Fiji is an archipelago nation in Melanesia in the Pacific Ocean. It lies 2000 km north of New Zealand and consists of 332 islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu being the largest ones.
While the 180-degree longitude line crosses through Fiji, the international date line passes east of all of Fiji, making it the first country to enter every new day.
Fiji is the product of volcanic mountains and warm tropical waters. Its majestic and varied coral reefs today draw tourists from around the world, but were the nightmare of European mariners until well into the 19th century. As a result, Fijians have retained their land and often much of the non-commercial, sharing attitude of people who live in vast extended families with direct access to natural resources. When it came, European involvement and cession to Britain was marked by the conversion to Anglicanism, the cessation of animist beliefs, brutal tribal warfare and cannibalism, and the immigration of a large number of indentured Indian labourers, whose descendants now represent nearly half of the population, and there are smaller numbers of Europeans and other Asians. Today, Fiji is a land of tropical rain forests, coconut plantations, fine beaches, and fire-cleared hills. For the casual tourist it is blessedly free of evils such as malaria, landmines, or terrorism that attend many similarly lovely places in the world.
Internal political unrest since 2005 has reduced tourism. The Fiji tourism industry has responded by lowering prices and increasing promotion of the main resort areas that are far removed from the politics in and around the capital, Suva.
- Image by @joecakacaka