from nearby Australia and Asia and those as far from the US flock to Fiji for a well-deserved vacation in the beach or in the mountains of this island nation. Aside from its tourism industry, Fiji is also very interesting for many tourists because of the following facts:
Fact 1: Fiji is a former British colony and only gained independence in 1970. This island nation was ruled by the British for almost 100 years before finally becoming an independent Pacific nation in recent times.
Fact 2: Around 40% of Fijians are of Indian descent. Most of these Indians are descendants of former slaves under the British rule. Back when the UK was ruling the island nation, Indians were brought to work in sugarcane plantations.
Fact 3: The sugar industry is still one of the biggest industries in Fiji. This industry dates back to almost a century of British rule wherein Indians were brought to the islands as laborers. In present times, Fiji’s sugar industry still provides strong support to the country’s economy along with tourism services.
Fact 4: Vijay Sing, the popular professional golfer hails from Fiji. Considered as one of Fiji’s most famous personality, Vijay Singh went on to win 3 major golf championships and became an instant promoter for the country’s tourism industry.
Fact 5: Rugby is the most popular sport in all of Fiji. Rugby Union is participated by around 10% of Fiji’s almost 1 million population. Similar or related sports like football are also popular in this island nation.
Fact 6: The first European inhabitants of Fiji were sailors and convicts. Many of the sailors were forced to stay in Fiji because of problems with their ships and the convicts were said to be escapees from Australian rule. After some time, missionaries from different parts of Europe also settled in Fijian islands before the British Empire took hold of the country for almost 100 years.
Fact 7: English is the official language or lingua franca in the whole of Fiji. Fijian and Indian are widely spoken and taught in schools or used in meetings and conversations but English is widely accepted as the official language.
Fact 8: Early independence from British rule resulted to an internal war among Fijians. The Melanesian-Polynesian group of Fijians basically went to assert and retake power from the Indians who were descendants of British slaves.
Fact 9: Fijians are known for their communal or group culture. Activities that people do in Fiji are highly influenced by their own ethnic group. Fiji is inhabited by different races including Melanesians, Indians, Chinese, and other Pacific islanders and part-Europeans. All these ethnic groups have their own little way of maintaining their rich culture and traditions.
Fact 10: Only 1/3 of the Fijian islands are inhabited. Fiji has more than 300 islands but only around 100 are inhabited by people. The other islands are either very small or are openly only for tourism purposes.