1 million FIJI dollar... New Gayatri Shaktipith temple... to open in Nadi, fiji on saturday, june 13, 2009
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on May 29, 2009


hindu temple in nadi

British settlers brought Indians to work on plantations in the Fiji Islands during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The Fijian city of Nadi, which has a large Indian population, is a center for Muslim and Hindu worship.
Religious sites in Nadi include this Hindu temple and two mosques

1 million dollar
New Gayatri Shaktipith temple
built by the Gayatri Pariwar nadi
to open in Nadi, fiji on saturday, june 13, 2009

(1 Fiji dollar = 0.4701 US$)

Fiji Daily Post: 27-May-2009 11:17 AM

The City of NADI is fast becoming the spiritual hub for Hindus in Fiji following the construction of a second magnificent temple in the district.

The one million dollar worth Gayatri Shaktipith Temple, built by the Gayatri Pariwar of Nadi, is all set to open its doors for devotees and visitors with a colourful three day inauguration ceremony due to start on Saturday, June 13,2009 next month.

To mark the auspicious occasion, the international president of World Gayatri Pariwar, Dr. Pranav Pandya will be also part of the grand opening.

The new temple which has been constructed in a two storey structure will also help boost the preaching of Hinduism in the tourist town of Nadi which already houses the Sri Siva Subrahmanya Swami Temple built in 1994 by the Devasthanam Board and believed to be the biggest Hindu shrine in the southern hemisphere.

Participating devotees will start the opening programme with a march procession from the Sri Siva Subrahmanya Swamy Temple (Nadi Temple) on Saturday June 13, 2009 leading up to a colourful three days of worshipping and other activities.

According to temple official Sushila Ramesh, disciples from India will be also part of the official inauguration ceremony of the newly built temple which is situated directly opposite the Vodafone Prince Charles Park.

Ramesh is also encouraging devotees and their family members wishing to participate in the opening march procession known as the Kalash Yatra, and the official prayers (Hawan Yagna) to contact the temple officials soon.

The temple, constructed by Sigatoka Builders Limited, will stand as a symbol of pride for the people of Nadi and the premises also played an important part in helping victims during the height of the January floods by providing shelter.

Temple project co-ordinator Vinod Patel said it was a great moment for the people of Nadi since almost two years of hard work has finally paid off and the temple was ready to open.

Shiu Narayan who owns Sigatoka Builders Limited was also present at the temple premises yesterday and expressed his utmost pleasure in being associated with the project.

Gayatri Pariwar of Nadi president Jagruti Patel said that the new temple will welcome all devotees and visitors for the grand opening and thereafter.

“This temple will be for everyone to worship and visit and apart from the daily routines of a Hindu temple, here we will be having many other activities like teachings of holi mantras and the sixteen sanskaras, religious music and much more,” she said.

The temple sits on a piece of land which was generously donated by South Pacific Recordings managing director Ravindra Patel.


By clicking on the next line....please go to the next page to see the photos of the Gayatri Shaktipith Temple together with education about Nadi and Fiji and the existing Sri Siva Subrahmanya Swami Temple.....




PHOTOS OF New Gayatri Shaktipith temple
built by the Gayatri Pariwar nadi

Nadi hindu temple

Hindu Temple, Fiji Islands

Hindu temple to the god of nature in Nadi

Hindu temple in Nadi

Hindu temple by anils070721.

ABOUT......Nadi, Fiji

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from Nadi) Wikipedia
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Nadi (pronounced [na.ndi]) is the third-largest conurbation in Fiji. It is located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu, and had a population of 42,284 at the most recent census, in 2007. Nadi is multiracial with many of its inhabitants Indian or Fijian, along with a large transient population of foreign tourists. Along with sugar cane production, tourism is a mainstay of the local economy. The Nadi region has a higher concentration of hotels and motels than any other part of Fiji.[citation needed]

With its large Indo-Fijian population, Nadi is a centre for Hinduism and Islam in Fiji. The downtown area is defined by the Nadi River and Viseisei village on the west side, and the beautfiul Sri Siva Subramaniya temple on the east. It is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere, and is a site for pilgrims. Muslims worship at the Nadi Mosque and the Ahmadiyyahs worship at the Ahmadiya Mosque.

