Customs in Fiji
There’s one thing that people always say when they talk about Fijians; they’re some of the friendliest people in the world and they who love a good old chat.
Fijians are extremely welcoming to backpackers and travellers so get stuck into the local culture as much as you can, and make sure to learn a few Fijian phrases beforehand.
While Fiji is a tropical country, beachwear should be confined to the beach. Take your cues from the locals as to what they consider appropriate dress for the occasion. When visiting towns and villages, you should be sure to cover your shoulders and wear shorts or sulus (sarongs) that cover your knees (both genders). This is especially true for visiting a church, although locals will often lend you a sulu for a church visit.
Local ceremonies in Fiji
When confronting the chief of a village it’s respectful to take off your hat while speaking to him. Also, take off your shoes before entering homes.
There are three main cultural ceremonies which they take part of such as the Lovo, the Meke and the Yaqona (Kava):
The Lovo is a type of feast, like a camp fire. It involves a hole in the ground with fire wood and stones.
The Meke is a dance which tells stories of love, history, spirits and tales of the islands. It can be performed by men, women and children. The women are in traditional clothes and garlands of flowers and the men in full warrior costumes with spears. Musical instruments are used also for percussion.
Kava is the traditional, national drink of Fiji. It’s made from the roots of the pepper shrub and is drunk between friends and business associates. In a traditional ceremony the chief of the village drinks first, then is followed by other village members in order of status. When visiting a village you are expected to join in the Kava ceremony. You’re definitely going to drink a lot of Kava while you’re in Fiji!
Religion in Fiji
The main religion in Fiji is Christianity. Don’t be surprised if shops and other businesses are closed on Sunday. If you’re religious and want to go to church then feel free to join in; the Fijians are sure to welcome you.