Fiji
Overview
Fiji ˈfiːdʒiː officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation
Island nation
An island country is a state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 47 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.-Politics:...

 in Melanesia
Melanesia
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises most of the islands immediately north and northeast of Australia...

 in the South Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 about 1100 nautical miles (2,037.2 km) northeast of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

's North Island
North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...

. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

 to the west, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

's New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

 to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec
Kermadec Islands
The Kermadec Islands are a subtropical island arc in the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand's North Island, and a similar distance southwest of Tonga...

 to the southeast, Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

 to the east, the Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

s, France's Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands , is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast,...

 to the northeast and Tuvalu
Tuvalu
Tuvalu , formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls...

 to the north.

The majority of Fiji's islands were formed through volcanic activity started around 150 million years ago.
Encyclopedia
Fiji ˈfiːdʒiː officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation
Island nation
An island country is a state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 47 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.-Politics:...

 in Melanesia
Melanesia
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises most of the islands immediately north and northeast of Australia...

 in the South Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 about 1100 nautical miles (2,037.2 km) northeast of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

's North Island
North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...

. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

 to the west, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

's New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

 to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec
Kermadec Islands
The Kermadec Islands are a subtropical island arc in the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand's North Island, and a similar distance southwest of Tonga...

 to the southeast, Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

 to the east, the Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

s, France's Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands , is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast,...

 to the northeast and Tuvalu
Tuvalu
Tuvalu , formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls...

 to the north.

The majority of Fiji's islands were formed through volcanic activity started around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC. The country comprises an archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of more than 332 island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

s, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islet
Islet
An islet is a very small island.- Types :As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle", use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability....

s, amounting to a total land area of circa 18300 square kilometres (7,065.7 sq mi). The two major islands, Viti Levu
Viti Levu
Viti Levu is the largest island in the Republic of Fiji, the site of the nation's capital, Suva, and home to a large majority of Fiji's population.- Geography and economy :...

 and Vanua Levu
Vanua Levu
Vanua Levu , formerly known as Sandalwood Island, is the second largest island of Fiji. Located 64 kilometres to the north of the larger Viti Levu, the island has an area of 5,587.1 km² and a population of some 130,000.- Geography :...

, account for 87% of the population of almost 850,000. The former contains Suva
Suva
Suva features a tropical rainforest climate under the Koppen climate classification. The city sees a copious amount of precipitation during the course of the year. Suva averages 3,000 mm of precipitation annually with its driest month, July averaging 125 mm of rain per year. In fact,...

, the capital and largest city. Most of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres. Viti Levu's interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch and the British explored Fiji. Fiji was a British colony up until 1970; British occupation lasted almost a century. Because of the abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources, Fiji is one of the most developed economies in the Pacific island realm. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. The country's currency is the Fijian dollar
Fijian dollar
The dollar has been the currency of Fiji since 1969 and was also the currency between 1867 and 1873. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively FJ$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

.

Fiji has a local government system where city and town councils fall under the general supervision of the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development. President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
Epeli Nailatikau
Brigadier-General Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, CF, LVO, OBE, MSD, OStJ, is a Fijian chief and the current President of Fiji. He has had a long career in the Military, diplomatic service, and government...

 became Fiji's president, after a high court ruled that the military leadership was unlawfully appointed after a 2006 coup. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 allowed for many thousands of Fijians to volunteer to aid in Allies' efforts via their attachment to the New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n army units. The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), consist of land and naval units.

Etymology

Fiji's MAIN island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name "Fiji" is derived, though the common English pronunciation is based on that of their island neighbours in Tonga. Its emergence was best described as follows:


Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga. They were described as formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals, builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific, but not great sailors. They inspired awe amongst the Tongans, and all their Manufactures, especially bark cloth and clubs, were highly esteemed and much in demand. They called their home Viti, but the Tongans called it Fisi, and it was by this foreign pronunciation, Fiji, first promulgated by Captain James Cook, that these islands are now known.

History

Pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 art from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled before or around 3500–1000 BC, although the question of Pacific migration still lingers. It is believed that the Lapita people or the ancestors of the Polynesians
Polynesians
The Polynesian peoples is a grouping of various ethnic groups that speak Polynesian languages, a branch of the Oceanic languages within the Austronesian languages, and inhabit Polynesia. They number approximately 1,500,000 people...

 settled the islands first but not much is known of what became of them after the Melanesians
Melanesians
Melanesians are an ethnic group in Melanesia. The original inhabitants of the group of islands now named Melanesia were likely the ancestors of the present-day Papuan-speaking people...

 arrived; they may have had some influence on the new culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, and archaeological evidence shows that they would have then moved on to Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

, Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 and even Hawai'i.

The first settlements in Fiji were started by voyaging traders and settlers from the west about 5000 years ago. Lapita
Lapita
Lapita is a term applied to an ancient Pacific Ocean archaeological culture which is believed by many archaeologists to be the common ancestor of several cultures in Polynesia, Micronesia, and some coastal areas of Melanesia...

 pottery shards have been found at numerous excavations around the country. Aspects of Fijian culture are similar to Melanesian culture to the western Pacific but have stronger connection to the older Polynesian cultures such as those of Samoa and Tonga. Trade between these three nations long before European contact is quite obvious with canoe
Canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

s made from native Fijian trees found in Tonga and Tongan words being part of the language of the Lau
Lau Islands
The Lau Islands of Fiji are situated in the southern Pacific Ocean, just east of the Koro Sea. Of this chain of about one hundred islands and islets, about thirty are inhabited...

 group of islands. Pots made in Fiji have been found in Samoa and even the Marquesas Islands
Marquesas Islands
The Marquesas Islands enana and Te Fenua `Enata , both meaning "The Land of Men") are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas are located at 9° 00S, 139° 30W...

.

Across 1000 kilometres from east to west, Fiji has been a nation of many languages. Fiji's history was one of settlement but also of mobility. Over the centuries, a unique Fijian culture developed. Constant warfare and cannibalism
Cannibalism
Cannibalism is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh of other human beings. It is also called anthropophagy...

 between warring tribes was quite rampant and very much part of everyday life. During the 19th century, Ratu Udre Udre
Udre Udre
Ratu Udre Udre was a Fijian chief. He holds the Guinness World Record for “most prolific cannibal”. During the 19th century, Udre Udre reportedly ate between 872 and 999 people. He kept a stone for each body he ate; the stones were placed alongside his tomb in Rakiraki, in northern Viti Levu...

 is said to have consumed 872 people and to have made a pile of stones to record his achievement. According to Deryck Scarr ("A Short History of Fiji", 1984, page 3), "Ceremonial occasions saw freshly killed corpses piled up for eating. 'Eat me!' was a proper ritual greeting from a commoner to a chief." Scarr also reported that the posts that supported the chief's house or the priest's temple would have sacrificed bodies buried underneath them, with the rationale that the spirit of the ritually sacrificed person would invoke the gods to help support the structure, and "men were sacrificed whenever posts had to be renewed" (Scarr, page 3). Also, when a new boat, or drua, was launched, if it was not hauled over men as rollers, crushing them to death, "it would not be expected to float long" (Scarr, page 19"). Fijians today regard those times as "na gauna ni tevoro" (time of the devil). The ferocity of the cannibal lifestyle deterred European sailors from going near Fijian waters, giving Fiji the name Cannibal Isles, in turn Fiji was unknown to the rest of the outside world.

The Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 explorer Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the VOC . His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands...

 visited Fiji in 1643 while looking for the Great Southern Continent. Europeans settled on the islands permanently beginning in the 19th century. The first European settlers to Fiji were beachcombers
Beachcombing
Beachcombing and beachcomber are words with multiple, but related, meanings that have evolved over time.A beachcomber is someone who "combs" the beach, and the intertidal zone in general, looking for things of value, interest or utility....

, missionaries, whalers and those engaged in the then booming sandalwood
Sandalwood
Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

 and bêche-de-mer
Bêche-de-mer
Bêche-de-mer can refer to:* Bislama; Vanuatu Pidgin English* Sea cucumber...

 trade.

Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau was a Fijian chief and warlord from the island of Bau, off the eastern coast of Viti Levu, who united part of Fiji's warring tribes under his leadership. He then styled himself as King of Fiji or Tui Viti and then to Vunivalu or Protector after the Cession of Fiji to Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

. The British subjugated the islands as a colony in 1874, and the British brought over India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n contract labourers to work on the sugar plantations as the then Governor and also the first governor of Fiji, Arthur Charles Hamilton-Gordon, adopted a policy disallowing the use of native labour and no interference in their culture and way of life. In 1875–76, an epidemic of measles
Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola or morbilli, is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses...

 killed over 40,000 Fijians, about one-third of the Fijian population. The population in 1942 was approximately 210,000 of whom 94,000 were Indians, 102,000 native Fijians, 2,000 Chinese and 5,000 Europeans.

The British granted Fiji independence in 1970. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups
Fiji coups of 1987
The Fiji coups of 1987 resulted in the overthrow of the elected government of Fijian Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra, the deposition of Elizabeth II as Queen of Fiji, and in the declaration of a republic...

 in 1987 because the government was perceived as dominated by the Indo-Fijian (Indian) community. The second 1987 coup saw the Fijian monarchy and the Governor General
Governor-General of Fiji
Fiji became a British Crown Colony in 1874, and an independent dominion in the Commonwealth in 1970. Queen Elizabeth II remained the Head of State, holding the title of Queen of Fiji until 1987, when she formally abdicated following two military coups...

 replaced by a non-executive President, and the country changed the long form of its name from Dominion of Fiji to Republic of Fiji (and to Republic of the Fiji Islands in 1997). The coups and accompanying civil unrest contributed to heavy Indo-Fijian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties but ensured that Melanesians became the majority.

In 1990, the new Constitution institutionalised the ethnic Fijian domination of the political system. The Group Against Racial Discrimination
Group Against Racial Discrimination (Fiji)
The Group Against Racial Discrimination ' was formed in Fiji in 1990 to act as a pressure group against the unilateral imposition of a discriminatory constitution by the military Government controlled by Major General Sitiveni Rabuka....

 (GARD) was formed to oppose the unilaterally imposed constitution and to restore the 1970 constitution. Sitiveni Rabuka
Sitiveni Rabuka
Major-General Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka, OBE, MSD, OStJ, is best known as the instigator of two military coups that shook Fiji in 1987. He was later democratically elected the third Prime Minister, serving from 1992 to 1999...

, the Lieutenant Colonel who carried out the 1987 coup became Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 in 1992, following elections held under the new constitution. Three years later, Rabuka established the Constitutional Review Commission, which in 1997 led to a new Constitution, which was supported by most leaders of the indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian communities. Fiji is re-admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

.

The new millennium brought along another coup, instigated by George Speight
George Speight
George Speight , occasionally known as Ilikimi Naitini, was the principal instigator of the Fiji coup of 2000, in which he kidnapped thirty-six government officials and held them from May 19, 2000 to July 13, 2000...

, that effectively toppled the government of Mahendra Chaudhry
Mahendra Chaudhry
Mahendra Pal Chaudhry is a Fijian politician and the leader of the Fiji Labour Party...

, who became the country's first Indo-Fijian Prime Minister following the 1997 constitution. Commodore Frank Bainimarama
Frank Bainimarama
Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, CF, MSD, OStJ, Fijian Navy, known commonly as Frank Bainimarama and sometimes by the chiefly title Ratu , is a Fijian naval officer and politician. He is the Commander of the Fijian Military Forces and, as of April 2009, Prime Minister...

 assumed executive power after the resignation, possibly forced, of President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara. Fiji was rocked by two mutinies at Suva's Queen Elizabeth Barracks, later in 2000 when rebel soldiers went on a rampage. The High Court
High Court (Fiji)
The High Court of Fiji is one of three courts established by Chapter 9 of the Constitution of Fiji—the others being the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The Constitution empowers Parliament to create other courts; these are subordinate to the High Court, which is authorized to oversee all...

 ordered the reinstatement of the constitution, and in September 2001, a general election was held to restore democracy, which was then won by interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase
Laisenia Qarase
Laisenia Qarase is a Fijian political figure. He served as the sixth Prime Minister of Fiji from 2000 to 2006. After the military quashed the coup that led to the removal of Mahendra Chaudhry, Qarase joined the Interim Military Government as a financial adviser on 9 June 2000, until his appointment...

's Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua
Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua
The Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua is a political party in Fiji...

 party.

In 2005, amid much controversy, the Qarase government proposed a Reconciliation and Unity Commission, with power to recommend compensation for victims of the 2000 coup, and amnesty for its perpetrators. However, the military strongly opposed this bill, especially the nation's top military commander, Frank Bainimarama. Bainimaram agreed with detractors who said that it was a sham to grant amnesty to supporters of the present government who played roles in the violent coup. His attack on the legislation, which continued unremittingly throughout May and into June and July, further strained his already tense relationship with the government. In late November 2006 and early December 2006, Bainimarama was instrumental in the 2006 Fijian coup d'état
2006 Fijian coup d'état
The Fijian coup d'état of December 2006 occurred as a continuation of the pressure which had been building since the military unrest of the 2000 Fijian coup d'état and 2005-2006 Fijian political crisis....

. Bainimarama handed down a list of demands to Qarase after a bill was put forward to parliament, part of which would have offered pardons to participants in the 2000 coup attempt. He gave Qarase an ultimatum date of December 4 to accede to these demands or to resign from his post. Qarase adamantly refused to either concede or resign and on December 5, President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo
Josefa Iloilo
Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda, CF, MBE, MSD, KStJ was the President of Fiji from 2000 until 2009, excluding a brief period from 5 December 2006 until 4 January 2007 . He held the traditional title of Tui Vuda, the paramount chief of the Vuda district in Ba Province on Fiji's northwest coast...

, was said to have signed a legal order dissolving Parliament after meeting with Bainimarama.
In April 2009, the Fiji Court of Appeal ruled that the 2006 coup had been illegal. This began the 2009 Fijian constitutional crisis
2009 Fijian constitutional crisis
The Fijian constitutional crisis of 2009 began on Friday, 10 April 2009. Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo announced on a nationwide radio broadcast that he had suspended the Constitution of Fiji, dismissed all judges and constitutional appointees and assumed all governance in the country after...