Nadi International Airport located 9 kilometers from the city, is the largest airport in Fiji and is served by Air Pacific (the international airline of Fiji), Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue, Korean Air and some other domestic airlines such as Pacific Sun, Air Fiji and V.I.P charter airline Air Wakaya. Thus, Nadi is the principal port of entry for air travelers to Fiji, even though it is on the opposite (western) side of the island of Viti Levu from the nation's capital and largest city, Suva.

Nadi is a hub of commerce and tourism, with about 18 hotels, and is popular among travelers seeking to take ferries to island resorts in Fiji's western Mamanuca Group of islands. The town is also close to the western mud-flat beaches. It is also close to the Nausori highlands to the east, and can access the Sabeto [sa.mbe.to] and Sigatoka [si.?a.to.ka] valleys. Other sites are the Waqadra [wa.?ga.ndra] Botanical Gardens, and the Sleeping Giant Gardens, which house Raymond Burr's magnificent orchid collection.

Nadi, is also a hindi version of river. India, calls river "Nadi"

[edit] History

Nadi Township was established in 1947. Around that time Government of Fiji has established its own "Government Station" on the higher grounds of Nadi. It is said that a couple of business set up their business around the "Government Station" to service the Government Station. The other business organization from other parts of Fiji also followed the suit. It is reported that there was a very strong move by some concerned citizens of Nadi to move the town center to Martintar because of the existing center being so prone to flooding. This did not materialize because the move to shift the town center to Martintar came in too late as the Nadi Township had already developed strong roots in the existing location.

The elected system was introduced in 1967. Dr. A.H Sahu Khan was the first elected Chairman of the Nadi Township Board. With the introduction of Local Government Act in 1972 the Board changed its status to Council. Mr H.M Lodhia became the first Mayor of Nadi Town Council in 1972 and remained the Mayor until December, 1973. The current Mayor of Nadi is Councillor Timoci Koroiqica

Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple

The Sri Siva Subramaniya temple in Nadi, Fiji was built in 1986 at the old temple building built by then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam (TISI Sangam) formed in 1926.

ABOUT 1986 Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple IN NADI, FIJI


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Sri Siva Subramaniya temple

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Name: Sri Siva Subramaniya temple
Date built: 1986[citation needed]
Architecture: Dravidian
Location: Nadi, Fiji

The Sri Siva Subramaniya temple is a Hindu temple in Nadi, Fiji. It is at the southern end of the main road through Nadi. It is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere.[1]]

 Historical background

The original temple had been in existence for a long time. It was at the old temple building that the Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam (TISI Sangam) was formed in 1926. The TISI Sangam was rejuvenated following the Golden Jubilee celebration in 1976. The revival of Sangam activities together with the arrival of Shivacharya Mahalinga Gurukkal, whose services were made available to Nadi Siva Subramaniya Temple in 1984 by the Government of Tamil Nadu as the Chief Priest boosted the activities at the Temple, and devotees flocked to the Temple in very large numbers to witness and participate in the many new and unique religious ceremonies conducted at the Temple for the first time. And the Shalahakim was the supreme ruler.

[edit] Construction of new temple

The foundation for a new temple had been laid at the old site in 1976 during the Golden Jubilee Celebrations by His Excellency the High Commissioner for the Government of India in Fiji. It was realised that a new and bigger National Temple was needed, and in 1983 new lease was acquired for the Crown land and the reconstruction programme began with the Bhoomi Pooja in January 1984, followed by the inauguration of building work by the late Deputy Prime Minister, in April 1984. The construction work moved another step forward in 1986 when the work of pile driving was completed under the chairmanship of Hon. Jai Ram Reddy. The actual Construction work began in earnest after a lull of some five years under a new Reconstruction Committee led by Narayan Reddy as the Chairman. The temple was built in the best traditions of ancient Dravidian Indian Temple architecture as well as the principles of sacred architecture of the Vastu Vedic tradition. The consecration ceremonies of their new national temple were held on July 15, 1994.




