Known as one of the happiest countries in the world, what is it that makes the Fijians smile so much? Is it Fiji time, the kava or the climate?
Here’s 9 great reasons why we reckon Fiji will put a smile on anyone’s face.
1. There’s blazing colour everywhere
Rich green landscapes, colourful reefs full of tropical fish and the bright oranges of ripe mangos and papayas, flaunt all the feel-good colors. Everywhere you turn there’s a colour to make you smile.
2. Fiji time
No watch, no problem. No one hurries in here. When plans are delayed or things don’t go as expected, the Fijians don’t worry or dwell, chances are they’ll take a nap, chat with a friend or have another bowl of kava.
3. Fresh food
Known to have some of the best food in the South Pacific, thanks to its Indian, Southeast Asian and Chinese influences. Most ingredients are fresh and local.
4. The Climate
With balmy temperatures hovering between 26 and 31 degrees year round, few complain of the cold. Clothes are needed for modesty only and life happens mostly outdoors.
Fiji has a very tight-knit village based society. Aunts, uncles and cousins are likely to live in the same neighbourhood. Perhaps it’s this solid base that makes Fijians so friendly and warm.
6. The power of Kava
Visit any village here and you’ll find locals gathered around sipping kava. Said to have calming effects and to help create a sense of well-being, this ceremonial drink might account for the concept of ‘Fiji time’ and the slow, relaxed pace of the islanders.
Fijian culture holds many traditions. Sevusevu for example, where a visitor presents the village elder with kava root before the ceremony is highly important.
So is covering the legs, shoulders and upper bodies. Wearing a sarong will achieve this.
The majority of islanders are Indo-Fijians of Indian heritage. However, you will also find Chinese, Southeast Asians, European and other Pacific settlers.
Like in any society, a mix of cultures doesn’t make for absolute harmony, but it certainly keeps things interesting.
This country has had a rocky political past and only recently held democratic elections again after the coup in 2006. But even at its most tense, serious violence has never been an issue.