Tuesday, April 29, 2014


  1. Wibberley, Leonard. Fiji: Islands of the Dawn. New York: Washburn, 1964. Print.
  2. Scarr, Deryck. Fiji: A Short History. Laie, HI: Institute for Polynesian Studies, Brigham Young U--Hawaii Campus, 1984. Print.
  3. Derrick, R. A. The Fiji Islands; a Geographical Handbook. Suva: Govt. Print. Dept., 1951. Print.

  1. "BirdLife | Partnership for Nature and People." BirdLife | Partnership for Nature and People. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.
  2. "News and Features." EBird. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.
  3. "About FIJI Water Company & Foundation." FIJI Water. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.
  4. "What You Didnt Know About Fiji Water." Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cultural Survival

Preserving Fijian culture is essential to the people there.  People in the villages still practice many traditional ceremonies such as the lovo, the meke, and the kava ceremonies.  The lovo ceremonry involves the preparation of a feast, similar to a barbeque but a little more smoked and a very efficient way to provide food for a large number of people.  The meke ceremony embraces traditional song and dance to tell of the legends, love stories, history, and spirits of the islands.  The kava ceremony involves presenting the national drink of Fiji to a guest or honored member of the village.  Kava is made from the pulverized root of a member of the pepper family, resulting in a numb tongue and mellow feeling.  It is believed to have medicinal qualities.

It is nice to know that the traditional Fiji life hasn't been exploited due to the vast amount of tourism.  The people there are conscious of sustainable tourism practices.  The villages are almost completely self-sustaining and many of the resorts also strive for self-sufficiency.  Many of the tour companies practice responsible tourism in an effort to preserve what is there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fijian migrations and Diaspora

The two prominent ethnic groups in Fiji are indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian.  More than half of all inhabitants of the Fiji islands live on the islands coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centers.  The interiors of the islands are sparsely populated due to the rough terrain.  The Indo-Fijian population has grown rapidly through the years, initially migrating from India to work in the sugarcane fields.  In the 1920s and 1930s, there was a voluntary influx forming the foundation of Fiji's business class.  The Indo-Fijians reside primarily near the urban centers and in the cane-producing areas of the two main islands.  In contrast, the indigenous Fijians are spread across the landscape.

Some Indo-Fijians have been displaced from the cane-producing areas due to the expiration of land leases and have been forced to move into the urban areas in pursuit of jobs.  Native Fijians have also moved into the urban areas in search of a better life.  Overall, the Indo-Fijian population on the islands is declining due to emigration and a declining birth rate, yet they still dominate the professions and commerce.

Overall, since the 1960s, there has been high rates of emigration primarily to North America, Australia, and New Zealand.  The Indo-Fijian population have been leaving in search of better economic opportunities.  The indigenous Fijian population have also been emigrating in large numbers, often to seek employment as home healthcare workers.  Unfortunately, unemployment is high and wages are low and there is political unrest.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fijians and their Neighbors

Because Fiji is a collection of islands, there aren't any land neighbors.  The closest countries in proximity are Tonga and Samoa to the east, Australia, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu to the west, and New Zealand to the south.  Due to this simple fact, there is little conflict between the peoples of these countries.  Any conflict within Fiji would be between the more traditional indigenous Fijians and the more modern Indo-Fijians.  The opposing lifestyles of traditional village life and more urban life exist in Fiji, but there are some who live the more modern, urban lifestyle during the day for the purpose of employment but return to village life and their families at night.  The people of Fiji are rooted in tradition and community and it definitely shows in daily life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fiji water

The most common misconception about Fiji water is that it doesn't actually come from Fiji, that it is just a marketing ploy.  That couldn't be further from the truth. The spring from which the water is actually taken from is located on the island of Viti Levu. The company "Fiji water" partnered with Conservation International have been working to preserve the purity and the biological wealth of the Fijian islands.  The company was originally owned by a Canadian man named David Gilmour in 1996.  Fiji water and Conservation International have established a long term conservation plan that has saved 40,000 acres of rain forest.  Fiji water gives back to the islands by generating future income sources for the local communities. They plant teak and mahogany trees which in part will generate jobs.  Fiji water was the leading water import in America in 2009.  In 2004, the Fijian government actually shut down the bottling process because they wanted to increase the tax from 1/3 cents to 15 cents exporting tax per liter of water sold.  This increase in tax was to going to the Fijian government.




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Birds of Fiji

Birds have traditionally been an important part of life in Fiji.  They have played a role in inter-island communication, their feathers have been used as trade items and prized for edging fine mats, while some have been important food sources.  Fiji does not have a large number of bird species, in fact only 27 endemic species, but some of those seen there can't be seen anywhere else in the world hence making conservation a primary concern for the people of Fiji.

There are 57 native breeding species of landbirds and 12 introduced species of landbirds, such as the Mynas and the Bulbul, that currently reside on the islands of Fiji.  There are also various species of seabirds, 20 species which breed in Fiji and 39 species which don't breed there, but migrate there.  There is only one endemic seabird species in Fiji, the Fiji Petrel, which is now critically endangered due to predation by cats, rats, and feral pigs.  A vaguely defined group of shorebirds, roughly 21 species, also exists which breed in the Arctic and escape to the Fiji islands for warmer temperatures during harsh winters.

Fiji Petrel Via http://leesbirdblog.files.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fijian Cosmos

As a people, the Fijians are known as some of the friendliest and most laid back people on the globe.  The fast-paced, busy life in the northeastern United States may just be too much for them.  The people of Fiji value their customs and traditions and welcome guests into their villages and homes.  In contrast, the people of America lack a sense of community and therefore customs and traditions have diminished.  In my opinion, Americans are self-consumed and tend to only come together in times of need.  The people of Fiji identify with a sense of community and live in villages.  In Fiji, it really does take a village to raise a child!  Community is so important that most wealth and resources are divided among the residents of a village.  The selfish nature of the American people would be appalling to the Fijian people.

There are many customs that are observed on a daily basis in Fiji.  While in a village, one should be respectful by removing hats, leaving shoes outside the door when entering a home, and never touching someone's head.  When visiting a village in Fiji, it is only proper to present a gift of kava to the head of the village.  While some of these traditions are observed in America, it's not a daily way of life.