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Republic of the Fiji Islands
Matanitu Tu-Vaka-i-koya ko Viti
Fiji Ripablik
????? ????? ???? ???????
Flag of Fiji Coat of arms of Fiji
Flag Coat of arms
MottoRerevaka na Kalou ka Doka na Tui
Fear God and honour the Queen
AnthemGod Bless Fiji
(and largest city)
18°10'S 178°27'E? / ?18.167°S 178.45°E? / -18.167; 178.45
Official languages English, Bau Fijian, and Hindustani[1]
Demonym Fiji Islander, Fijian
Government Unelected civilian government with a military leader
 -  Paramount Chief of Fiji Queen Elizabeth II1
 -  President Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda (Josefa Iloilo)
 -  Prime Minister Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama
 -  GCC Chairman Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
Independence from the United Kingdom 
 -  Date 10 October 1970 
 -  Total 18,274 km2 (155th)
7,056 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) negligible
 -  July 2008 est. estimate 944,720 (156th)
 -  Density 46/km2 (148th)
119/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $3.668 billion[2] 
 -  Per capita $4,185[2] 
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $3.590 billion[2] 
 -  Per capita $4,095[2] 
HDI (2007) ?0.762 (medium) (92nd)
Currency Fijian dollar (FJD)
Time zone (UTC+12)
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .fj
Calling code 679
1 Recognised by the Great Council of Chiefs.


































iji en-us-Fiji.ogg /'fi?d?i/ (Fijian: Matanitu ko Viti; Fijian Hindustani: ?????), officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands (Fijian: Matanitu Tu-Vaka-i-koya ko Viti; Fijian Hindustani: ????? ????? ???? ???????[citation needed], fiji dvip samooh gannarajy), is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu. The country occupies an archipelago of about 322 islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited, and 522 islets. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population.



[edit] Etymology

Fiji's main island is known as Viti Levu and it is from this that the name "Fiji" is derived, through the pronunciation of their island neighbours in Tonga. Its emergence was best described as follows:

Fijians first impressed themselves on European consciousness through the writings of the members of the expeditions of Cook who met them in Tonga. They were described as formidable warriors and ferocious cannibals, builders of the finest vessels in the Pacific, but not great sailors. They inspired awe amongst the Tongans, and all their Manufactures, especially bark cloth and clubs, were highly esteemed and much in demand. They called their home Viti, but the Tongans called it Fisi, and it was by this foreign pronunciation, Fiji, first promulgated by Captain James Cook, that these islands are now known.[3]

[edit] History

The first people of Fiji arrived long before contact with European explorers in the seventeenth century. Pottery excavated from Fijian towns shows that Fiji was settled before or around 3500-1000 BC, although the question of Pacific migration still lingers.It is believed that the Lapita people or the ancestors of the Polynesians settled the islands first but not much is known of what became of them after the Melanesians arrived but they may have had some influence on the new culture and archaeological evidence shows that they would have then moved on to Tonga, Samoa and Hawai'i.

The first settlements in Fiji were started by voyaging traders and settlers from the west about 3500 years ago. Lapita pottery shards have been found at numerous excavations around the country. Fijians have aspects of their culture that is similar to Melanesian culture to the western Pacific but has a stronger connection to the older polynesian cultures such as those of Samoa and Tonga. Trade between these three nations long before European contact is quite obvious with Canoes made from native Fijian trees found in Tonga and Tongan words being part of the language of the Lau group of islands. Pots made in Fiji have been found in Samoa and even the Marquesas Islands. For most of its history, across 1000 kilometres from east to west, Fiji has been a nation of many Languages; often people were unable to understand conversations of others. Nothing was static in Fiji. It was a history of settlement but also of mobility. Over the centuries, a unique Fijian culture developed. Constant warfare and cannibalism between warring tribes was quite rampant and very much part of everyday life. Fijians today regard those times as "na gauna ni tevoro" (time of the devil). The ferocity of the cannibal lifestyle deterred European sailors from going near Fijian waters, giving Fiji the name Cannibal Isles, in turn Fiji was unknown to the rest of the outside world.[4]

The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman visited Fiji in 1643 while looking for the Great Southern Continent.[5] It was not until the nineteenth century, however, that Europeans settled the islands permanently.[6] The first European settlers to Fiji were Beachcombers, missionaries, whalers and those engaged in the then booming sandalwood and beche-de-mer trade.

Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau was a Fijian chief and warlord from the island of Bau, off the eastern coast of Viti Levu, who united part of Fiji's warring tribes under his leadership. He then styled himself as King of Fiji or Tui Viti and then to Vunivalu or Protector after the Cession of Fiji to Great Britain. The islands came under British control as a colony in 1874, and the British brought over Indian contract labourers to work on the sugar plantations as the then Governor and also the first governor of Fiji, Arthur Charles Hamilton-Gordon/a>, adopted a policy disallowing the use of native labour and no interference in their culture and way of life.

Fiji was granted independence in 1970. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 because the government was perceived as dominated by the Indo-Fijian (Indian) community. The second 1987 coup saw the British monarchy and the Governor General replaced by a non-executive President, and the country changed the long form of its name from Dominion of Fiji to Republic of Fiji (and to Republic of the Fiji Islands in 1997). The coups and accompanying civil unrest contributed to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties but ensured that Melanesians became the majority.[citation needed]

In 1990, the new Constitution institutionalised the ethnic Fijian domination of the political system. The Group Against Racial Discrimination (GARD) was formed to oppose the unilaterally imposed constitution and restore the 1970 constitution. Sitiveni Rabuka, the Lieutenant Colonel who carried out the 1987 coup became Prime Minister in 1992, following elections held under the new constitution. Three years later, Rabuka established the Constitutional Review Commission, which in 1997 led to a new Constitution, which was supported by most leaders of the indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian communities. Fiji is re-admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations.

History of Fiji
This article is part of a series
Early history
Discovery of Fiji
The rise and fall of Cakobau
Colonial Fiji
Modern history of Fiji
Constitutional crisis of 1977
Coups of 1987
Military-church relations
Coup of 2000
Timeline · Mutinies · Aftermath
Mara deposed · Iloilo plot
Investigations · Trials
Court Martial · Military unrest
Reconciliation Commission
Supporters · Opponents
Qualified positions · Military opposition
Religious reaction · Foreign reaction
Crisis of 2005–2006
Timeline · Reaction
Baledrokadroka incident
Coup of 2006
2009 Fijian constitutional crisis

Fiji Portal
 v • d • e 
Levuka, 1842.

The new millennium brought along another coup, instigated by George Speight, that effectively toppled the government of Mahendra Chaudhry, who became Prime Minister following the 1997 constitution. Commodore Frank Bainimarama assumed executive power after the resignation, possibly forced, of President Mara. Fiji was rocked by two mutinies at Suva's Queen Elizabeth Barracks, later in 2000 when rebel soldiers went on the rampage. The High Court ordered the reinstatement of the constitution, and in September 2001, a general election was held to restore democracy, which was won by interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party.[citation needed]

In 2005, amid much controversy, the Qarase government proposed a Reconciliation and Unity Commission, with power to recommend compensation for victims of the 2000 coup, and amnesty for its perpetrators. However, the military strongly opposed this bill, especially the army's commander, Frank Bainimarama. He agreed with detractors who said that it was a sham to grant amnesty to supporters of the present government who played roles in the coup. His attack on the legislation, which continued unremittingly throughout May and into June and July, further strained his already tense relationship with the government. In late November 2006 and early December 2006, Bainimarama was instrumental in the 2006 Fijian coup d'état. Bainimarama handed down a list of demands to Qarase after a bill was put forward to parliament, part of which would have offered pardons to participants in the 2000 coup attempt. He gave Qarase an ultimatum date of 4 December to accede to these demands or to resign from his post. Qarase adamantly refused to either concede or resign and on 5 December President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, was said to have signed a legal order dissolving Parliament after meeting with Bainimarama.

In April 2009, the Fiji Court of Appeal ruled that the 2006 coup had been illegal. This began the 2009 Fijian constitutional crisis. President Iloilo abrogated the constitution, removed all office holders under the Constitution including all judges and the Governover of the Central Bank. He then reappointed Bainimarama as Prime Minister under his "New Order" and imposed a "Public Emergency Regulation" limiting internal travel and allowing press censorship.

For a country of its size, Fiji has a large armed forces, and has been a major contributor to UN peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world. In addition, a significant number of former military personnel have served in the lucrative security sector in Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion.[citation needed]

[edit] Politics

Politics of Fiji normally take place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Fiji is the head of government, the President the head of state, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Fiji. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Since independence there have been four coups in Fiji, two in 1987, one in 2000 and one in late 2006. The military has been either ruling directly, or heavily influencing governments since 1987.

