FIJI ISLANDS 
 
Indo-Fijian History And Culture
 
         

Indo-Fijian culture means more than Indians living in Fiji. It is a unique blend of beliefs and customs that's developed over centuries out of remarkable historical circumstances. Indo-Fijian culture is heavily intertwined with indigenous Fijian life and culture, without the Indo-Fijian account, you're only getting half the story.

History

Most Indo-Fijians today are the descendants of indentured labourers who began arriving in Fiji from India in the late 1800s to work for the British in cane fields and sugar mills. Many were young illiterate farmers recruited from villages across India, but there was also a mix of castes ranging from Chamars (lower castes) to Brahmins (higher castes). In the mid-1900s, on completion of their contracts, independent Indian farmers began leasing land to earn a living in sugar cane, cotton, tobacco and rice cultivation. By the time indenture was abolished in 1919, some Indians had diversified further, becoming shopkeepers, clerks, public servants and domestic help. The big move into commerce began in the 1930s, following the arrival of a second wave of mainly business migrants from India. Over the next few decades, the Indians, focused on consolidating their lives and laying the foundations for a future in their adopted country. By the 1940s, Indians outnumbered indigenous Fijians and a campaign for equal citizenship was well underway. In the post-war years Indo-Fijian became more socially and politically organised, and education took on new impetus. During the 1950s and 1960s their numbers in businesses and the professions swelled. Many young Indo-Fijians were sent to study overseas and returned as doctors, lawyers and teachers, brimming with Western influences and ideas about nation building. Among them were future leaders including Mahendra Chaudhry and Jai Ram Reddy.

Fiji became independent from 96 years of colonial administration in 1970. For the next 15 years Indo-Fijians felt fairly secure under Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, whose Alliance Party promoted multiracialism. But in the mid-1970s race relations took an ugly turn when nationalism, warning of an Indian takeover, demanded the repatriation of all Indians. It was during this period that an unflattering racial stereotype of Indo-Fijians as greedy and self-serving emerged. Political disillusionment with the major parties soon set in.  In the mid-1980s many Indo-Fijians turned to the new Fiji Labour Party (FLP) and its platform of social reform. In 1987 a FLP-NFP (Indo-Fijian National Federation Party) coalition won the election under the leadership of Dr Timoci Bavadra. Dr. Bavadra's cabinet was mainly Fijian but the new government was labelled Indian-dominated by nationalists. In May 1987 the Bavadra government was overthrown in a military coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka. Indo-Fijian insecurities reached new heights when, in 1990, a new racially based constitution was introduced to concentrate power in the hands of indigenous Fijians. Two years later Rabuka became prime minister following the first elections since 1987.

During the early 1990s thousands of skilled and professional Indo-Fijians find the country, and by the mid-1990s Rabuka as prime minister came under local and international pressure to review the 1990 constitution. As a result a new and fairer constitution, including a Bill of Rights, was declared in 1997. Parliamentary seats were still allocated according to ethnicity, but Indo-Fijians were relatively better off under this system. In the May 1999 elections Rabuka was rejected and Fiji's first Indo-Fijian prime minister, FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry, came to office. Within a year, Cahudhry's social-reform agenda and his style proved too much for the establishment and nationalists. In 2000 the Chaudhry government was overthrown, following a coup led by George Speight. The 1997 constitution was ditched and an all-indigenous interim government was appointed by the military. Once again deprived of their rights, Indo-Fijians began leaving the country in droves. But many also remained to see the crisis through, including cane-farmer Chandrika Prasad, who took the interim regime to court. He challenged the abrogation of the 1997 constitution and won, paving the way for the 2001 general election (see the History section in Facts about Fiji for more information). 

Thank you so much for visiting the above four Domains. I am very pleased to be able to share with you that further limited advertising on Fiji: Indo-Fijian History And Culture Home Page, along with other Web Pages within the above Domains are now available. Potential advertisers are cordially invited to choose from several thousand Web sites available for placement of your important advertisements.