. President Iloilo abrogated the constitution, removed all office holders under the Constitution including all judges and the Governor of the Central Bank. He then reappointed Bainimarama as Prime Minister under his "New Order" and imposed a "Public Emergency Regulation" limiting internal travel and allowing press censorship.

For a country of its size, Fiji has fairly large armed forces, and has been a major contributor
Fiji and the United Nations
The Republic of Fiji established its Permanent Mission to the United Nations on 13 October 1970, three days after obtaining its independence from the United Kingdom. Since then, Fiji's participation in the United Nations has been notable primarily for its active role in UN peacekeeping operations,...

 to UN peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world. In addition, a significant number of former military personnel have served in the lucrative security sector in Iraq following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Politics

Politics of Fiji normally take place in the framework of a parliamentary
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 representative democratic
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, whereby the Prime Minister of Fiji is the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, the President the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

, and of a multi-party system. Executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 and the Parliament of Fiji. The Judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Since independence there have been four coups in Fiji, two in 1987, one in 2000 and one in late 2006
2006 Fijian coup d'état
The Fijian coup d'état of December 2006 occurred as a continuation of the pressure which had been building since the military unrest of the 2000 Fijian coup d'état and 2005-2006 Fijian political crisis....

. The military has been either ruling directly, or heavily influencing governments since 1987.

2006 military takeover

Citing corruption in the government, Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama
Frank Bainimarama
Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, CF, MSD, OStJ, Fijian Navy, known commonly as Frank Bainimarama and sometimes by the chiefly title Ratu , is a Fijian naval officer and politician. He is the Commander of the Fijian Military Forces and, as of April 2009, Prime Minister...

, Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, staged a military takeover on the 5 December 2006 against the Prime Minister that he himself had installed after the 2000 coup. There had been two military coups in 1987 and one in 2000. The commodore took over the powers of the presidency and dissolved the parliament, paving the way for the military to continue the take over. The coup was the culmination of weeks of speculation following conflict between the elected Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, and Commodore Bainimarama. Bainimarama had repeatedly issued demands and deadlines to the Prime Minister. At particular issue was previously pending legislation to pardon those involved in the 2000 coup. Bainimarama named Jona Senilagakali
Jona Senilagakali
Dr Jona Baravilala Senilagakali was a medical doctor and diplomat who was seventh Prime Minister of Fiji. He resigned as Prime Minister on 5 January 2007, but on 8 January he was appointed interim Minister for Health...

 caretaker Prime Minister. The next week Bainimarama said he would ask the Great Council of Chiefs to restore executive powers to President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.

On 4 January 2007, the military announced that it was restoring executive power to President Iloilo, who made a broadcast endorsing the actions of the military. The next day, Iloilo named Bainimarama as the interim Prime Minister, indicating that the Military was still effectively in control.

In the wake of the take over, reports have emerged of intimidation of some of those critical of the interim regime. It is alleged that two individuals have died in military custody since December 2006. These deaths have been investigated and suspects charged but not yet brought to court.

On 9 April 2009 the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision that Bainimarama's take-over of Qarase's government was legal, and declared the Interim Government illegal. Bainimarama agreed to step down as Interim PM immediately, along with his government, and President Iloilo was to appoint "a distinguished person independent of the parties to this litigation as caretaker Prime Minister, ...to direct the issuance of writs for an election..."

On 10 April 2009 President Iloilo suspended the Constitution
2009 Fijian constitutional crisis
The Fijian constitutional crisis of 2009 began on Friday, 10 April 2009. Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo announced on a nationwide radio broadcast that he had suspended the Constitution of Fiji, dismissed all judges and constitutional appointees and assumed all governance in the country after...

 of Fiji, dismissed the Court of Appeal and, in his own words, "appoint[ed] [him]self as the Head of the State of Fiji under a new legal order". As President, Iloilo had been Head of State prior to his abrogation of the Constitution, but that position had been determined by the Constitution itself. The "new legal order" did not depend on the Constitution, thus requiring a "reappointment" of the Head of State. "You will agree with me that this is the best way forward for our beloved Fiji", he said. Bainimarama was re-appointed as Interim Prime Minister; he, in turn, re-instated his previous Cabinet.

On 2 May 2009, Fiji became the first nation ever to have been suspended from participation in the Pacific Islands Forum
Pacific Islands Forum
The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum...

, for its failure to hold democratic elections by that date. Nevertheless, it remains a member of the Forum.

On 1 September 2009, Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. The action was taken because Commodore Frank Bainimarama refused to hold elections by 2010, elections that the Commonwealth of Nations had demanded after the 2006 coup. He states a need for more time to end a voting system that heavily favours ethnic Fijians at the expense of the multi-ethnic minorities. Critics claim that he has suspended the constitution and was responsible for human rights violations by arresting and detaining opponents.

Ethnic groups

The population of Fiji is mostly made up of native Fijians
Fijian people
Fijian people are the major indigenous people of the Fiji Islands, and live in an area informally called Melanesia. The Fijian people are believed to have arrived in Fiji from western Melanesia approximately 3,500 years ago, though the exact origins of the Fijian people are unknown...

, who are Melanesia
Melanesia
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises most of the islands immediately north and northeast of Australia...

ns (54.3%), although many also have Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

n ancestry, and Indo-Fijians (38.1%), descendants of Indian contract labourers brought to the islands by the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 colonial powers in the 19th century. The percentage of the population of Fijian India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n descent has declined significantly over the last two decades due to migration for various reasons. The Fiji coup of 2000
Fiji coup of 2000
The Fiji coup of 2000 was a complicated affair involving a civilian putsch by hardline Fijian nationalists against the elected government of a non-native Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, on 19 May 2000, the attempt by President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara to assert executive authority on 27 May, and...

 provoked a violent backlash against the Indo-Fijians for a time. There is also a small but significant group of descendants of indentured laborers from Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

.

About 1.2% are Rotuman
Rotuman people
The Rotuman people are the indigenous inhabitants of Rotuma, a small island group forming part of the Republic of Fiji. The island itself is a cultural melting pot at the crossroads of the Micronesian, Melanesian and Polynesian divisions of the Pacific Ocean, and due to the seafaring nature of...

 — natives of Rotuma Island, whose culture has more in common with countries such as Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

 or Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 than with the rest of Fiji. There are also small, but economically significant, groups of Europeans, Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

, and other Pacific island minorities.
The total membership of other ethnic groups of Pacific Islanders is about 7,300. Tongans, who as traders and warriors have lived in Fiji for hundreds of years, form the largest part of this community. In the old days there was active commerce between Tonga and Fiji, and later in the history of this relationship the Fijians in the Lau Islands became vassals to the King of Tonga. One particular reason Tongans and Samoans came to Fiji was to build drua (large double-hulled canoes) which they couldn’t build on their own islands because of the lack of proper timber.

Relationships between ethnic Fijians and Indo-Fijians at a political level have often been strained, and the tension between the two communities has dominated politics in the islands for the past generation. The level of tension varies between different regions of the country.

