|Consisting of more than
300 volcanic and coral islands, the Fiji archipelago
is at the cross roads of the South Pacific. In the days of sailing
ships, it was known as The Cannibal Isles and cautiously avoided
by mariners because of its fierce warriors and treacherous waters.
More recently, Fiji's tropical climate and location on Pacific air
routes have made it a perfect spot for tourists.
However, a coup by native Fijians in 1987, followed by a further
coup in 2000, caused immense harm to the tourism industry and to
Fiji's international reputation. Resentment over the 2,000 coup
persists, with bitter divisions over a proposed bill that would
give amnesties to those involved in it. Although the islands now
enjoy reasonable steadiness, nothing has been done to address the
underlying causes of Fiji's political problems.
Fiji's population, which resides mostly on the
2 main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, is divided almost equally
between indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians, the descendents of
indentured labourers brought from India. Mixing between the 2 groups
is minimal, and informal segregation runs deep at almost every level
Regardless of the troubled past of the archipelago, Fijians are
known as some of the friendliest people in the
world. They are not judgmental of other people and will seldom express
a negative opinion. Customs still exist in the more traditional
villages, especially those distant from towns and urban centres.
And of course, Fiji is where the Cloud Breaker, the incredible 6
metre wave was found offshore at Tavarua, a place which still draws
surfers from around the world.
||Fiji visitors bureau
||Guide to Fiji
from lonely planet