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International Day Of Happiness: How Fiji Is Keeping The 'Bula Spirit' Alive

March 20 is the International Day of Happiness and what better way to celebrate that with Fiji's glowing 'Bula Spirit'?

March 20 is the International Day of Happiness and what better way to celebrate that with Fiji’s glowing ‘Bula Spirit’?

In Fiji, ‘Bula’ is more than just a greeting. It’s a wish for happiness, good health and the energy of life, and it’s something that every visitor has heard on a previous trip to the place where happiness finds you. 

Fiji has had 335 days of no community COVID-19 transmission (as of 19 March 2021), which is amazing news, and they are hopeful that borders will be able to reopen soon.

So, in the spirit of International Day of Happiness and to help support Fiji tourism until we can visit once more, we have outlined a few ways people can celebrate happiness here at home and help support Fiji’s ‘Bula Spirit’ from a safe distance (for now).  

Where happiness finds you

Happiness in Fiji is witnessed the second you step off the plane and are greeted in the arrivals hall by a hundred ‘BULA’s’. With this welcoming community spirit that embraces visitors like family.

From the moment you touchdown in this idyllic paradise, you’ll find Fijians sharing their happiness with you through warm and infectious smiles, open-armed hugs and innocent humour; it is this ‘Bula Spirit’ that helps makes those living in Fiji some of the happiest people in the world.

You can practice the Bula spirit here at home, too. Simply slap a giant grin across your face and can choose to radiate joy, love, and compassion, wherever you go!

Earlier this year, Tourism Fiji has announced its “Care Fiji Commitment” to ensure traveller safety for when the borders reopen.

The Care Fiji Commitment is an ongoing commitment to maintaining protection measures against COVID-19, including enhanced safety, health and hygiene protocols, and designated Wellness Ambassadors.

So how you can help keep the ‘Bula Spirit’ alive?

Happiness Fiji
Rise Beyond the Reef, Rara Village Weavers. Image: Rise Beyond the Reef

True to the Bula Spirit, a range of industry partners have created donation campaigns so that they can continue to support their staff and nearby local villages until they are able to host international visitors again.

Here’s how you can get behind them:

Rise Beyond the Reef

This non-profit organisation was set up with the mission to help women living in remote parts of Fiji become income-earners for their communities. Partnering with many Fijian resorts to sell these artisan products, they have been directly impacted by the global pandemic’s economic effects.

Buying one of their Fiji-made artisan products online or simply donating helps Rise Beyond the Reef distribute food rations and essential good kits to these rural communities, along with allowing their non-profit work to continue. 

Fijian Hotel Workers In Need

Some of Fiji’s wonderful hospitality staff, renowned worldwide as the ‘happiest people’ in the world, are now going hungry due to no work and little public recourse.

A small donation can help:

  • *$25FJD will feed two school children their lunches for a week
  • *$75FJD will feed dinner to a family for a week
  • *$100FJD will feed one family 3 meals a day for a week
  • *$150FJD will feed one person for a month

Koro Sun Resort

This Savusavu island resort is collecting funds to help source and distribute bulk food items to neighbouring villages and staff in need.

They continually share updates with those who have donated about how the funds are used, most recently surprising locals with tea and pasties that, for many, have not been able to enjoy since the global pandemic hit in March 2020.