I would like to sincerely thank everybody for visiting and for your kind support. Best wishes and God's blessings to all. For further information, please contact me at:

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The Indian in Indo-Fijian

With some five generations having been raised in Fiji, the Indo-Fijian community has forged a strong identity in its adopted homeland. This identity is neither Fijian nor Indian proper, but a unique blend of these cultural traditions. For an Indo-Fijian, being ethnic Indian as opposed to being indigenous Fijian is about a certain type of upbringing and way of life. The outlook and aspirations of Indo-Fijian are very much informed by India's value systems, which have been inherited over the years. Much emphasis is placed on education and hard work to ensure a secure future for oneself. Add thriftiness for good measure and you have the core of the Indo-Fijian package. India remains an important cultural beacon for Indo-Fijians, influencing ritual practices, culinary tradition, dress and entertainment. Today these aspects of Indo-Fijian life provide some of the more obvious signs of cultural distinction between Indians and non-Indians.

Food and the rituals surrounding preparation and consumption continue to reflect the traditions of India. Most Indo-Fijians enjoy home-made rotis (traditional breads) straight from the kitchen. Steaming curries are served with roti and rice and accompaniments such as chutney and yogurt often complete the meal. Many Indo-Fijian have a weakness for traditional sweets (mithai) and on special occasions, such as religious festivals, younger family members are often taught mithai making. But home is not the only place you would find Indo-Fijians enjoying and sharing in these popular cultural imports from India. Spot and Indo-Fijian around lunch time at school, the workplace or the outdoors and you can be sure the unashamedly ubiquitous curry combo is not too far away. Tradition, pride and identity have also ensured that saris, the colourful Indian dress worn by women, remain popular in Fiji. In recent years, taking cue from India's fashion friends and films, the Muslim - and Punjabi-influenced salwaar-kameez has also become de rigeur, especially among the younger generations. Most Indo-Fijians are practising Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs, and across the country, temples and mosques lend a particularly Indian feel to the landscape. The domes, minarets and red flags atop bamboo poles in backyards also serve as a reminder of the strength of Indo-Fijian adherence to the faiths of India.

Entertainment and recreation continue to have a decidedly sub-continental flavour for many Indo-Fijians, with the local cinemas providing a regular dose of Hindi-language Bollywood film and music. Indo-Fijian home-entertainment systems are often tuned to provide Bollywood on tap, as well as an endless supply of Hindi-pop music videos. Apart from the pure escapism value, Bollywood films also provide many with the only connection they have with India and sub-continental Hindi.

The Fijian in Indo-Fijian

While India may well provide a cultural beacon, most Indo-Fijian today have never been to India, nor feel any particular kinship with that country. Over a century of living together with indigenous Fijians has had a profound effect on the Indo-Fijian identity and lifestyle. As a result, Indo-Fijians have largely done away with the rigidities of India's caste and social structure, adopting instead the laid-back Melanesian way of life. In Fiji, schools, higher-education institution, the workplace and places of worship do not discriminate according to cast or class differences. As a result the relative ease with which Indo-Fijians socialise and engage is arguably one of the characteristics which sets them apart from Indians - especially the middle classes in India. For example, in Fiji wedding invitations from economically disadvantaged or rural relatives are seized upon by their well-to-do relatives as an opportunity to catch-u with relatives and indulge in feasting and celebrations. Such disregard for social codes would be frowned upon in India. Wedding practices have actually undergone changes in the Melanesian environment. Whereas in India wedding rituals vary widely across the country, in Fiji they have largely been standardised.

One of the more significant cultural departures from India has been the mergence of a Hindi dialect unique to Indo-Fijians. Known as Fiji-Hindi, it is an amalgam of regional dialects spoken by earlier indentured labourers from India. Today it is used in all informal family and social settings. In India, it would be regarded as toota-phoota, or broken Hindi. But its universal use among Indo-Fijians as well as its distinct grammatical rules and vocabulary, have contributed to its increasing acceptance as a legitimate dialect. The current community debate about whether Fiji-Hindi should be used occasionally on national radio instead of shud, or 'Standard Hindi' demonstrates this cultural confidence.

