• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Culture & Identity of Fiji


Fiji is well-known throughout the world due to its natural beauty and as home to numerous resorts, but few people realize Fiji is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the South Pacific as nearly half the country's population is of Indian descent and nearly the other half is ethnic Fijian. The way of life and culture in the country is also heavily divided between these two groups, although both get along well as Fiji would not be what it is today without both these groups.

Many of the Indians and many of the foreigners living in Fiji live in the cities, which is where about half the population lives. The other half of the population is more rural and most of these people are ethnic Fijians. For many of these rural Fijians life is based on the land as many are farmers or fishers. In the cities there are more office and government jobs. In both areas hotels and the tourist industry also provide a huge number of jobs in the services industry.

For both the ethnic Indians and Fijians, family is important and most free time is spent with these people. It is not uncommon for the Fijians to wander around their village looking for someone to socialize with and it's impossible to not find someone who will welcome them in any evening or weekend. The Indians also tend to gather together most evenings and weekends to eat and socialize. Religion is also important to most people in Fiji and religious gatherings are common.


How people identify in Fiji is divided into numerous groups and the definition and terms of these identities is hotly debated. For those who identify in political terms, which is somewhat rare, the term "Fijian" is used. For people who identify in this political sense the definition is almost wholly based on citizenship, but national ceremonies and sports teams also unite the people to a vast degree. For those who identify in terms of their ethnicity, which is the bulk of the population, the terms used are debated. Among these people are ethnic Fijians, ethnic Indians born in Fiji, ethnic Indians who have immigrated to Fiji, and sub-Indian groups like the Gujarati and Punjabi.

For the ethnic Indians, the Gujarati and Punjabi are the two most easily recognizable groups as they cling to their ethnicity, language, religion, dress, and foods as they identify much as their ancestors in Gujarat and Punjab (both in India) identify. The India-born Indians often are referred to, and identify as "Indian" (if they don't identify in a more specific way like the Gujarati and Punjabi). Again, these immigrants often cling to their historic roots and maintain their native languages, foods, and dress. The last, and the largest of these groups, is the ethnic Indians who were born in Fiji. There is no good term or identity for these people as numerous options exist, but none are universally accepted. Generally these people's identity is based on the fact that they are ethnically Indian, but they have adopted many Fijian aspects of life and the culture surrounding them is based on the Indian melting pot in Fiji, which combines multiple religions, castes, ethnicities, and languages.

The ethnic Fijians often identify as being "Fijian," but this term can also be used to describe citizenship so there is some confusion in the use of the term. Some people prefer the term "iTaukei" which is another name for the Fijian language and is attached to native speakers of this language. No matter what name is used for this identity, for these people, their identity is truly based on their language, culture, ethnicity, the land, their religion, and even the social and political structure (but no attached to any particular political belief of political party).

This page was last updated: November, 2013