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Last updated : Nov 2009
Fiji Social Profile
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Food & Drink

International cuisine is available, however the local cooking is Fijian and Indian. Table service is usual, although some establishments offer buffet-style food at lunchtime. Hotels frequently serve meals to non residents. Bars and cocktail lounges have table and / or counter service. Only licensed restaurants, clubs and hotel bars can serve alcohol.

National specialties include Kassaua (tapioca, often boiled, baked or grated and cooked in coconut cream with sugar and mashed bananas), Kakoda (a marinated local fish steamed in coconut cream and lime) and Rourou (a taro leaf dish).

Duruka (an unusual asparagus like vegetable in season during April and May) and Breadfruit are also specialities, as well as lovo (feast of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit cooked in covered pits).

National drinks consist of a wide range of choices, including the traditional kava. Traditionally, the drink was prepared by virgins, who chewed the root into a soft pulpy mass before adding water. It is made from the root of the pepper plant and the yaqona drinking ceremony is still significant in the Fijian tradition, although it has also become a social drink.

Carlton (a local beer brewed in Suva), Fiji Bitter (brewed in Lautoka), Meridan Moselle and Suvanna Moselle (local wines) are also available drinks, as well as Booth’s Gin, Bounty Fiji Golden Rum, Cossack Vodka and Old Club Whisky (produced by South Pacific Distilleries).


Major hotels and resorts have dancing and live bands. There are also nightclubs with entertainment, particularly in Suva. Cinemas show Indian and English language and films. Most social activity, however, is in private clubs and visitors can attain temporary membership through hotels.

Hotels offer Fijian entertainment (meke). Suva has several bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Just off Victoria Parade travellers will find numerous places to while the night away. There is a jazz and blues bar, a pizzeria and even an Irish themed pub. The many nightclubs include The Planet, Signals and Purple Haze, playing an eclectic mix of music.


Favourite buys are filigree jewellery, woodcarvings (such as kava bowls), seashells, polished coconut shells, woven work (such as coasters, mats, hats, fans and trays), tapa cloth and pearls. Bargaining is not usual in shops. Some shopkeepers will give a discount with large purchases.

Duty free items are available and include televisions, pewter, cameras, watches, binoculars, clocks, lighters, hi fi equipment, crystal and porcelain.

Shopping hours are Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 7.00 pm, Saturday 8.00 am to 1.00 pm (some shops have half day closing on Wednesday and are open later on Friday).


Small tips are recommended only for special services.