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BITS OF CULTURE - Fiji
 
Languages
Map
Cultural Values
Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
Health Care Values
Diet
Interesting Facts
 

Languages

Official language:
English

Other languages:
Fijian
Hindi

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Map



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Cultural Values
  • Indigenous Fijians live in communal environments with chiefs holding enormous powers over the common villagers. Land is not owned by individual families, rather land is given to them by the chief to farm.
  • Houses, or bures in Fijian, sit side by side, often radiating from the chiefs house, and are without borders or fences.
  • Women do most of the work around the house from collecting firewood for cooking to weaving mats for the floors whilst the men fish.
  • Fijians are very hospitable people and often invite guests to stay in their homes. Presenting a gift of Yaqona roots is the customary gratuity.
  • People are respectful of traditional patriarchal authority; the village chief, usually a man, leads the villagers and presides over important rituals.
  • Speak softly. Raised voices are interpreted as expressing anger.

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Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
  • Christianity
    The body is brought to the village followed by the ceremony and a one-year mourning period. During that year after the person has passed away, however, there are also rituals that occur to mark the fourth, tenth, fiftieth, one hundredth and one-year mark after their death.
  • Most funeral rituals involve exchanges between the vasu (mother's people) and the mataqali of the deceased.

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Health Care Values

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Diet
  • One method of cooking food still popular today is the lovo or earth oven especially palusami (parcels of taro leaves filled with coconut cream, onions and in some cases tinned meat).
  • Rice, yams, and fish are typical foods as well as taro and cassava, starchy roots that can be grown in a family garden.
  • Breakfast usually consists of tea drunk from tin bowls and possibly rice or any leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

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Interesting Facts
  • In Fiji, it is customary for a groom to present a valuable gift to his bride's father. Traditionally, this present should be a whale's tooth, symbolizing status and wealth.
  • Fiji’s national rugby team is among the best in the world.

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