20+ Interesting Facts About Fiji

  1. Fiji is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. The closest countries to Fiji are Tonga in the east, Vanuatu in the west, Tuvalu in the north, and New Zealand in the south.
  2. Fijian, English, and Hindi are the three official languages of Fiji. Fijian is the native language of more than 50% of the population. English is spoken everywhere in Fiji.
  3. Sri Siva Subramaniya is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere. The recent construction of this colorful temple took place in 1976. (Source)
  4. Fiji has been ranked the happiest country in the world according to the Worldwide Happiness Index. (Source)
  5. It is customary in Fiji for the groom and his family to give a sperm whale tooth to the future bride after taking permission for the marriage. (Source)
  6. There are more than 390 species of coral reefs in Fiji. These corals cover only 1% of Fiji’s waters but support around 25% of marine life in the country, including 1,500 fish species.
  7. There are 332 islands and over 540 islets in Fiji. Only 110 islands are inhabited. Many of these islands were formed around 150 million years ago due to volcanic activity. Around 87% of the total population resides on the two main islands: Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The capital city, Suva, is located on Viti Levu. (Source)
    Map of Fiji
    87% of population resides on two main Fijian islands

  8. The land area of Fiji is 18,270 km2. On the other hand, its EEZ (exclusive economic zone) is many folds at around 1.3 million km2.
  9. Initial human settlers of Fiji arrived from Melanesia around 3,500 years ago. These initial inhabitants are now called “Lapita people."
  10. In the past, human sacrifices were common in Fiji. The purpose of these sacrifices was to get a new canoe. (Source)
  11. Cannibalism was common in Fiji before the arrival of Europeans. This brutal practice started around 2,500 years ago and continued till 1867. These islands were previously known as Cannibal Isles. A former Fijian chief holds Guinness World Record for eating more than 800 people. (Source)
  12. Wearing a hat in a Fijian village is considered an insult to the village’s chief. Touching someone’s head or wearing shoes in a house is also disliked by Fijians.
  13. Kava is the national and favorite drink of Fiji. Local people extract this mild sedative drink from the roots of the native plant (known as kava or yaqona) of the pepper family. (Source)
  14. Male circumcision is an old tradition in Fiji. Uncircumcised youths were considered unclean in the past. (Source)
  15. Europeans initially visited Fiji in the 17th Century. Abel Tasman was the first European to reach Fiji in 1643.
  16. Fiji became a British colony in 1874. It gained independence from the UK after nearly 100 years on 10th October 1970.
  17. Fiji faced a devastating measles epidemic in 1875. More than 33% (around 40,000) of the local population died in just six months (January to June 1875) due to measles.
  18. Around 65% inhabitants of Fiji are followers of Christianity. Hinduism (28%) and Islam (6%) are the two minority religions.
  19. Firewalking is a famous tradition in Fiji, practiced by native Fijians and Indians. Native people walk on hot stones while Hindu Indians walk on burning embers. (Source)
  20. Indians started arriving in Fiji in the 1880s to work in sugarcane plantations. More than 60,000 indentured laborers arrived from India in Fiji between 1879 and 1916. These Indians became the majority of the population during the 1940s, but the situation changed in the 1990s. Currently, 37% of the Fijian population is composed of Indians. (Source)
  21. Fiji faced military coups after independence in 1987, 2000, and 2006. These coup d’├ętats happened due to conflicts between native Fijians and Indian Fijians.
  22. Rugby is the most popular sport in Fiji. The national team has performed well in international rugby tournaments.

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