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Transcript of FIJI
1643- a Dutch explorer, Abel Janzsoon Tasman, sights Fiji.
1774- English navigator, Capt. James Cook passes the southeastern islands.
Captain William Bligh was credited with the discovery (1789) and exploration (1792) of Fiji after a mutiny on his boat, the
People first arrived in Fiji around 3,500 years ago from the islands of Melanesia and Polynesia, making that voyage 3,000 years before Columbus even crossed the Atlantic.
As more and more European missionaries traveled to the Fijian islands, they noticed the startling trend of cannibalism throughout the natives. The various tribes would present dead bodies of people to other tribes as gifts.
The natives are called the "Lapita" people, who specialize in "Lapita Pottery" and other intricate crafts. Their pottery is known for its intricate designs. Their craftsmanship also includes obsidian fishhooks and beads and rings made of shells. This culture brought the beginning of Polynesian culture.
The Europeans who had recently arrived in Fiji began to take interests in their unique goods that would be beneficial for trade and commerce.
-fragrant wood used for furniture, ornamental boxes, and special fans
-believed that King Solomon's temple was built with this species
-oils harnessed with a steam method are used for perfumes, soaps, candles, incense, and folk medicines.
-a powdered form of this wood is used in making scented clothes.
Cotton & Sugarcane
The 1860's attracted many Europeans due to cotton shortage because of the American Civil War.
In 1874 after many negotiations, Fiji became a British Crown Colony.
The 1880s brought about large cultivation of sugarcane.
A new constitution, which took effect in July 1998, provided for a multiracial cabinet and raised the prospect of a coalition government. The previous constitution had guaranteed dominance to ethnic Fijians.
In 1999, Fiji elected their first Indian Prime Minister, making monumental progress in establishing peace with Fijians.
2003- Ganilu was the first president, but died in office and was seceded by Ratu Mara.
Currently, Epeli Nailatikau is the president, being elected in 2014.
After they achieved independence in 1970 , they established a parliamentary representative democratic republic as their form of government.
They had and still do have a multiparty system and their Prime Minister is the head of their government.
Flash back to 1970...
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
First Prime Minister of independent Fiji
Known as the founding father of modern Fiji
Pushed for independence from England
was chief minister from 1967-1970
then official Prime Minister from 1970-1992
Leader of the Alliance Party
-Over the next 40 years, more than 60,000 indentured laborers from India were brought to the island to work the plantations by the Brits.
-By 1920, all indentured servitude had ended. Racial conflict between Indians and the indigenous Fijians have been a huge part of history.
-Fiji became independent on Oct. 10, 1970.
-In Oct. 1987, Brig. Gen. Sitiveni Rabuka staged a military coup to prevent the Indians from taking over. This caused thousands of Indians to flee to other countries.
Trouble In Paradise
In the Election of 1987, Timoci Bavadra wins and becomes Prime Minister.
A month later, 10 masked, armed soldiers invaded the house of representatives. They managed to threaten the leaders into submission without any actual violence.
The rebellion ultimately led to the reinstatement of Mara as Prime Minister.
This was not the only coup in Fijian history, but was definitely the biggest.
Fiji is one of the most developed islands in the Pacific, although it is still considered a developing country.
Fiji has a free economy.
Their economy is the 98th freest in the world.
Most of their income comes from tourism and food exports.
Fiji is full of rich island culture, delicious food, and gorgeous scenery.
White sand beaches, plenty of islands to explore, and jungle treks complete with 5-star hotels make Fiji's income grow by 12.4% each year.
Fiji makes an average of at least $350 million a year on tourism.
About $955M of Fiji's income come from exports. Frozen fish, fresh fish, and processed fish make up about 10% of all of Fiji's exports.
rice, coconuts, sweet potatoes, tapioca, sugar, bananas, and mineral water
Tourism makes up about 18% of Fiji's income.
Beaches, mountains, and rainforests are common attractions
Estimated GDP- $4.218 billion
Every US Dollar is worth about 1.8 Fijian dollars.
7.6% unemployment rate
31% under the poverty line
Their GDP grows 3% every year.
Their inflation rate is 2.9%.
All Smiles Here
The most iconic thing about Fijian way of life is that the Fijian people are very laid back and happy individuals. Unlike the USA, they don't live a rushed lifestyle. They approach everything with care and don't set many deadlines. Though respect and community are values that remain important to them.
The Culture of Fiji is a melting pot of Native Fijian, Indian, Polynesian, and Melanesian influences.
The official language of Fiji is English.
There has recently been some turmoil over whether the national language should be English or Fijian, but English eventually conquered.
There are two main groups in Fiji: the Native Fijians of Polynesian and Melanesian descent and the Indo-Fijians labor contractors from India.
Population: 0.9 million
Fijian 51%, Indian 44%, European and other Pacific Islanders, Chinese and other 5%.
The European missionaries and Indian labor workers both influenced religion.
52% are Christians and 38% are Hindu.
The capital is Suva, named after old European settlements.
Many ancient Fijian traditions have lived on, especially in the artistic aspects. India's influence sparked more painting, the Melanesians with pottery and Fijians stay true to their roots with war dances.
Both Indians and Fijians play a big role in the cuisine of Fiji.
Indians bring spicy foods, like curry to the table, as well as things like lagumes and the use of a lot of vegetables
Fijians grow and catch their own food so they use simple things like fresh fruits, coconut milk, seafood, and their main starches like yuka and cassava.
Fijians live in villages with Head Chiefs.
Equality isn't a trait the villages possess.
The chiefs dictate who owns property and what the days activities are, like fishing, hunting, gathering, or sewing.
Fijians have collective property.
Education is expensive so most Fijians have an 8th grade education.
Indians are very ambitious and aggressive.
They pay for education to be doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, and five-star chefs.
They exhibit more individualism like the U.S. does.
Beginning of Christianity
Shipwrecked sailors and runaway convicts from Australia were the first Europeans to land and live among the Fijians.
This brought about missionaries and traders in the 19th century
At first, the missionaries had lots of trouble...
Life is like this: sometimes sun, sometimes rain.
Fijian proverbs are very popular in Fiji, reminding people to live a good life- carefree with positive vibes.
Fiji is a landmine of adventurous places to explore and new people to meet.
SAVALA ISLAND DAY CRUISE
Enjoy a day full of sun and white sand on Savala Island. Refer to your brochure for more information.
Quench your thirst for adventure and join us to explore the magical reefs of the islands.
Come see the awe-inspiring, most famous waterfall in Fiji and enjoy the peaceful views of Bouma National Heritage Park.
Poseidon Underwater Hotel
Appreciate the wonders of Fiji from a different point of view.