Fiji

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The current flag of Fiji was officially adopted on October 10, 1970.
The Union Jack (upper left), is representative of the country's long association with Great Britain. The flag's blue field is symbolic of the surrounding Pacific Ocean. The coat of arms display a golden British lion holding a cocoa pod, as well as panels displaying a palm tree, sugar cane, bananas and dove of peace. The capital and largest city on Fiji is "Suva." The population of Fiji is 868,406. There are 330 islands in Fiji. The Fiji islands are made up of about 500 more tiny atolls, islets, and reefs. Viti Leuu Island covers about half of Fiji.

Culture:

The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. This is according to the dictionary.
In my own word I would say that culture is peoples way of life, religion, food, agricultural, and family life.

Social Groups:


~ Groups of family and friends
~ Modern and Native Fiji groups
~ The tourists
~ Religious Fiji groups

In Fiji the most important group is the family.
Children are usually named after a living relative. Traditionally speaking, birthdays are not celebrated in Fijian society. However, there are some people's birthdays that have special significance. The father's side will bring mats that the child sits on during the feast and celebration, and then after wards the mother's side takes them away and spends time with the child. When a death occurs, related clans and family come together in a religious and social gathering to share their sorrow and share memories about the person. Before the burial, all the friends and extended family come to pay their respects. After several days of this the actual burial takes place and Mats are placed over the grave site. One hundred days after the death the mourning is lifted and the family members have another ceremony for the person who died. In each Fijian village has several family units who are part of one clan. The ways in which people interact with each other is based upon how they are related to each other within the family.





Dating and Marriage:
Documentary Requirements:
  1. Birth certificates of couple to be married.
  2. If either was previously married legal proof of termination of the prior marriage(s).
  3. U.S. passport if either/both party(ies) U.S. citizen.
  4. Two witnesses over the age of 21 years.
  5. If either party is under the age of 21 years, a written notarized consent is required from the father; the consent may be signed by the mother only if the father is deceased or cannot be located. If the parent(s) unreasonably refuses to consent, a written consent from a Court Magistrate will suffice.
  6. Fees: Currently Fiji dollars 16.50. For a Special License it costs Fiji dollars 14.00 and applicants must marry within 28 days from date license issued.

Other Important Information:

  • Minimum marriageable age for girls is 16 years; for boys is 18.
Birth, death and/or divorce certificates must either be originals or copies certified by and bearing the seal of the issuing authorities.

  • There is neither a residence requirement nor a minimum period of stay required for marriage in Fiji.
District Officers and Registrars may perform marriages without a marriage license. After the ceremony, it may take 15 working days to obtain the marriage certificate: 10 days for the Minister or District Officer's document to reach the Registrar General and 5-6 days for the Registrar to search its records and issue the certificate.

  • A Special License is required if the marriage ceremony is to be performed by a Minister of Religion or performed at a venue other than the Registrar-General or District Offices. If you decide to have a civil ceremony, it is advisable to make an appointment either a day or two in advance.
  • A marriage performed in accordance with the legal requirements of the country in which it takes place is recognized as valid in the United States. For specific information, consult an attorney in the jurisdiction where you reside.
  • The two main offices of the Registrar-General in Fiji are located in Suva and Lautoka:
Office of the Registrar-General

Religion:
Fiji religion is an amalgation of major religions of the world, Fiji is a multicultural and multiracial nation. You can find Hindus,Muslims,Christians and Budhists living in peace and harmony in Fiji.

Language:

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Fiji has three official languages, English, Fijian and Hindustani.Fijian, its an Austronesian language of the Malay-Polynesian. Fijian is a spoken either as a first or second language by indigenous Fijian who make up around 54% of the population. Up above is the Fijian alphabet.


Cultural patterns(tradition):
The Fijians are pretty easy-going, but if you are invited into a village, wear modest clothing and take off your hat (wearing one is an insult to the chief) when in the village. Leave your shoes outside the door when entering a home and keep in mind that it's also insulting to touch someone's head - which can be tempting when you are surrounded by wide-eyed, smiling children. There is a traditional drink called the kava, which can make your tongue numb. Kava is called yagona in Fiji. Menalso wear skirts called sulus and women wear cotton dresses. In certain ceremonial occasions women may wear grass skirts.


Leisure Activities:

The Fiji Rugby team
The Fiji Rugby team

The Fiji rugby team is proposing that unless there is a major upset this pool place is set be taken by Fiji with Wales set to face the South Sea Islanders for a third successive World Cup.
This was the hardest draw Wales could have been handed out of the fourth pot with Fiji currently ranked 13th in the world.
Fiji famously caused Wales heartbreak during the 2007 tournament in Nantes by dumping Gareth Jenkins’s side out of the tournament.
But Wales gained easy revenge in New Zealand four years later with a 66-0 victory.
There have been indications this autumn Fiji are not the force they once were in the 15-a-side game after slipping down to 13th in the world rankings and suffering heavy defeats against England and an Ireland XV.
Fiji is a country where Sevens is the national game. Their focus will also be on a gold medal in the Rio Olympics when sevens makes its Games debut.
If you are in fiji and need something fun to do go check out a game by a really good rugby team.