[edit] 2006 Military takeover

Citing corruption in the government, Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama, Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, staged a military takeover on December 5, 2006 against the Prime Minister that he himself had installed after the 2000 coup. There had been two military coups in 1987 and one in 2000 when the military had taken over from elected governments led by or dominated by Indo Fijians. On this occasion the military took over from an indigenous Fijian government which it alleged was corrupt and racist. The commodore took over the powers of the presidency and dissolved the parliament, paving the way for the military to continue the take over.

The coup was the culmination of weeks of speculation following conflict between the elected Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, and Commodore Bainimarama. Bainamarama had repeatedly issued demands and deadlines to the Prime Minister. At particular issue was previously pending legislation to pardon those involved in the 2000 coup. Despite intervention to reconcile the parties by the President, Vice President and Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand there was no willingness to make concessions on either side. This therefore failed to resolve the crisis.

Bainimarama named Jona Senilagakali caretaker Prime Minister. The next week Bainimarama said he would ask the Great Council of Chiefs to restore executive powers to President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo.[7] On December 6, Bainimarama declared a state of emergency, and warned that he would not tolerate any violence or unrest.

Following the coup, the Commonwealth of Nations held an emergency meeting in London, where they declared Fiji's membership had been suspended. On December 9, the military rulers advertised for positions in the Government, including cabinet posts, in a national newspaper. They stated people wishing to apply must be "of outstanding character", have no criminal record, and never have been bankrupt.[8]

Also on December 9 the IFNA withdrew the right of Fiji to host the 2007 World Netball Championships as a consequence of the Military takeover. The withdrawal is expected to have a significant impact in Fiji due to the popularity of the sport.

On January 4, 2007, the military announced that it was restoring executive power to President Iloilo,[9] who made a broadcast endorsing the actions of the military.[10] The next day, Iloilo named Bainimarama as the interim Prime Minister,[11] indicating that the Military was still effectively in control.

In the wake of the take over, reports have emerged of intimidation of some of those critical of the interim regime. It is alleged that two individuals have died in military custody since December 2006. These deaths have been investigated and suspects charged but not yet brought to court.

Following ongoing criticism from neighbours, specifically Australia and New Zealand, the New Zealand High Commissioner Michael Green was expelled from Fiji in mid June 2007, in the aftermath of restrictive emergency regulations having been lifted (recognised as a generally positive development by outside observers).

On 6 September 2007, Commodore Frank Bainimarama said Fiji's military had again declared a state of emergency as he believed ousted Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase was engaged in destabilization efforts when he returned to Suva after 8 months of exile on his home island Vanuabalavu in Lau. Elections were tentatively set for March 2009.[12]

The interim Government set-up an anti-corruption Commission which have received numerous complaints and allegations, there have also been a number of high profile dismissals from government and associated industry. The anti-corruption body however, has yet to successfully prosecute anyone for alleged corruption.

During November 2007 there were a number of people brought in for questioning in regard to an assassination plot directed at the Interim Prime Minister, senior army officers and members of the Interim Cabinet.

On April 9, 2009, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision that Bainimarama's take-over of Qarase's government was legal, and declared the Interim Government illegal. Bainimarama agreed to step down as Interim PM immediately, along with his government, and President Iloilo was to appoint "a distinguished person independent of the parties to this litigation as caretaker Prime Minister, ..... to direct the issuance of writs for an election ..."

On April 10, 2009, President Iloilo suspended the Constitution of Fiji, dismissed the Court of Appeal and, in his own words, "appoint[ed] [him]self as the Head of the State of Fiji under a new legal order".[13] As President, Iloilo had been Head of State prior to his abrogation of the Constitution, but that position had been determined by the Constitution itself. The "new legal order" did not depend on the Constitution, thus requiring a "reappointment" of the Head of State. "You will agree with me that this is the best way forward for our beloved Fiji", he said. Bainimarama was re-appointed as Interim Prime Minister; he, in turn, re-instated his previous Cabinet.

On May 1, 2009, Fiji became the first nation to ever be suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum for its failure to hold democratic elections by that date.

