Be inspired by the local culture of Fiji. Take a village tour to learn about traditional life, get involved in a “lovo” food fiesta or see some firewalking and enjoy traditional dance.
You can go a lot of places in the world and get a good beach with nice sand, but it is the culture of a place, and the local people, that makes the difference to a holiday – and in Fiji one Bula and you’ll be hooked. Fiji is a wonderful multicultural society with all the tastes, sights and experiences that a diverse culture has to offer and is home to indigenous Fijians and people of Indian, Chinese and European ancestry.
The result is a dynamic mix of cultures, which can be seen throughout Fiji including delicious food, vibrant festivals, rituals and arts. In rural Fiji, traditional village life is still common; check these things out on your next trip to Fiji:
Learn about what makes Fiji tick
On the Coral Coast not far from Sigatoka, is the Kalevu Cultural Centre that celebrates the history, culture and evolution of Fiji. The centre contains fascinating artefacts and documents as well insights into traditional village life. You can also take a cultural tour on the Coral Coast, visit Nadi’s markets with a local expert, see the Naihehe Caves for a “cannibals cave” tour, or learn about Nakabuta Pottery Village, showcasing traditional earthenware techniques.
See Fijians walk on fire
One of the most fascinating Fijian experiences is the traditional firewalking ceremony, when village men walk barefoot across a bed of hot stones without burning their feet. The sacred celebration is shrouded in legend of a young man named Tunaiviqalita from around 500 years ago. Men must prepare their bodies 10 days in advance or, legend says, they will be punished with severe burns! Today, you can marvel at this tradition for yourself at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort – as many of the legendary Tunaiviqalita’s descendants live in the villages of Rookwa, Dakubeqa, Dakuni, Soliyaga, and Naceva, and they share their art of firewalking for guests to witness – a must see experience!
Be part of a centuries-old delicious tradition
A lovo ceremony is a Fijian celebration of food cooked in the earth. Traditionally, the food includes cassava (tapioca), kumala (sweet potato), yam, taro, pork, lamb, chicken or fish, covered in banana leaves or coconut stalks. You could think of it as the ancient descendant of the barbecue, rich smoky meats and a communal, social aspect to the whole cooking process. On the Jewel of Fiji tour, with Discover Fiji Tours, you can learn about this process first hand, along with spending time with the locals who have incredible stories to tell over the delicious lovo lunch you will share together.
A perfect blend of lux + culture
Another gem in the Mamanuca’s is Tokoriki Island Resort – here the Fijian culture and endless charm of the Tokoriki team will captivate you. You will get to share their beautiful culture with many activities centred around the local Fijian traditions – like trying your hand at basket weaving and enjoy learning the many uses of delicious Fijian coconuts. A really special experience I’d recommend is their visit to the local village where you can experience a traditional welcome ceremony, meet the gorgeous local school children and observe a way of life that has remained unchanged for generations.
Discover the music of Fiji
One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to experience its music; how it is played, what the songs mean and to shake your hips to another culture’s greatest hits. Meke is the music of Fiji and the songs are not just to dance to, they are stories that are passed down over generations. The matana, traditional dancers, also tell a story but they do it with their movements, each part of the dance having a special meaning – and it looks amazing with both men and women dressed in traditional costume. At Treasure Island Fiji even the kids get involved – they learn the Meke during their time at the Kids Club and then perform for their parents and guests, a wonderful (and very cute) way to learn about Fijian culture.
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- READ: Travel Agents you can now book Fiji holidays through Excite
- READ: HOTEL REVIEW: Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, Nadi
Have you ever visited a Fijian village?
Written by Paul Chai, KARRYON contributor
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