Traveling to Fiji? Here's some interesting facts about the country

PHOTO: The New Paper

Fiji Airways, under an agreement with Jetstar Asia, has allowed travelers to directly fly to Fiji from Indonesia and 21 other countries.

Renowned for its exquisite beaches and vibrant culture, there is much to uncover about this country. Here are some of them as compiled by the airline.

Cultural heritage

Fijian people are said to have migrated from Southeast Asia, which makes the nation an integration of Melanesians and Polynesians. Beyond the three official Fijian languages spoken-Fijian, Fiji Hindi, and English-there are approximately 10 other languages, including Pitcairn-Norfolk, Samoan, Tamil, Telufu and Tongan.

Unique customs

Eighty percent of the land in Fiji is occupied by indigenous people, hence the majority of the island's landscape is made up of village towns. Self-governed villages represented by a Ratu (village chief) or Turaga Ni Koro Koro (village head) still preserve unique customs such as not allowing anyone other than the village chief to not wear hats or sunglasses, and touching the top of someone's head is deemed an insult.

Leisure and cuisine

Located on the International Date Line, which is an imaginary line in the Pacific Ocean that splits consecutive calendar days. The island of Taveuni in Fiji has a marker that allows visitors to have one foot on today and the other on yesterday.

As for cuisine, Fijian meals typically comprise three elements-relish, starch and a beverage-and are smoke cooked with a traditional method known as "lovo", which is an efficient way when cooking large quantities of food.

National flower

Photo: YouTube screengrab

The 333 islands Fiji has are not limited to only seas and sandy beaches, but there are also waterfalls, lakes and volcanoes, for those eager to explore more of its natural sites. One of the island's jewels is the "Tagimoucia", the national flower of Fiji that is considered a rare flower in the world.

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