Fiji

Flag of the Republic of Fiji

Fiji is an archipelago of many small volcanic islands

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country Fiji (Republic of Fiji)

(link to map of Fiji and showing its geographical location)

Continent Island country in South Pacific Ocean
Capital Suva
Population 915,303 (July 2016 est)
Language English, Fijian, Hindi
Religion Christian (64%), Hindu (28%), Muslim (6%)
Terrain Mostly mountains of volcanic origin
Sports Rugby Sevens, football (soccer), netball, and cricket
Animals The only native mammalian life is the fruit bat (6 varieties) that includes the Fijian monkey-faced flying fox, one of the most primitive

Iguanas (includes the rare crested Iguana), snakes and geckos

Bird watching in the Fiji rainforest is a major attraction for tourist with 55 different terrestrial species (nearly half are endemic or only found in Fiji).

Facts of Interest Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands (110 permanently inhabited) along with more than 500 islets.

The two major islands, Viti Levu & Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population

Fiji had been inhabited since the 2’nd millennium BCE and settled by Austronesians followed by Melanesians.

Became a British colony in 1874; gained its independence in 1970 and declared a republic in 1987 which lead to a series of coups.  Finally, in September, 2014 a democratic election was held to elect Dainimarama’s Fiji First party.

Starting in 1879, a large number of Indians emigrated as indentured laborers in the sugar cane industry which later caused a ripple effect in the government and religious makeup of the country.

The economy is based on the natural resources of the forest and the Pacific ocean. There are abundant minerals. Agriculture is difficult because of rugged mountainous terrain.

Concerns As many as 250k people live at or near the poverty line

With so many islands, it is difficult to deliver good health care, education, sanitation, schools, as well as other social services.

Increase in youth crime and drug abuse due to lack of work opportunities

In February 2016, tropical cyclone Winston caused significant damage to parts of Fiji.  Recovery is slow for some of the remote areas.

Mission Mission work started in 1830 by 3 Tahitian teachers from London Missionary Society which was expanded by the Wesleyan Missionary Society from Australia.

The Fiji government has at times (2011) been at odds with organized religion by not allowing freedom of speech, of assembly, and its practice.

Sources en.wikipedia.org; cia.com; umcmission.org; oikoumene.org; thinkpacific.com; wwwnc.cdc.gov; safetravel.govt.nz