Demonym

Within Fiji, the term Fijian refers solely to indigenous Fijians
Fijian people
Fijian people are the major indigenous people of the Fiji Islands, and live in an area informally called Melanesia. The Fijian people are believed to have arrived in Fiji from western Melanesia approximately 3,500 years ago, though the exact origins of the Fijian people are unknown...

: it denotes an ethnicity, not a nationality. Constitutionally, citizens of Fiji are referred to as "Fiji Islanders" though the term Fiji Nationals is used for official purposes. In August 2008, shortly before the proposed People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress
People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress
The People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress is a proposed legal document which would complement the Constitution of the Republic of the Fiji Islands. It would establish compulsory guidelines for any government policy in Fiji over the coming years...

 was due to be released to the public, it was announced that it recommended a change in the name of Fiji's citizens. If the proposal were adopted, all citizens of Fiji, whatever their ethnicity, would be called "Fijians". The proposal would change the English name of indigenous Fijians from "Fijians" to itaukei, the Fijian
Fijian language
Fijian is an Austronesian language of the Malayo-Polynesian family spoken in Fiji. It has 450,000 first-language speakers, which is less than half the population of Fiji, but another 200,000 speak it as a second language...

 word for indigenous Fijians.

Deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase
Laisenia Qarase
Laisenia Qarase is a Fijian political figure. He served as the sixth Prime Minister of Fiji from 2000 to 2006. After the military quashed the coup that led to the removal of Mahendra Chaudhry, Qarase joined the Interim Military Government as a financial adviser on 9 June 2000, until his appointment...

 reacted by stating that the name "Fijian" belonged exclusively to indigenous Fijians, and that he would oppose any change in legislation enabling non-indigenous Fijians to use it. The Methodist Church
Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma
The Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma is the largest Christian denomination in Fiji, with 36.2 percent of the total population at the 1996 census...

, to which a large majority of indigenous Fijians belong, also reacted strongly to the proposal, stating that allowing any Fiji citizen to call themselves "Fijian" would be "daylight robbery" inflicted on the indigenous population.

In an address to the nation during the constitutional crisis of April 2009
2009 Fijian constitutional crisis
The Fijian constitutional crisis of 2009 began on Friday, 10 April 2009. Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo announced on a nationwide radio broadcast that he had suspended the Constitution of Fiji, dismissed all judges and constitutional appointees and assumed all governance in the country after...

, military leader and interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who has been at the forefront of the attempt to change the definition of "Fijian", stated:
In May 2010, Attorney-General
Attorney-General (Fiji)
Fiji's chief governmental legal officer is the Attorney General. According to the Constitution of Fiji, the Attorney-General is required to be a qualified lawyer and sits in the Cabinet. The office of the Attorney-General is the oldest surviving executive office in Fiji, having been established...

 Aiyaz Saiyed Khaiyum reiterated that the term "Fijian" should apply to all Fiji nationals, but the statement was again met with protest. A spokesperson for the Viti Landowners and Resource Owners Association claimed that even fourth-generation descendants of migrants did not fully understand "what it takes to be a Fijian", and added that the term refers to a legal standing, since legislation affords specific rights to "Fijians" (meaning, in legislation, indigenous Fijians). Fiji academic Brij Lal
Brij Lal
Brij V. Lal is a Indo-Fijian historian . He was born in Labasa, on the northern island of Vanua Levu. He was educated at the University of South Pacific, the University of British Columbia and the Australian National University.- Academic career :...

, a prominent critic of the Bainimarama government, said he "would not be surprised" if the new definition of the word "Fijian" were included in the government's projected new Constitution, and that he personally saw "no reason the term Fijian should not apply to everyone from Fiji".

Religion

Indigenous Fijians are mostly Christian (40% at the 1996 census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

), and the Indo-Fijians are mostly Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

. Breakdown per the CIA world factbook: Christian 64.5% (Methodist 34.6%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, Anglican 0.8%, other 10.4%), Hindu 27.9%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other or unspecified 0.3%, none 0.7% (2007 census).

The largest Christian denomination is the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma
Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma
The Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma is the largest Christian denomination in Fiji, with 36.2 percent of the total population at the 1996 census...

. With 36.2% of the total population (including almost two-thirds of ethnic Fijians), the proportion of the population adhering to Methodism
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

 is higher in Fiji than in any other nation. Roman Catholics
Roman Catholic Church in Fiji
The Roman Catholic Church in Fiji is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome.-Demographics and organization:...

 (8.9%), the Assemblies of God
Assemblies of God
The Assemblies of God , officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely-associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination...

 (4%), the Seventh-day Adventists
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

 (2.9%) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (2.2%), also are significant. Fiji also is the base for the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia (part of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is a church of the Anglican Communion serving New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands...

). These and other denominations also have small numbers of Indo-Fijian members; Christians of all kinds comprise 6.1% of the Indo-Fijian population. Much major Roman Catholic missionary activity was conducted through the Vicariate Apostolic of Fiji
Vicariate Apostolic of Fiji
The Vicariate Apostolic of Fiji was a Roman Catholic missionary jurisdiction comprising the islands belonging to the Fiji archipelago till 1966.-Missions:...

, which has since been renamed the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Suva, which spans the whole of Fiji.

Hindus belong mostly to the Sanatan sect (74.3% of all Hindus) or else are unspecified (22%). The small Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda on 10 April 1875. He was a sannyasi who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya...

 sect claims the membership of some 3.7% of all Hindus in Fiji. Muslims are mostly Sunni (59.7%) and Shia (36.7%), with an Ahmadiyya minority (3.6%). The Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

 religion comprises 0.9% of the Indo-Fijian population, or 0.4% of the national population in Fiji. Their ancestors came from the Punjab region of India, but are a much recent wave of immigrants who did not live through the indenture system . The Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 has over 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies
Spiritual Assembly
Spiritual Assembly is a term given by `Abdu'l-Bahá to refer to elected councils that govern the Bahá'í Faith. Because the Bahá'í Faith has no clergy, they carry out the affairs of the community...

 throughout Fiji and Baha'is live in more than 80 localities. The first Baha'i in the islands was a New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

er who arrived in 1924. There is also a small Jewish population. Every year the Israeli Embassy organises a Passover celebration with approximately 100 people attending.

Administrative and provincial divisions

Fiji is divided into Four Major Divisions:
  • Central
    Central Division, Fiji
    The Central Division of Fiji is one of Fiji's four divisions. It consists of five provinces - Naitasiri, Namosi, Rewa, Serua and Tailevu.The capital of the division is Suva, which is also the capital of Fiji. The division includes the eastern part of the largest island in Fiji, Viti Levu, with a...

  • Eastern
    Eastern Division, Fiji
    The Eastern Division of Fiji is one of Fiji's four divisions. It consists of Kadavu Province, Lau Province, Lomaiviti Province and Rotuma.The capital of the division is Levuka, on the Ovalau island...

  • Northern
    Northern Division, Fiji
    The Northern Division is one of four Divisions into which Fiji's fourteen Provinces are grouped for local government purposes. The administrative centre of the Division, where main governmental departments are located, is Labasa....

