The Republic of Fiji Islands is located in the center of the south-west Pacific ocean A total area of 1.8272 million square kilometers is home to a population of 868,000, most of whom are ethnic Fijian and Indian. Residents are Christian or Hindu, and the official language is English, with Fijian, and Hindi also spoken. The currency is the Fiji Dollar, and the capital is Suva.
Fiji National Flag
The Fijian flag is light blue with the British flag in the top right corner, indicating the relationship between the two Commonwealth countries The flag also contains the Fijian national emblem.
In the 19th century the Europeans began to colonize Fiji, and in 1874 it became a British colony. On October 10, 1970, it gained independence and became a member of the Commonwealth. In 1987, it was renamed as a Republic and left the Commonwealth. In 1997 Fijian political privileges were abolished, but in September of that year it again joined the Commonwealth. On July 27, 1998, it again changed its name to the “Republic of Fiji Islands.”
Economy and Culture Overview
Fiji’s has an abundance of natural resources, with one of the strongest economies in the South Pacific. The sugar industry and tourism are the two pillars of the national economy. A fertile coastal plain means that the island can produce a wide range of tropical cash crops, including sugar, and the country is in fact one of the largest sugar exporting countries, referred to by Yu as the “sweet island.” The main economic crops are sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, coconut, and banana.
Fiji is located in the central Pacific, with the International Date Line crossing through the islands. By crossing the line west to east, people lose one day, and likewise, when crossing from east to west a day is gained. However, to prevent the country from belonging to the two hemispheres, which causes time confusion, Fiji is assigned to the Eastern Hemisphere.
Fijians often wear red flowers in their hair or use them as decorations, and every August a week long “red flower festival” is held in the capital.