While planning your next Fiji cruise, it might be useful to learn a few facts about the country you’ll be visiting. Despite its small size, Fiji has a ton of interesting facts and little things that might be good to know before you land for your cruise. Curious? Here are some awesome facts about Fiji.
Fiji is one of the many countries with more than one official language. In the case of Fiji, these languages are English, Bau Fijian and Fiji Hindi. English was introduced when the British colonized the island. Bau Fijian descends from the original East Fijian language and has been standardized for modern use. Fiji Hindi is a local dialect of Hindi that developed after massive Indian migrations to the islands. It contains elements of English, Hindi and Fijian.
Be careful not to call everyone on the island a “Fijian”. A Fijian is someone of indigenous Fiji descent, while Fiji Islander denotes anyone who lives on the island. The official term for the inhabitants of Fiji, however, is “Fiji National”. There is still a lot of debate around the use of the term “Fijian” as some people in the government want to see it apply to all inhabitants of Fiji. But indigenous Fijians tend to be against this.
The Fiji territory, composed of national water and islands, is actually only 10% land. The archipelago covers around 194,000 square kilometers and contains 322 islands and 522 islets. Only 106 islands are inhabited. The two biggest islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and comprise about 75% of all the land of Fiji. That’s not a lot of space for 850,000 people and the extra 500,000 tourists who visit each year!
According to National Geographic, 94% of Fijians are literate (can read and write). It’s not as high as many Western countries like the US (99%), Australia (99%) and Canada (99%), but better than other tourist destinations like Mexico (93%), Malaysia (92%) and Brazil (90%). Fiji Islanders have access to good education!
Fiji doesn’t have an official national sport, but most Fiji Islanders consider it to be rugby. Whether it’s rugby union or rugby league, Fiji Islanders really love their rugby. The Fiji sevens team (a variation of rugby with seven players instead of 15), is one of the best teams in the world with two world cup titles and the 2006 IRB Series. Fiji also has a football team, but it’s never played in the FIFA World Cup, even though they won the South Pacific Games title twice.
No matter if you’re taking a Fiji cruise or staying in one of the many Malaysia hotels, there’s always something new to learn about a different culture. Take the time to chat with locals, learn words of the language and participate in their culture. It’s the best way to travel!