  • Western
    Western Division, Fiji
    The Western Division of Fiji is one of Fiji's four divisions. It consists of the three provinces Ba, Nadroga-Navosa and Ra.The capital of the division is Lautoka. The division includes the western part of the largest island in Fiji, Viti Levu, with a few outlying islands, including the Yasawa...



These divisions are further divided into 14 provinces:
  • Ba
    Ba Province
    Ba is a province of Fiji, occupying the north-western sector of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island. It is one of fourteen Provinces in the nation of Fiji, and one of eight based in Viti Levu. It is Fiji's most populous Province, with a population of 231,760 - more than a quarter of the nation's...

  • Bua
    Bua Province
    Bua is one of fourteen provinces of Fiji. Located in the west of the northern island of Vanua Levu, it is one of three northern provinces, and has a land area of 1,379 square kilometers. Its population at the 2007 census, the most recent to date, was 14,176, making it the fourth least-populous...

  • Cakaudrove
    Cakaudrove
    Cakaudrove is one of fourteen provinces of Fiji, and one of three based principally on the northern island of Vanua Levu, occupying the south-eastern third of the island and including the nearby islands of Taveuni, Rabi, Kioa, and numerous other islands in the Vanua Levu Group...

  • Kadavu
    Kadavu Province
    Kadavu Province is one of fourteen provinces of Fiji, and forms part of the Eastern Division, which also includes the Provinces of Lau, Lomaiviti and Rotuma. Kadavu also belongs to the Burebasaga Confederacy, a hierarchy of chiefs from southern and western Fiji.It consists of Kadavu Island, Ono...

  • Lau
    Lau Islands
    The Lau Islands of Fiji are situated in the southern Pacific Ocean, just east of the Koro Sea. Of this chain of about one hundred islands and islets, about thirty are inhabited...

  • Lomaiviti Province
    Lomaiviti Province
    Lomaiviti Province is one of the 14 provinces of Fiji. Administratively, it forms part of Fiji's Eastern Division and of the Kubuna Confederacy, one of three traditional chiefly hierarchies in Fiji.Geographically it consists of the Lomaiviti Islands....

  • Macuata
    Macuata
    Macuata is one of Fiji's fourteen Provinces, and one of three based principally on the northern island of Vanua Levu, occupying the north-eastern 40 percent of the island. It has a land area of 2004 square kilometers....

  • Nadroga-Navosa
    Nadroga-Navosa
    NADROGA NAVOSA is one of the fourteen provinces of Fiji, and one of eight based in Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island. It is about 2,385 square kilometers and occupies the South-West and Central areas of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest and principal island. The province includes the Mamanuca Archipelago,...

  • Naitasiri
    Naitasiri
    Naitasiri is one of the 14 provinces of Fiji and one of eight based in Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island.-Geography and infrastructure:Naitasiri as a province covers 1,666 square kilometers , the Province occupies the area to the north and east of Suva, the capital...

  • Namosi
    Namosi
    Namosi is one of Fiji's fourteen Provinces, and one of eight based in Viti Levu, the largest island. Located to the west of Suva, the Province covers 570 square kilometers...

  • Ra
    Ra Province
    Ra is one of the fourteen provinces of Fiji. Occupying the northern area of Viti Levu, the largest island, it is one of eight Viti Levu-based Provinces. With a land area of 1341 square kilometers, it had a population of 29,464 at the 2007 census, the last to date...

  • Rewa
    Rewa Province
    Rewa is a province of Fiji. With a land area of 272 square kilometers , it includes the capital city of Suva and is in two parts - one including part of Suva's hinterland to the west, and a noncontiguous area to the east, separated from the rest of Rewa by Naitasiri Province...

  • Serua
    Serua
    Serua is one of Fiji's fourteen Provinces. Its 830 square kilometers occupy the southernmost areas of Viti Levu, being one of 8 provinces based on Fiji's largest island. It had a population of 18,249 at the 2007 census, the most recent to date...

  • Tailevu
    Tailevu
    Tailevu is one of the 14 provinces of Fiji. One of eight Provinces based in Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island, its 755 square kilometers occupy the south-eastern fringe of the island, along with some central areas. At the 2007 census, the most recent to date, it had a population of 55,692, the...



Fiji was also divided into 3 Confederacies or Governments during the reign of Cakobau, though these are not considered political divisions, they are still considered important in the social divisions of the indigenous Fijians:
  • The Burebasaga Confederacy
    Burebasaga Confederacy
    Burebasaga is the largest of the three confederacies that make up Fiji's House of Chiefs, to which all Fijian chiefs belong.-Composition of Burebasaga:...

  • The Kubuna Confederacy
    Kubuna Confederacy
    Kubuna is one of three confederacies which comprise Fiji's House of Chiefs, to which all of Fiji's chiefs belong.-Details of Kubuna:It consists of the provinces of Tailevu, Naitasiri, Lomaiviti, and parts of the western provinces of Ba, Ra...

  • The Tovata Confederacy
    Tovata Confederacy
    Tovata is one of three confederacies comprising the Fijian House of Chiefs, to which all of Fiji's chiefs belong.-Details of Tovata:It is located in the north east of the country, covering the provinces of Bua, Macuata and Cakaudrove on the northern island Vanua Levu, as well as the Lau Islands.The...


Geography

Fiji covers a total area of some 194000 square kilometres (74,903.8 sq mi) of which around 10% is land.

Fiji is the hub of the South West Pacific, midway between Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

 and the Kingdom of Tonga. The archipelago is located between 176° 53′ east and 178° 12′ west. The 180° meridian runs through Taveuni
Taveuni
Taveuni is the third-largest island in Fiji, after Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with a total land area of 435 square kilometers . The cigar-shaped island, a massive shield volcano which rises from the floor of the Pacific Ocean, is situated 6.5 kilometers to the east of Vanua Levu, across the...

 but the International Dateline is bent to give uniform time (UTC+12) to all of the Fiji group. With the exception of Rotuma, the Fiji group lies between 15° 42′ and 20° 02′ south. Rotuma
Rotuma
Rotuma is a Fijian dependency, consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets. The island group is home to a small but unique indigenous ethnic group which constitutes a recognizable minority within the population of Fiji, known as "Rotumans"...

 is located 220 nautical miles (407.4 km) north of the group, 360 nautical miles (666.7 km) from Suva, 12° 30′ south of the equator.

Fiji consists of 322 islands (of which 106 are inhabited) and 522 smaller islets. The two most important islands are Viti Levu
Viti Levu
Viti Levu is the largest island in the Republic of Fiji, the site of the nation's capital, Suva, and home to a large majority of Fiji's population.- Geography and economy :...

 and Vanua Levu
Vanua Levu
Vanua Levu , formerly known as Sandalwood Island, is the second largest island of Fiji. Located 64 kilometres to the north of the larger Viti Levu, the island has an area of 5,587.1 km² and a population of some 130,000.- Geography :...

