Fiji, a country in the South Pacific, is an archipelago of more than 300 islands. It’s famed for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons. Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture. The Fiji Museum, in the Victorian-era Thurston Gardens, has ethnographic exhibits.
Located in the South Pacific Ocean, some 1,300 miles (2,000 km) northeast of New Zealand’s North Island, the island nation of Fiji is comprised of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are inhabited, and an additional 500 islets.
The two largest islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and between the two of them makeup 87% of Fiji’s total landmass.
These mountainous islands were formed around 150 million years ago through volcanic activity, and are subsequently covered in thick tropical forests. Most of Fiji’s mountains are dormant or extinct volcanoes.
Mount Tomanivi, located on the main island of Viti Levu, is the highest point at 4,341 feet (1,324 m), and the lowest point is the Pacific Ocean (0 m).
Perhaps what Fiji is most famous for, however, are its crystal-clear waters, coral reefs and white sand beaches that draw in thousands annually.
Key cities in Fiji include: Suva, Lautoka, Nadi, Labasa, Levuka.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
The Fijian islands are strewn across the Pacific’s southwest corner and it is the vastness of that mighty ocean that has defined the country and helped it become the nation it is today. Since humans first arrived 3500 years ago, the trade winds have blown in people from Melanesia, Polynesia, and finally Europe and the Indian subcontinent, all of whom have played their part in shaping Fiji’s history and culture.
In the early 19th century, Fiji was dominated by two great chiefly confederacies, Rewa and Bau, who were fighting for dominance of the islands. Into this mix came the first European explorers, who came looking for natural resources, and brought gunpowder and the word of their Christian god in return. Fiji’s trajectory took a brand-new path.
The religious landscape of Fiji is varied, but Christianity is dominant, followed by Hinduism and Islam. While indigenous Fijians are mainly Christians, most of those with Asian ancestry are Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs.
Brief Country History
The eastern Melanesian island group of Fijis was brought into the British Empire in 1874 when Paramount Chief Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau, known as Tui Viti (King of Fiji), signed a Deed of Cession to Queen Victoria.
Despite a measles epidemic in 1875, which killed about a quarter of the population and produced famine and riots, Cakobau’s hopes were gradually realized. British annexation of Fiji resulted in cannibalism being renounced, settler behavior checked, and Fijian rights to communally owned land (some 83% of the national total) confirmed.
He also believed the best way to govern was through the chiefly ‘Ratus’ – aristocratic leaders of the hierarchical social system imported long ago from Fiji’s Polynesian neighbors. In 1876 the Great Council of Chiefs was created to advise the Governor.
Living in Fiji in 1874 were several thousand indigenous Fijians, a scattering of European and American settlers, traders and missionaries and a few thousand laborers from other Pacific islands, most imported by slave-trading ‘blackbirders’. To restrict this traffic, Gordon planned to recruit and ship laborers from India – a common imperial policy which resulted in large Indian populations in Mauritius, South Africa, West Indies and Fiji.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
Fiji has three official languages under the 1997 constitution (and not revoked by the 2013 Constitution): English, Fijian and Hindi. Fijian is spoken either as a first or second language by most indigenous Fijians who make up around 54% of the population.
Important Types of Commerce in Fiji
Sugar exports and the growing tourist industry are the major sources of foreign exchange. Sugar cane processing makes up one-third of industrial activity; coconuts, ginger, and copra are also significant. In recent years, growth in Fiji has been largely driven by strong tourism industry.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Fiji
Tourism is the main service industry and the largest source of foreign exchange. This increases the need of language services. The areas, where the services of native Fijian translators are especially in demand, are: marketing (naming, slogans localization, copywriting, etc.), law, localization of corporate sites and internet portals text content, software and manuals localization. Translating and localizing the products/services will allow a faster growth by removing any language or cultural barriers that would prevent potential clients from understanding what a business is offering. This opens up a new opportunity for both travelers and website owners. Companies that offer a multilingual site will find an increase in traffic and, consequently, will be able to convert all those potential leads into sales.
Looking for a Fijian, Hindi translation company? Look no further. American Language Services (AML-Global) offers certified translations, native interpreting services, and turn-key localization solutions for any language.