[edit] Demographics

[edit] Ethnic groups

Native Fijian women, 1935

The population of Fiji is mostly made up of native Fijians, who are Melanesians (54.3%), although a few also have Polynesian ancestry, and Indo-Fijians (38.1%), descendants of Indian contract labourers brought to the islands by the British in the nineteenth century. Most of these Indo-Fijians are or are descendants of Bhojpuri-speaking Biharis. The percentage of the population of Indian descent has declined significantly over the last two decades due to migration for various reasons. There is also a small but significant group of descendants of indentured labourers from Solomon Islands.

About 1.2% are Rotuman — natives of Rotuma Island, whose culture has more in common with countries such as Tonga or Samoa than with the rest of Fiji. There are also small, but economically significant, groups of Europeans, Chinese and other Pacific island minorities. The total membership of other ethnic groups of Pacific Islanders is about 7300. Tongans, who as traders and warriors have lived in Fiji for hundreds of years, form the largest part of this community. In the old days there was active commerce between Tonga and Fiji, and later in the history of this relationship the Fijians in the Lau Islands became vassals to the King of Tonga. One particular reason Tongans and Samoans came to Fiji was to build drua (large double-hulled canoes) which they couldn’t build on their own islands because of the lack of proper timber.

Relationships between ethnic Fijians and Indo-Fijians at a political level have often been strained, and the tension between the two communities has dominated politics in the islands for the past generation. The level of tension varies between different regions of the country. There are also good indications of racial harmony with the recognition of cultural and religious holidays by all races in Fiji.[citation needed]

[edit] Demonym

Within Fiji, the term "Fijian" refers solely to indigenous Fijians; it denotes an ethnicity, not a nationality. Constitutionally, citizens of Fiji are referred to as "Fiji Islanders" though the term "Fiji Nationals" is used for official purposes. In August 2008, shortly before the proposed People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress was due to be released to the public, it was announced that it recommended a change in the name of Fiji's citizens. If the proposal were adopted, all citizens of Fiji, whatever their ethnicity, would be called "Fijians". The proposal would change the English name of indigenous Fijians from "Fijians" to itaukei, the Fijian word for indigenous Fijians.[14]

Deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase reacted by stating that the name "Fijian" belonged exclusively to indigenous Fijians, and that he would oppose any change in legislation enabling non-indigenous Fijians to use it.[15] The Methodist Church, to which a large majority of indigenous Fijians belong, also reacted strongly to the proposal, stating that allowing any Fiji citizen to call themselves "Fijian" would be "daylight robbery" inflicted on the indigenous population.[16]

In an address to the nation during the constitutional crisis of April 2009, military leader and interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who has been at the forefront of the attempt to change the definition of "Fijian", stated:

"I know we all have our different ethnicities, our different cultures and we should, we must, celebrate our diversity and richness. However, at the same time we are all Fijians. We are all equal citizens. We must all be loyal to Fiji; we must be patriotic; we must put Fiji first."[17]

[edit] Religion

Religion is one of the primary differences between indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians, with the former overwhelmingly Christian (97.2% at the 1996 census), and the latter mostly Hindu (70.7%) and Muslim (17.9%).[citation needed] The CIA world factbook states: Christian 64.5% (Methodist 34.6%, Roman Catholic 9.1%, Assembly of God 5.7%, Seventh Day Adventist 3.9%, Anglican 0.8%, other 10.4%), Hindu 27.9%, Muslim 6.3%, Sikh 0.3%, other or unspecified 0.3%, none 0.7% (2007 census).

The largest Christian denomination is the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma. With 36.2% of the total population (including almost two-thirds of ethnic Fijians), its share of the population is higher in Fiji than in any other nation. Roman Catholics (8.9%), the Assemblies of God (4%), the Seventh-day Adventists (2.9%) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (2.2%), also are significant. The LDS Suva Temple is the 91st temple of the church in operation. Fiji also is the base for the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia (part of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia). These and other denominations also have small numbers of Indo-Fijian members; Christians of all kinds comprise 6.1% of the Indo-Fijian population. Much major Roman Catholic missionary activity was conducted through the Vicariate Apostolic of Fiji, which has since been renamed the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Suva, which spans the whole of Fiji.[citation needed]

