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Fijian Customs

Most Fijians are religious, modest and dress accordingly in public places – Remember to always cover your shoulders and knees when visiting villages. The most popular religions are Methodist and Hindu followed by Muslim and Catholic

Fijian lifestyle is a relaxed combination of traditional culture and a strong belief in the family and community. ‘Fiji Time’ refers to the relaxed way of life that means the bus often runs late as the driver stops to talk to friends, or you may make some unexpected stops to help the family. Plan for the unexpected and you’ll usually be pleasantly surprised!

Instead of knocking on a door you can call out the words “Dua Dua Dua” and await a reply from within. You should also remove your shoes and hat prior to entering a bure or house and remember to leave by the door from which you entered.

Refrain from touching a Fijian’s head – it is considered bad manners and always ask permission before taking photographs in rural areas.

Fijian Language

“Bula” – is the famous Fijian greeting and its meaning goes beyond the simple hello to incorporate spirit and literally means “life”.

Fiji has three official languages; English, Bau Fijian and Hindustani. English is the main medium of communication. It is the language the government uses and is the main language of education, commerce and the courts. Fijians do however, have a constitutional right to communicate with the government in any one of the three official languages.

The Fijian alphabet is made up of all of the English letters, except ‘x’. The letters ‘h’ and ‘z’ are rarely used and are usually found only in borrowed words.

Common Phrases

English

Greetings or Hello

Thank you or good

Good morning

How are you

I’m happy

No worries

Please

Goodbye

Fijian

ni sa bula

vinaka

ya dra vinaka

sa vacava tiko

sega na leqa

kere kere

ni ca moce (formal)

Moce (informal)

Pronounced

nee sar bull-ar

vee nar-kar

yarn-drar vee nar-kar

sar varthava tiko

sar mar-ow tiko

sang-ar nar lan-ar

kerry kerry

nee sar mor-thay (formal)

mor-thay (informal)

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