Indian Fijian Tensions

Most aspects of Indo-Fijian lifestyle and culture have comfortably coexisted with the indigenous Fijian way of life for over a century. Occasionally, however, cultural differences between the two communities have proven rich fodder for political agitations, despite the fact that simmering racial tensions can also be attributed to other factors, including a racially based electoral system. The majority of Indo-Fijians still belong to disadvantaged classes. But the domination of a few in economic activities, and then high visibility in professional and white-collar occupations have often been used by politicians to fan the coals of resentment, especially among the disenfranchised. For a long time, Indo-Fijians have been blamed for the economic plight of indigenous communities. And ever since the early part of last century, the threat of eventual Indian domination has been a recurring theme in Fiji politics, and recycled quite effectively by opportunists and extremists. Such fear-mongering often succeeded in driving a wedge between the two communities. When the democratically elected governments were overthrown in 1987 and 2003, the first thing the coup leaders did was to separate the indigenous Fijian government ministers from their Indo-Fijian colleagues.    

The symbols of Indo-Fijian success - new cars, big houses, expensive saris and gold jewellery serve as a constant reminder of what makes Indo-Fijians different as well as threatening. One coup leader has even referred to the way Indians 'look different and smell different' when justifying his actions to the international media. The fact is, the Indo-Fijian threat can and has often served as a perfect smokescreen for other agendas.

Coming Together

Despite the obvious differences between the two main communities, the extent to which they coexist and influence each other demonstrates the goodwill that has grown over the years. The soccer field is a place of shared experiences. The game first became popular in Fiji among Indians in the post-indenture period. Today, indigenous Fijians and others have all joined in. The goodwill that has been generated is reflected in the way the players engage on and off the field. In some of the main soccer districts such as Lautoka and Labasa, It is not uncommon for players to speak each other's language and hold regular curry, beer and kava nights. In some areas of Fiji, Indo-Fijian and indigenous Fijian cultures have merged to such an extent that these communities are regarded as oddities in the rest of the country. This is pronounced in the cane belts of Viti Levu - also known as the 'Western side'. After years of working alongside Indo-Fijians, many indigenous cane farmers speak Fiji-Hindi fluently, while their families immerse themselves in Bollywood films like any other Indo-Fijian farming family. The more die-hard Indophiles even sing Hindi film songs. Some Indo-Fijians in these rural areas also speak the local Fijian dialects. Indo-Fijian devotional songs or bhajans have even been recorded and released commercially by indigenous Fijian artists.

This comfortable coexistence in the Western side found political expression in the Fiji Labour Party, especially in its early days. Both Labour prime ministers deposed in the coups - the indigenous Fijian Timoci Bavadra and the Indo-Fijian Mahendra Chaudhry - have come from the west. In the mid-1980s the Labour Party emerged as the main opposition to the established parties, with its work and issues-based agenda. Unions and the urban intellectuals championed its causes, but it was the combined support from indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians in the Western side that under-penned the Party's multiracial appeal. Indigenous Fijians in the west, disgruntled with the political dominance of their mainly eastern chiefs, threw their support behind the Labour Party, thus cooperating with a large constituency of Indo-Fijian cane growers.

Cultural Immersion

The best way to experience Indo-Fijian culture is to share a meal at the home of an Indo-Fijian. To increase the chances of being invited, you can always meet sociable Indo-Fijians at some of their favourite celebrations., haunts, shops and cultural venues. Annual festivals and events provide some of the best opportunities. Diwali (Festival of Lights) takes place around October to November, and a good way to join in the fun is by buying some sweets and candies and sharing them with Indo-Fijians. Religious events include temple fairs where thousands of Indo-Fijians gather to watch rituals and enjoy folksy meals. In Suva the South Indian fire-walking festival during July or August begin with a procession and culminates at the Mariamma Temple (Howell Rd. Samabula). In the north, the Ram Leela festival is held at the Mariamman Temple in Vurivau, Labasa around October. During the rest of the year, visitors are welcome at Hindu and Sikh temples, but temple etiquette must be followed, including wearing conservative dress, removing footwear and abstaining from non-vegetarian meals on the day of your visit.