, which account for approximately three-quarters of the total land area of the country. The islands are mountainous, with peaks up to 1,324 metres (4,341 ft), and covered with thick tropical forests. The highest point is Mount Tomanivi
Mount Tomanivi
Mount Tomanivi is an extinct volcano located in the northern highlands of Viti Levu. At , Mount Tomanivi is the highest mountain in Fiji. Previously named Mount Victoria, a trail leads to the summit of Tomanivi from the village of Navai. The main river systems, the Rewa, Navua, Sigatoka, and Ba,...

 on Viti Levu. Viti Levu hosts the capital city of Suva
Suva
Suva features a tropical rainforest climate under the Koppen climate classification. The city sees a copious amount of precipitation during the course of the year. Suva averages 3,000 mm of precipitation annually with its driest month, July averaging 125 mm of rain per year. In fact,...

, and is home to nearly three quarters of the population. Other important towns include Nadi
Nadi
Nadi is the third-largest conurbation in Fiji. It is located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu, and had a population of 42,284 at the most recent census, in 2007. Nadi is multiracial with many of its inhabitants Indian or Fijian, along with a large transient population of foreign...

 (the location of the international airport), and Lautoka
Lautoka
Lautoka is the second largest city of Fiji and the second largest in the South Pacific. It is in the west of the island of Viti Levu, 24 kilometres north of Nadi, and is the second port of entry in Fiji, after Suva. Lying in the heart of Fiji's sugar cane growing region, it is known as the Sugar...

, Fiji's second city with large sugar cane mills and a seaport.

The main towns on Vanua Levu are Labasa
Labasa
Labasa is a town in Fiji with a population of 27,949 at the most recent census held in 2007.Labasa is located in Macuata Province, in the north-eastern part of the island of Vanua Levu, and is the largest town on the island. The town itself is located on a delta formed by three rivers - the...

 and Savusavu
Savusavu
Savusavu is a town in the Fijian Province of Cakaudrove. The town is located on the south coast of Vanua Levu Island and had a population of 3,372 in the 2007 census.Savusavu is known as "the hidden paradise of Fiji."- Geography :...

. Other islands and island groups include Taveuni
Taveuni
Taveuni is the third-largest island in Fiji, after Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with a total land area of 435 square kilometers . The cigar-shaped island, a massive shield volcano which rises from the floor of the Pacific Ocean, is situated 6.5 kilometers to the east of Vanua Levu, across the...

 and Kadavu (the third and fourth largest islands respectively), the Mamanuca Group (just off Nadi) and Yasawa Group
Yasawa Islands
The Yasawa Group is an archipelago of about 20 volcanic islands in the Western Division of Fiji, with an approximate total area of 135 square kilometers.- Geography :The Yasawa volcanic group consists of six main islands and numerous smaller islets...

, which are popular tourist destinations, the Lomaiviti Group
Lomaiviti
The Lomaiviti archipelago of Fiji consists of seven main islands and a number of smaller ones. They cover a total area of 411 square kilometers, and had a population of 16,461 at the most recent census in 2007...

, off Suva, and the remote Lau Group
Lau Islands
The Lau Islands of Fiji are situated in the southern Pacific Ocean, just east of the Koro Sea. Of this chain of about one hundred islands and islets, about thirty are inhabited...

. Rotuma
Rotuma
Rotuma is a Fijian dependency, consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets. The island group is home to a small but unique indigenous ethnic group which constitutes a recognizable minority within the population of Fiji, known as "Rotumans"...

, some 270 nautical miles (500 km) north of the archipelago, has a special administrative status
Local government of Fiji
Fiji is divided administratively into four divisions, which are further subdivided into fourteen provinces; the self-governing island of Rotuma and its dependencies lie outside any of the four divisions. Each division is headed by a Commissioner, appointed by the Fijian government...

 in Fiji, which nearest neighbour is Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

 in the east.

Climate

The climate in Fiji is tropical marine and warm most of the year round with minimal extremes. The warm season is from November till April and the cooler season May to October. Temperature in the cool season still averages 22 °C (71.6 °F).

Rainfall is variable, the warmer season experiences heavier rainfall, especially inland. Winds are moderate, though cyclones occur about once a year (10–12 times per decade).

Economy

Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

, and fish resources, is one of the more developed of the Pacific island economies, though still with a large subsistence sector. Natural resources include timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil and hydropower. Fiji experienced a period of rapid growth in the 1960s and 1970s but stagnated in the 1980s. The coup of 1987 caused further contraction.

Economic liberalization in the years following the coup created a boom in the garment industry and a steady growth rate despite growing uncertainty of land tenure in the sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 industry. The expiration of leases for sugar cane farmers (along with reduced farm and factory efficiency) has led to a decline in sugar production despite a subsidized price. Subsidies for sugar have been provided by the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and Fiji has been the second largest beneficiary after Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

.

Urbanization and expansion in the service sector have contributed to recent GDP growth. Sugar exports and a rapidly growing tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 industry — with 430,800 tourists in 2003 and increasing in the subsequent years — are the major sources of foreign exchange. Fiji is highly dependent on tourism for revenue. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity. Long-term problems include low investment and uncertain property rights. The political turmoil in Fiji has had a severe impact on the economy, which shrank by 2.8% in 2000 and grew by only 1% in 2001.

The tourism sector recovered quickly, however, with visitor arrivals reaching pre-coup levels again during 2002, which has since resulted in a modest economic recovery. This recovery continued into 2003 and 2004 but grew by 1.7% in 2005 and grew by 2.0% in 2006. Although inflation is low, the policy indicator rate of the Reserve Bank of Fiji
Reserve Bank of Fiji
The Reserve Bank of Fiji is the central bank of the Pacific island country of Fiji. The responsibilities of the RBF include issue of currency, control of money supply, currency exchange, monetary stability, promotion of sound finances, and fostering economic development.- Reserve Bank's Statutory...

 was raised by 1% to 3.25% in February 2006 due to fears of excessive consumption financed by debt. Lower interest rates have so far not produced greater investment for exports.

However, there has been a housing boom from declining commercial mortgage rates. The tallest building in Fiji is the fourteen-storey Reserve Bank of Fiji Building in Suva, which was inaugurated in 1984. The Suva Central Commercial Centre, which opened in November 2005, was planned to outrank the Reserve Bank building at seventeen stories, but last-minute design changes made sure that the Reserve Bank building remains the tallest.

Trade and investment with Fiji has been criticized due to the country's military dictatorship. In 2008, Fiji's interim Prime Minister and coup leader Frank Bainimarama
Frank Bainimarama
Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, CF, MSD, OStJ, Fijian Navy, known commonly as Frank Bainimarama and sometimes by the chiefly title Ratu , is a Fijian naval officer and politician. He is the Commander of the Fijian Military Forces and, as of April 2009, Prime Minister...

 announced election delays and that it would pull out of the Pacific Islands Forum
Pacific Islands Forum
The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum...

 in Niue
Niue
Niue , is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is commonly known as the "Rock of Polynesia", and inhabitants of the island call it "the Rock" for short. Niue is northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga to the southwest, the Samoas to the northwest, and the Cook Islands to...

, where Bainimarama would have met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd
Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010...

 and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark
Helen Clark
Helen Elizabeth Clark, ONZ is a New Zealand political figure who was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand for three consecutive terms from 1999 to 2008...

.

