• 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!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Fiji


About 60% of Fiji's population is ethnically Fijian, people who are primarily Melanesian, but have significant traces of Polynesian in them (and are perhaps more similar to Polynesia from a cultural perspective). This mix of Melanesian and Polynesian make the people of New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu their closest relatives. However, the Fijians have significant amounts of Polynesian blood in them and this is makes them related to the Tongans and Samoans among others.

Nearly 40% of the population is ethnically Indian, although this is a general term for people descended from the Indian sub-continent more than it is an ethnicity. These people belong to various ethnic groups in Indian and today nearly all of these people are a combination of numerous Indian ethnicities.

Another 1% of the population is considered Rotuman, which is a unique ethnic group that lives on the islands of Rotuma. These people are truly a combination of Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian, but again these people are most closely associated with the Polynesians culturally as they view Samoa as the birthplace of their ancestors.


Both English and Fijian (or iTaukei) are official languages in Fiji, but Hindustani is also widely spoken and there are numerous smaller languages. Few people speak English natively, but it has become the de facto second language and language of communication in the country as the Fijians and Indians often communicate with each other in English; additionally, the large tourist industry relies on English.

The Fijian language is a member of the Austronesian language family, which means it is related to many languages of Southeast Asia as well as Australasia. Fijian contains aspects of both the Polynesian languages as well as the Melanesian languages.

Hindustani is an Indian language adopted from India. Most of the ethnic Indians in Fiji are from northern India and the language of Hindustani spoken in Fiji is very similar to Hindi, but has influences from other Indian languages and has also adopted Fijian and English words; it is sometimes referred to as koine. Another language spoken in Fiji, but in very small numbers is Rotuman or Faeag Rotuma. This language is similar to Fijian, but has a huge Samoan and Tongan influence so the vocabulary reflects these languages in many ways.


Just over half of Fiji's population is Protestant, most of whom are ethnic Fijian and many of whom are Methodist. About 30% of the population is Hindu and again this is generally divided along ethnic lines as almost all of these people are ethnic Indians. Among the remaining population, numerous religions are practiced as nearly 10% of the country's population is Catholic and about 6% is Muslim.

This page was last updated: May, 2014