The Rich Cultural Background of the Fiji Islands

Fiji’s Cultural Background

If you are looking for a great beach vacation, you might consider staying in huts on the water in Fiji. Despite the prevalence of luxury resorts in Fiji there is considerable culture to experience by getting away from the tourist spots. Do not get so caught up in the opulence of vacation resorts that you forget about all the culture the islands have to offer. Fiji has been changed by Indian, European and Asian influences in terms of food, clothing, beliefs, language and art, creating a unique identity.

While the official language of Fiji is English, you will hear other languages and unique dialects while visiting. The national indigenous language, Bauan, is a unique part of Fiji’s cultural heritage. Visitors traveling to Fiji islands will find that the feel of the area is very communal. The relationships between people and the way they work together is emphasized and shown in the way the residents live. The traditional values of the island include gender roles, especially when it comes to the creation of art and roles in the community.

Art is a significant part of Fiji’s cultural background. Modern art reflects Polynesian heritage and the significance of rituals in the culture. Women were known to create pottery, cloths made of tree bark and mats. Men were known for carving and building canoes. There is a rich history of canoe building in Fiji, however most of the evidence has been destroyed over the years. Another significant part of Fiji’s cultural history is the use of chants to tell stories or relay information.

Traditional clothing for Fiji residents once consisted of coverings of the pelvic area. It was not uncommon for people to adorn their bodies with tattoos. Modern dress for men and women is similar to a patterned wrap.

Fiji’s culture once revolved around fruits, vegetables, birds, seafood and wild pig. Today the diet of the islands is more diverse, including European, Chinese and Indian influences.

Traveling to Fiji islands you may find that it is more comfortable to stay in luxury resorts but there is no need to deny yourself the cultural experiences that make Fiji unique.