The South Pacific Stock Exchange
South Pacific Stock Exchange
The South Pacific Stock Exchange is a stock exchange based in Suva, Fiji.On 1st July 2010, the SPSE launched an Electronic Trading Platform . The exchange now has different market phases which allow the brokers to perform various tasks throughout a business day...

 (SPSE) is the only licensed securities exchange in Fiji and is based in Suva. Its vision is to become a regional exchange.

Culture

Fiji's culture is a rich mosaic of indigenous, Indian, Chinese and European traditions, comprising social polity, language, food (based mainly from the sea, casava, dalo & other vegetables), costume, belief systems, architecture, arts, craft, music, dance and sports.

The indigenous culture is very much active and living, and is a part of everyday life for the majority of the population. However, it has evolved with the introduction of old cultures like the Indian and Chinese ones, as well as a large influence from Europe, and from various Pacific neighbours of Fiji, mainly the Tongan and Samoan. The culture of Fiji has created a unique communal and national identity.

Fiji's culture was displayed at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, along with other Pacific countries in the Pacific Pavilion.

Holidays

This is a list of holidays in Fiji:
  • New Year's Day
    New Year's Day
    New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

  • Good Friday
    Good Friday
    Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

  • Easter Saturday
    Easter Saturday
    Easter Saturday, or Bright Saturday, is the Saturday following the Christian festival of Easter. In the liturgy of Western Christianity it is the last day of Easter Week, sometimes referred to as the Saturday of Easter Week or Saturday in Easter Week. In the liturgy of Eastern Christianity it is...

  • Easter Monday
    Easter Monday
    Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is celebrated as a holiday in some largely Christian cultures, especially Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cultures...

  • National Youth Day
  • Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day
    Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day
    Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna Day was a national public holiday in Fiji until the year 2010, when the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, declared both Ratu Sir Lala Sakuna Day and National Youth Day to no longer be public holidays...

  • Queen's Birthday
  • Fiji Day
  • Diwali
    Diwali
    Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
    Boxing Day
    Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. In Ireland, it is recognized as...

  • Prophet Mohammed's Birthday
    Mawlid
    Mawlid or sometimes ميلاد , mīlād is a term used to refer to the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal,...


The exact dates of public holidays vary from year to year, but the dates for this year and recent years can be found at the Fiji Government Web Site

Tourism

Fiji has a significant amount of tourism and many people go to the Nadi and Denarau islands. The biggest sources of international visitors by country are Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Fiji has a significant amount of soft coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s, and scuba diving
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

 is a common tourist activity. More budget resort
Resort
A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company....

s are being opened in remote areas, which provides more tourism opportunities.

Air

The Nadi International Airport
Nadi International Airport
Nadi International Airport is the main international gateway for the islands of Fiji. It serves about 1.2 million people per year, and is the main hub of Air Pacific. The airport is 10km from the city of Nadi. In 2009 it handled 1,220,000 passengers on international and domestic...

 is located 9 km north of central Nadi and is the largest Fijian hub. Nausori International Airport
Nausori International Airport
Nausori International Airport . Also known as Luvuluvu, Nausori Airport is the second International Airport in Fiji. It is situated in Nausori on the south-Eastern side of Viti Levu...

 is about 23 kilometres northeast of downtown Suva.

Bus

Fiji's larger islands have extensive bus routes that are affordable and consistent in service. There are bus stops, and in rural areas buses are often simply hailed as they approach.

Language

Fijian is an Austronesian
Austronesian languages
The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia that are spoken by about 386 million people. It is on par with Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic and Uralic as one of the...

 language of the Malayo-Polynesian family
Malayo-Polynesian languages
The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages, with approximately 385.5 million speakers. These are widely dispersed throughout the island nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, with a smaller number in continental Asia...

 spoken in Fiji. It has 350 000 first-language speakers, which is less than half the population of Fiji, but another 200,000 speak it as a second language. The 1997 Constitution
Constitution of Fiji
The 1997 Constitution of Fiji was the supreme law of Fiji from its adoption in 1997 until 2009 when President Josefa Iloilo purported to abrogate it. It was also suspended for a period following the 2000 coup d'état led by Commodore Frank Bainimarama....

 established Fijian as an official language of Fiji, along with English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Fiji Hindi
Fiji Hindi
Fiji Hindi, also known as Fijian Hindi or Fijian Hindustani, is the language spoken by most Fijian citizens of Indian descent. It is derived mainly from the Awadhi and Bhojpuri varieties of Hindi. It has also borrowed a large number of words from Fijian and English. The relation between Fiji Hindi...

, and there is a discussion about establishing it as the "national language", though English and Hindustani would remain official. Fijian is a VOS language.

The Fiji Islands developed many languages, some similar and some very different. Missionaries in the 1840s chose the language of one island off the southeast of the main island of Viti Levu, to be the official language of Fiji. This island, Bau, was home to Cakobau, the chief that eventually became the self forged "King" of Fiji. Missionaries were interested in documenting a language and in standardizing all of Fiji on one official language to make their job of translating and teaching in Fiji a bit easier. Standard Fijian is based on the language of Bau
Bau Island
Bau is a small island in Fiji, off the east coast of the main island of Viti Levu.-History:With the aid of Charlie Savage, who brought firearms to Bau Island, the Bauan people quickly established themselves as an undefeatable military force...

, which is an East Fijian language. There are many other dialects that make up the West Fijian languages including all dialects spoken in the Nadroga/Navosa and those of the western island groups and provinces.
English Hello/hi Good morning Goodbye
Fijian ni sa bula ni sa yadra sa moce
Fiji Hindi नमस्ते सुप्रभात चलता हूँ

Rugby union

The national sport of Fiji is considered to be rugby union (see rugby union in Fiji
Rugby union in Fiji
Rugby union is a popular team sport that is played in Fiji. It is considered to be the national sport of the country. The sport was introduced in the 1880s. Fiji is defined as a tier two rugby nation by the International Rugby Board . The national team has competed at the Rugby World Cup and made...

). The national rugby union team
Fiji national rugby union team
The Fiji national rugby union team is a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance formerly along with Samoa and Tonga. In 2009, Samoa announced their departure from the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance, leaving just Fiji and Tonga. Fiji are ranked sixteenth in the world by the IRB as of 26...

 is very successful given the size of the population of the country, and has competed at four Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is an international rugby union competition organised by the International Rugby Board and held every four years since 1987....

s, the first being in 1987
1987 Rugby World Cup
The 1987 Rugby World Cup was the first Rugby World Cup. New Zealand and Australia agreed to co-host the first ever tournament with New Zealand hosting seventeen pool stage matches, two quarter-finals and the final with Australia being the junior partner hosting seven pool matches, two...

, where they reached the quarter-finals. The Fiji national side did not match that feat again until the 2007 Rugby World Cup when they upset Wales
Wales national rugby union team
The Wales national rugby union team represent Wales in international rugby union tournaments. They compete annually in the Six Nations Championship with England, France, Ireland, Italy and Scotland. Wales have won the Six Nations and its predecessors 24 times outright, second only to England with...