Fairground activities also accompany the soccer season, which runs from February to October. Club soccer matches are played on weekends throughout the season, culminating in the inter-district tournament, held in a different location each year. On the sidelines there is fierce culinary competition under tin sheds, where pulau (aromatic fried rice), curry and roti are sold. Be prepared to eat with your fingers and put up with the distorted Bollywood and folk music blaring around you. If you want to hear and watch the real Bollywood thing, there are cinemas in all major towns and cities with regular session of Hindi films (without subtitles), newspapers carry careering details. Bollywood music tapes and CDs are usually available in duty-free centres, as well as at music stores such as Procera Music Stores. In major Indo-Fijian shopping areas, such as Toorak and Cumming Streets in Suva, there is a wide variety of stores selling Indian spices, saris and knick-knacks.

There are plenty of good restaurants around the country serving Indian meals, including the familiar North Indian specialties such as tandoori and naan. For a traditional Indo-Fijian cuisine, inquire about seasonal vegetables such as dunuka, katahar (Jackfuit) and kerela (bitter melon). Do not forget to ask for pickles and chutneys made from local fruits such as mangoes, kumrakh (star-apple) and tamarind.

Kaise (KAY-say)               - the common Indo-Fijian hello
Kaise hai (KAY-say hey) - How are you?
Tik hai (TEEK-hey)          - I'm well
Fir Milio (PHIR Mil-lio   - A colloquial 'We'll meet again'

SUVA

Nestled on the harbour with views to the surrounding mountains, Suva (pronounced soo-va) is one of the most laid-back capitals you're likely to come across. With wooden, colonial buildings, a friendly population (358,495) and something close to a cosmopolitan air, this small city has a certain charm about it, it's worth spending a day or two taking in the museum, lounging in the cafes or checking out the nightlife. You can also catch up on some of your shopping in Suva's myriad of stores or head out to the nearby Colo-i-Suva Park for a quiet escape into the lush rainforest. Suva is Fiji's political and administrative capital and home to about half of the country's population. As the largest city in the South Pacific, Suva has become an important regional centre with the University of the south Pacific, the Forum Secretariat and many embassies to prove it. Students from throughout the Pacific reside here, as do many public servants and a growing expat community. As with most cities, urbanisation has also brought new difficulties, crime and poverty have increased in recent years and around half of Suva's inhabitants are crowded into settlements on land that has no title. 

On a less serious but equally grey note, clouds tend to hover over Suva and frequently dump rain on the city (around 300mm each year). You may, however, find the rain a welcome relief to the heat and humidity that often cloak the city.

HISTORY

The Fijians who originally lived on Suva Peninsula had a small settlement on the site of the present day government House. Like the infamous Chief Cakobau of Bau, they were the traditional rivals of the Rewans of the Rewa Delta to the east. In the 1850s, with the help of King George of Tonga, Chief Cakobau defeated the Rewans and soon after, proclaimed himself Tai Viti, or King of Fiji. As King, Cakobau took it upon himself to give away bits and pieces of Fiji to foreign settlers who began arriving in the country in the mid 1800s. Cakobau also managed to acquire giant debts with the American immigrants and, by 1862, his inability to pay them off became apparent when he attempted to cede Fiji to Britain in exchange for debt clearance. Up until this time, the only Europeans in the Suva area had come from Melbourne, seeking new sources of fortune after the decline of the gold rushes and subsequent downturn in the Australian economy. In Cakobau's debts the Australians saw their chance, in 1868, the newly formed Australian Polynesia Company agreed to clear Cakobau's debts with the Americans in return for the right to trade in Fiji and a large chunk of land, 90 sq km of which covered the Suva Peninsula.

While it was not his land to trade, the powerful Chief Cakobau had the Suva villagers relocated and welcomed a new group of Australians to the area in 1870. The new settlers cleared dense reed from what is now downtown Suva and tried growing cotton and sugar cane. Their attempts of farming on the peninsula's thin topsoil and the soapstone base failed and most of the settlers' efforts ended in bankruptcy. In an effort to increase land values, two Melbourne merchants, WK Thomson and S Renwick, encouraged the government to relocate the capital from Levuka in Suva with incentives in the form of land grants. As Levuka had insufficient room for expansion and the government was looking for a fresh start for white settlement, the government officially moved to Suva from Levuka in 1882.

In the 1880s Suva was a township of about a dozen buildings. Later, sections of the seashore were reclaimed and trading houses constructed, and by the 1920s it was a flourishing colonial centre. Large-scale land reclamation was carried out in the 1950s for the Walu Bay industrial zone. Suva most recently hit the international headlines in May 2000 when George Speight and his military entourage held the government hostage in Suva's Parliament Buildings.