Hindus belong mostly to the Sanatan sect (74.3% of all Hindus) or else are unspecified (22%). The small Arya Samaj sect claims the membership of some 3.7% of all Hindus in Fiji. Muslims are mostly Sunni (59.7%) and Shia (36.7%), with an Ahmadiyya minority (3.6%) regarded as heretical by more orthodox Muslims. The Sikh religion comprises 0.9% of the Indo-Fijian population, or 0.4% of the national population in Fiji. Their ancestors came from the Punjab region of India. The Bahá'í Faith has over 21 Local Spiritual Assemblies throughout Fiji and Baha'is live in more than 80 localities.[18] The first Baha'i in the islands was a New Zealander who arrived in 1924.[18] There is also a small Jewish population. Every year the Israeli Embassy organises a Passover celebration with approximately 100 people attending.[citation needed]

[edit] Political divisions

Map of the divisions of Fiji

Fiji is divided into Four Major Divisions:

These divisions are further divided into 14 provinces. The Fourteen Provinces of Fiji:

  • Ba
  • Bua
  • Cakaudrove
  • Kadavu
  • Lau
  • Lomaiviti
  • Macuata
  • Nadroga-Navosa
  • Namosi
  • Naitasiri
  • Ra
  • Rewa
  • Serua
  • Tailevu

Fiji was also divided into 3 Confederacies or Governments during the reign of Cakobau, though these are not considered political divisions, they are still considered important in the social divisions of the indigenous Fijians:

  • The Burebasaga Confederacy
  • The Kubuna Confederacy
  • The Tovata Confederacy

[edit] Geography

Map of Fiji
Scenery on Monuriki

Fiji covers a total area of some 194 000 square kilometres of which around 10% is land.

Fiji is the hub of the South West Pacific, midway between Vanuatu and the Kingdom of Tonga. The archipelego is located between 176° 53' east and 178° 12' west. The 180° meridian runs through Taveuni but the International Dateline is bent convieniently to give uniform time to all of the Fiji group. With the exception of Rotuma, the Fiji group lies between 15° 42' and 20° 02' south. Rotuma is located 400 kilometres north of the group, 670 km from Suva, 12° 30' south of the equator.

Fiji consists of 322 islands (of which 106 are inhabited) and 522 smaller islets. The two most important islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The islands are mountainous, with peaks up to 1,300 metres (4,250 ft), and covered with thick tropical forests. Viti Levu hosts the capital city of Suva, and is home to nearly three quarters of the population. Other important towns include Nadi (the location of the international airport), and the second city -Lautoka (the location of a large sugar mill and a seaport). The main towns on Vanua Levu are Labasa and Savusavu. Other islands and island groups include Taveuni and Kadavu (the third and fourth largest islands respectively), the Mamanuca Group (just outside Nadi) and Yasawa Group, which are popular tourist destinations, the Lomaiviti Group, outside of Suva, and the remote Lau Group. Rotuma, some 500 kilometres (310 mi) north of the archipelago, has a special administrative status in Fiji. Fiji's nearest neighbour is Tonga. The climate in Fiji is tropical and warm most of the year round.

[edit] Economy

Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the more developed of the Pacific island economies, though still with a large subsistence sector. Natural resources include timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower. Fiji experienced a period of rapid growth in the 1960s and 1970s but stagnated in the 1980s. The coup of 1987 caused further contraction. Economic liberalization in the years following the coup created a boom in the garment industry and a steady growth rate despite growing uncertainty of land tenure in the sugar industry. The expiration of leases for sugar cane farmers (along with reduced farm and factory efficiency) has led to a decline in sugar production despite a subsidized price. Subsidies for sugar have been provided by the EU and Fiji has been the second largest beneficiary after Mauritius.

