FIJI
                 BY: Kayla and Morgan  

Fiji - Location

A group of islands (archipelago) in the South Pacific Ocean. There are 332 volcanic islands; however, people live on on only 110. The two largest islands are Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.The capital of Fiji is Suva, Viti Levu.

Fiji - Flag

The blue on the flag is symbolic of the surrounding Pacific Ocean. The coat of arms display a golden British lion holding a cocoa pod, as well as panels displaying a palm tree, sugar cane, bananas and dove of peace.

Fiji - Cultural Ceremonies

MEKE -  Fijian's traditional song and dance used to tell and show the legends, stories, history and spirits of the islands.

• Vakatara (orchestra) - sit on the ground and sing/chant or play percussion instruments (gongs, bamboo tubes, etc.)

• Matana (dancers) - all performers wear garlands of flowers (Salusalu); males wear full warrior costume and women wear traditional clothing

Yaqona (Kava) - The single most important drink at celebrations. This traditional beverage is almost always served at any event that is culturally significant within a community and is often accompanied with a formal ceremony.

Lovo - a BIG feast that consists of cassava (tapioca), kumala (sweet potato), yam and taro that is cooked in the earth (fire pit)

Tatavu - Fijian style of beach barbeque. Seafood is cooked on a beach fire and served on a mat( leaves) on the ground. The basics of Fijian food consists of rice, sweet potatoes, taro, cassava, coconut and fish.

Fiji - Language

Because Fiji is located in the Pacific, everyone speaks English as well as the local Fijian or Hindi language. Along with many other countries, language barriers, such as dialect and idiosyncrasy, arise that differentiate the Fijian language from the rest of the world.

Fiji - Education

There are about 700 primary schools and 150 secondary schools. Some are run by the government and some are run by private groups. School attendance is not required by law, but most kids go through elementary school and a good portion go to secondary school. They have public and private schools, the private schools are more like schools in the US. They only have about 12 private schools.

Fiji - Religion

Fiji is a multi-racial, multi-cultural country, in which the population is made up of a significant number of followers of all major religions. Christian churches, mosques, and Sikh and Hindu temples can be found throughout the country.

Fiji - Costumes

When visiting a village, it is customary to present a gift of kava, in which is presented to the head of the village. Upon entering the village, you must wear modest clothing and take off your hat because wearing one is an insult to the head of the village. Leave your shoes outside the door before entering a home. It is insulting to touch someone's head.

Fiji - Currancy

$1 Fiji dollar = $.44 cents in US money. $5 in Fiji = $2.44 in US money.

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