 38–34 to progress to the quarter-finals where they nearly beat the eventual Rugby World Cup winners, South Africa. Fiji also defeated the British and Irish Lions in 1977. Fiji competes in the Pacific Tri-Nations
Pacific Tri-Nations
The Pacific Tri-Nations is the traditional rugby union series between Tonga, Fiji and Samoa. It was established in 1982 with the Samoan team, then known as Western Samoa, winning the tournament...

 and the Pacific Nations Cup. The sport is governed by the Fiji Rugby Union
Fiji Rugby Union
Fiji Rugby Union is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in Fiji. It is divided into over 30 provincial unions. The Fiji Rugby Union is a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance , along with Samoa and Tonga. There are approximately 80,000 registered players from a total population...

 which is a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance
Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance
The Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance was set up in 2002 as a basis of co-operation between the Fiji, Samoa and Tonga Rugby Unions. Niue and the Cook Islands are also members of the Alliance, and while not members of the Pacific Tri-Nations competition, they can and do supply members to the Pacific...

, and contributes to the Pacific Islanders rugby union team
Pacific Islanders rugby union team
The Pacific Islanders rugby union team is an international rugby union team, started in 2004, that represents Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. While Niue and the Cook Islands are not members of the Pacific Tri-Nations competition, they did supply players to the squad for the Pacific Islanders' tour in 2004...

. At the club level there are the Colonial Cup
Colonial Cup
The Colonial Cup was the second highest level of competition within Fijian rugby union and was intended to be a stepping stone for local players into international rugby union...

 and Pacific Rugby Cup
Pacific Rugby Cup
The IRB Pacific Rugby Cup is an annual rugby union development competition. First held in 2006, it features representative teams from the three Pacific rugby union unions - Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.The participating teams are:*Samoa A from Samoa...

. The Fiji sevens team
Fiji national rugby union team (sevens)
The Fiji Sevens side is one of the most popular and successful Sevens teams in the world and has won the Hong Kong Sevens a record nine times since its inception in 1976. Fiji has also won the Sevens World Cup twice, winning that event in 1997 and 2005...

 is one of the most successful rugby sevens
Rugby sevens
Rugby sevens, also known as seven-a-side or VIIs, is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players, instead of the usual 15, with shorter matches. Rugby sevens is administered by the International Rugby Board , the body responsible for rugby union worldwide...

 teams in the world, having won the two world cup titles and the 2006 IRB Series.

Rugby league

Rugby league
Rugby league in Fiji
Rugby league, or rakavi saumi as it is also known there, is a popular team sport played in Fiji since 1992 when the country was included in the World Sevens.-History:...

 is also widely played. The Fiji national rugby league team
Fiji national rugby league team
-Competitions:Fiji have participated in:*Pacific Cup *World Cup *World Sevens *Superleague World Nines *Superleague Oceania Tournament *Pacific Rim Competition -Results:...

, known as Fiji Bati, has competed in the Rugby League World Cup
Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league competition contested by members of the Rugby League International Federation . It has been held nearly once every 4 years on average since its inaugural tournament in France in 1954...

 on three occasions, with their best result coming when they made the semi-finals of the 2008 competition
2008 Rugby League World Cup
The 2008 Rugby League World Cup was the thirteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup since the inauguration of the tournament in 1954, and the first since the 2000 event...

. The team also competes in the Pacific Cup.

Football

Association football is also popular in Fiji, the Fiji Football Association
Fiji Football Association
The Fiji Football Association is the governing body of football in Fiji. It came into existence in 1961, replacing the ethnically based Fiji Indian Football Association...

 is a member of the Oceania Football Confederation
Oceania Football Confederation
The Oceania Football Confederation is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and island nations such as Tonga, Fiji and other Pacific Island countries...

. Fiji
Fiji national football team
The Fiji national football team is the national team of Fiji and is controlled by the Fiji Football Association. Their best finish in the OFC Nations Cup was third in 1998 and 2008.-World Cup record:*1930 to 1978 - Did not enter...

 defeated New Zealand 2–0 in the 2008 OFC Nations Cup
OFC Nations Cup
The OFC Nations Cup is an international association football tournament held among the Oceania Football Confederation member nations. It was held every two years from 1996 to 2004; before 1996 there were two other tournaments held at irregular intervals, under the name Oceania Nations Cup...

, on their way to a joint-record third placed finish. However, they have never reached a FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

. Fiji won the South Pacific Games
South Pacific Games
The Pacific Games is a multi-sport event, much like the Olympics , with participation exclusively from countries around the South Pacific. It is held every four years and began in 1963, hosted by Suva, Fiji.- Concept :The idea of holding the South Pacific Games originated with Dr A.H...

 football tournament in 1991
Football at the 1991 South Pacific Games
The 1991 South Pacific Games was the 9th edition at which football was introduced. The games were held in Papua New Guinea during September 1991.-Group 1:---------------------Group 2:-------------------------Semi finals:----...

 and 2003
Football at the 2003 South Pacific Games
The 2003 South Pacific Games football tournament was held in Fiji, from 30 June to 30 July 2003.-Group A:-------------------------------------Group B:-------------------------------------Semi Finals:----...

.

See also

  • Bua (Fijian Communal Constituency, Fiji)
    Bua (Fijian Communal Constituency, Fiji)
    Bua Fijian Provincial Communal is an electoral division of Fiji, one of 23 communal constituencies reserved for indigenous Fijians....

  • Fiji Meteorological Service
    Fiji Meteorological Service
    The Fiji Meteorological Service is a Department of the government of Fiji responsible for providing weather forecasts and is based in Nadi. Since 1995, FMS has been responsible for naming and tracking tropical cyclones in the Southwest Pacific region...

  • Fiji School of Medicine
    Fiji School of Medicine
    The Fiji School of Medicine is a tertiary institution based in Suva, Fiji. Originally established in 1885 as the Suva Medical School. After merger with leading institutions in 2010, FSM is now called called College of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences under Fiji National University. It striving...

  • Foreign relations of Fiji
    Foreign relations of Fiji
    Fiji has experienced many coups recently, in 1987, 2000, and 2006. Fiji has been suspended various times from the Commonwealth of Nations, a grouping of mostly former British colonies. It was readmitted to the Commonwealth in December 2001, following the parliamentary election held to restore...

  • List of Fijians
  • Military of Fiji
    Military of Fiji
    The Republic of Fiji Military Forces are the military of the Pacific island nation of Fiji. With a total manpower of 3,500 active soldiers and 6,000 reservists, it is one of the smallest militaries in the world. However, most of its surrounding island nations have no militaries at all...

  • Telecommunications in Fiji
  • Transport in Fiji
    Transport in Fiji
    - Railways :Total: 597 km; 597 km 0.610-m gauge Narrow gauge: Note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation The railway is not for passenger or public use.- Merchant marine :Total: 6 ships totaling 11,870 GRT/...


External links

Government
General information
  • Fiji at UCB Libraries GovPubs

Travel
  • Bulafiji.com Official Fiji Visitors Bureau website
  • The Fiji Times News, Sport and Weather from Fiji's leading newspaper
  • Fiji Projects at Seacology
    Seacology
    Seacology is a nonprofit 501 charitable organization headquartered in Berkeley, California that focuses on preserving island ecosystems and cultures around the globe. Founded in 1991, it began with the work of ethnobotanist Paul Alan Cox, who researched tropical plants and their medicinal value in...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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