Urbanization and expansion in the service sector have contributed to recent GDP growth. Sugar exports and a rapidly growing tourist industry — with 430,800 tourists in 2003[19] and increasing in the subsequent years — are the major sources of foreign exchange. Fiji is highly dependent on tourism for revenue. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity. Long-term problems include low investment and uncertain property rights. The political turmoil in Fiji has had a severe impact on the economy, which shrank by 2.8% in 2000 and grew by only 1% in 2001. The tourism sector recovered quickly, however, with visitor arrivals reaching pre-coup levels again during 2002, which has since resulted in a modest economic recovery. This recovery continued into 2003 and 2004 but grew by 1.7% in 2005 and grew by 2.0% in 2006. Although inflation is low, the policy indicator rate of the Reserve Bank of Fiji was raised by 1% to 3.25% in February 2006 due to fears of excessive consumption financed by debt. Lower interest rates have so far not produced greater investment for exports. However, there has been a housing boom from declining commercial mortgage rates. The tallest building in Fiji is the fourteen-storey Reserve Bank of Fiji Building in Suva, which was inaugurated in 1984. The Suva Central Commercial Centre, which opened in November 2005, was planned to outrank the Reserve Bank building at seventeen stories, but last-minute design changes made sure that the Reserve Bank building remains the tallest.

Trade with Fiji has been criticized due to the country's military dictatorship. In 2008, Fiji's interim Prime Minister and coup leader Frank Bainimarama announced election delays and that it would pull out of the Pacific Islands Forum in Niue, where Bainimarama would have met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.[20]

[edit] Culture

Fiji's culture is a rich mosaic of indigenous, Indian, Chinese and European traditions, comprising social polity, language, food (based mainly from the sea, casava, dalo & other vegetables), costume, belief systems, architecture, arts, craft, music, dance and sports.

The indigenous culture is very much active and living, and is a part of everyday life for the majority of the population. However, it has evolved with the introduction of old cultures like the Indian and Chinese ones, as well as a large influence from Europe, and from various Pacific neighbors of Fiji, mainly the Tongan and Rotuman. The culture of Fiji has created a unique communal and national identity.[i>citation needed]

[edit] Holidays

This is a list of holidays in Fiji:

The exact dates of public holidays vary from year to year, but the dates for this year and recent years can be found here: http://www.fiji.gov.fj/publish/public_holidays.shtml

[edit] Language

Fijian is an Austronesian language of the Malayo-Polynesian family spoken in Fiji. It has 350,000 first-language speakers, which is less than half the population of Fiji, but another 200,000 speak it as a second language. The 1997 Constitution established Fijian as an official language of Fiji, along with English and Hindustani, and there is discussion about establishing it as the "national language", though English and Hindustani would remain official. Fijian is a VOS language.

The Fiji Islands developed many languages, some similar and some very different. Missionaries in the 1840s chose the language of one island off the southeast of the main island of Viti Levu, to be the official language of Fiji. This island, Bau, was home to Cakobau, the chief that eventually became the self forged "King" of Fiji. Missionaries were interested in documenting a language and in standardizing all of Fiji on one official language to make their job of translating and teaching in Fiji a bit easier. Standard Fijian is based on the language of Bau, which is an East Fijian language. There are many other dialects that make up the West Fijian Language including dialects spoken in the Nadroga/Navosa which are unique and those of the western island groups and provinces.

[a title="Edit section: Sport" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fiji&action=edit&section=15">edit] Sport

The national sport of Fiji is considered to be rugby union (see rugby union in Fiji), however rugby league is also widely played. The national team is very successful given the size of the population of the country, and has competed at four Rugby World Cups, the first being in 1987, where they reached the quarter-finals. The Fiji national side did not match that feat again until the 2007 Rugby World Cup when they upset Wales 38-34 to progress to the quarter-finals. Fiji also competes in the Pacific Tri-Nations and the Pacific Nations Cup. The sport is governed by the Fiji Rugby Union which is a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance, and contributes to the Pacific Islanders rugby union team. At the club level there are the Colonial Cup and Pacific Rugby Cup. The Fiji sevens team is one of the most successful rugby sevens teams in the world, having won the two world cup titles and the 2006 IRB Series.

Fiji's other main sport is soccer and is enjoyed and played by all ethnic groups. It is easily the second most popular sport in Fiji.[citation needed] Fiji participates in the Soccer World Cup in the Oceania Group. They have defeated both Australia and New Zealand in recent years.[citation needed]

Fiji's most famous individual sportsmen are probably the golfer Vijay Singh and sailor Tony Philp who have both been ranked number one in the world at one time. In team sports, rugby seven's player Waisale Serevi is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

[edit] See also

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