Arts and Music:
While other countries such as Tahiti and Hawaii are experiencing a revival in traditional arts, Fiji has no such contemporary movement - the reason being, for the most part, that Fijians never lost their cultural heritage. Most of the folkloric crafts are practised in the villages, and village life is still the foundation of Fijian society.
The closest thing to a revival has been in the Dance Theater of Fiji, a highly praised troupe that has traveled throughout the world. Produced by Manoa Rasigatale, young chief and former Fijian rock star, the theater has revitalized Fijian dance by re-introducing old ceremonies, choreographing them and presenting them to modern audiences.
Pottery

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A craft that dates from the original settlement of Fiji around 1290 BC, pottery-making is still practiced in the lower Sigatoka Valley, the islands of Kadavu and Malolo, western Vanua Levu,the Rewa Delta and the province of Ra. Each district has its own distinct signature in its pottery style. Today the technique and division of labor differ little from those of pre-European contact times. Sometimes the men dig the clay, but it is almost always the women who are the potters. The clay is first kneaded, and then sand is added to control shrinkage and to improve the texture. The mixture is left to dry for a short period before being worked into its final form.
Weaving

Whereas pottery is a skill shared by very few villages, basket and especially mat-plaiting is a universally practised art - every village girl has learned how to weave a mat or ibe by the time she is 10 years old. Palm fronds or the long fibrous pandanus leaves are vital construction materials in Fijian culture. The traditional bure (Fijian home) is constructed from plaited pandanus or palm fronds; pandanus mats are woven into floor coverings, bedrolls, fans and baskets. Almost every home in Fiji, whether in a village or town, has at least several mats for use as rugs or for sleeping on. They are considered an important element in the wealth of the Fijian family and are traditionally given at weddings, funerals or during the visits of high chiefs.
Masi

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external image clip_image008.jpgMasi and tapa are names for bark cloth. This art form is practiced in many regions of the South Pacific and in several areas of Fiji. Masi has many uses, including as ceremonial dress, wall decorations and more recent innovations such as table mats and handbags. It also makes a fine souvenir for visitors. Masi is produced from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree (Broussoneua papyrifera), which is cultivated by Fijians expressly for this purpose. The process of making the bark cloth is time-consuming and arduous work, and typically a job given to women. The bark is stripped from the tree, soaked, scraped clean and pounded with a rolling pin-like beater on a wooden anvil. Masi can be purchased in many shops. The most inexpensive place to buy it is from villagers who make it themselves. The thicker the Masi the better the quality.
Wood Carving
Woodcarving is a declining art in Fiji, no doubt another victim of the modern era. The woodcarver's role was a highly specialized one, important because of the cultural value of the items he produced. The war club, for example, was a vital part of Fijian culture. Not only was it the primary weapon in a warrior's arsenal, it was a symbol of authority used in ceremony and dance. Likewise, the tanoa, or yaqona bowl, also played (and still plays) an important part in Fijian society. Artist clans were so specialized that carvers in the old days only produced one particular kind of artifact - say clubs or yaqona bowls - and that was it.
Fiji Music
Fijian music combines the traditional Melanesian and Polynesian styles, as much of Fiji is influenced by these two cultures. However, other cultures, including the Indo-Fijians, have played a part in Fijian music as well. Folk music, traditional dances and different instruments are also largely involved with this type of music. The songs of Fiji are upbeat with beautiful rhythms and harmonies, and even the more modern music styles still convey aspects of ritualistic and traditional patterns.


Fijian folk music includes a variety of instruments that give the music its unique and beautiful sound, along with traditional dances. Like their Polynesian neighbors, modern Fijians play the ukulele, guitar, mandolin and different indigenous instruments, most commonly the lali drums. These types of drums were once used as a form of communication to announce important events, such as births, deaths, wars and victories. Now the larger lali drums are used to call people to church or for social gatherings, while the smaller version (lali ni meke) is used to play music. The derua, which is made up of tubes of bamboo stamped onto mats or on the ground, is another Fijian percussion instrument.
The Meke is a complex traditional Fijian spiritual folk dance that is combined with voices. The various types of Meke include the war dance, men or women fan dance, men spear dance, men club dance, women standing dance and men or women sitting dance. Men dance movements are vigorous, while the women display graceful and controlled movements. The Meke can be performed to narrate important events, such as the installment of a chief or a war.

Food:

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Fijian food has a mix of the spicy curries that are influenced by the Indian people and the coconut, fish, sweet potato, cassava and other vegetables that the Fijians bring to the culture. Over time this food has developed and evolved to the current mix of flavors we experience now.Fresh vegetables and herbs which come straight from the local farmer. Fiji has low wages meaning that the people generally can’t afford to eat fresh meat regularly therefore taking advantage of the produce.
For special occasions including weddings and funerals the Fijian’s perform a Lovo. It is a feast for the whole family of traditional Fijian food which is cooked in the ground. In ancient cooking they also used handmade clay pots to cook their food in.


Bibliographies:http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/flags/countrys/pacific/fiji.htm - Worldatlas.com 12/3/12 http://www.fiji-island-holidays.com/fijian-food.html - Fiji-island-holidays.com 12/4/12 http://www.tourismfiji.com/fiji-culture-religion.html - Tourismfiji.com 12/4/12 http://fijiguide.com/page/4351878:Page:60 Fiji island arts.com 12/4/12 http://www.go-fiji.com/music.html Fiji Island music.com 12/4/12World Book 2012 Fiji 12/3/12
http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship_771.html
Fiji food.com 12/4/12
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/rugbynation/rugby-news/2012/12/03/rugby-world-cup-2015-fiji-virtually-certain-to-join-wales-in-pool-a-91466-32355259/
Rugby in Fiji.com 12/4/12
Wikipedia.com 12/5/12