ORIENTATION

Suva is on a peninsula about 3km wide by 5km long, with Laucala Bay to the east and Suva Harbour to the west. Most of the peninsula is hilly apart from the narrow strip of land on the eastern edge of the city where you'll find Suva's main drag, Victoria Parade, as well as the market and wharf. The random layout of downtown Suva is attributed to Colonel FE Pratt, surveyor general in 1875. The many people who wanted the plans modified stumbled over a lack of funds and Suva unfolded to Pratt's creative design. The suburb of Toorak tumbles up onto the bill east of Suva Market. Originally Suva's posh neighborhood (named after Melbourne's exclusive suburb), it has fallen from grandeur. In this area, Waimanu road passes the hospital in the northeast and then rolls down into town, becoming Renwick Road at Nubukalou Creek and then Victoria Parade.

Victoria Parade is Suva's main business strip where many of the city's restaurants, shops and clubs congregate. Heading south, it will take you past the government buildings, Albert Park and to Thurston Gardens and the museum. Beyond the museum, it's renamed Queen Elizabeth Drive and heads out past Suva Point and round to the University and National Stadium on the eastern side of the peninsula. Drivers may find central Suva's one-way streets, angled intersections and contorted loops a bit challenging at first. There are three major roads in and out of the city: the Queens Road from Nadi, Princes Road to the northeast (the scenic route to Nausori); and the Kings road from Nausori and the International Airport. Kings Road meets Princes Road closer to Suva, where it turns into Edinburgh Drive. Edinburgh Drive and Queens road converge at Walu Bay roundabout; if you're heading downtown, had south at this roundabout onto Rodwell Road which you can follow past the bus station and market, across Nubukalou Creek and into central Suva.

FIJI MUSEUM

Chock-full of excellent exhibits and well-maintained artefacts, the Fiji Museum is well worth a few house of your time. With excellent descriptions, the museum takes you through the history of Fiji's peoples, cultures, languages, animal life, pottery and more recent migration, as well as the more gory accounts of warfare and cannibalism. There is a beautiful, traditional drua on display, the last of these large ancient catamaran to be built. At first glance, the museum doesn't look very big, but on the other side of the shop is a larger two-storey wing that looks at early traders and settlers, blackbirding and Indian indenture. Upstairs is the small Into-Fijian Gallery with local, contemporary artwork.

The museum continues to undertake archaeological research and collects and preserves oral traditions. Many of these are published in Domodomo, a quarterly journal on history, language, culture, art and natural history hat is available in the museum's gift shop. It also organises craft demonstrations with one of Fiji's best-known potters, Taravini Wati.    

PARLIMAMENT OF FIJI

Opened in June 1992m, the parliament complex was designed in post-1987 coup climate, and the aim of maintaining indegeno9us-Fijian values is apparent. Traditional arts and structures are mingled with a contemporary feel. The main building, vale ne bose lawa (parliament house), takes its form from the traditional vale or family house and has a ceremonial access from Ratu Sukuna Road. The complex is 5km from the city centre. It's easiest to reach by taxi, however, you can hop on a bus along Queen Elizabeth Drive and walk along Ratu Sukuna Road for 1km.

As the site of the 2000 coup, the parliament buildings are no longer very accessible to the public. If you would like to visit, you must arrange it beforehand by calling the parliament buildings, unexpected guests will be turned away.

UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC

With beautiful lawns and excellent facilities, the USP main Laucala Campus is a pleasant place to visit. Once the site of a New Zealand seaplane base, the campus has over11,000 students. USP has smaller campuses in other Pacific countries, the university has a total population of over 1.5 million. USP is a fee-paying institution and most students rely on scholarships for which the competition is fierce. The government's policy of 'positive discrimination' is a controversial one - with 50% of all scholarships awarded to indigenous Fijians. Inside the northwestern entrance, on the right, is a small botanical garden with peaceful trails winding around Pacific trees and plants. You can also visit USP Oceania Centre where you can see temporary exhibits of paintings and carvings and sometimes even catch an artist at work. The university's main entrance is off Laucala Bay Road and is a 10 to 15-minute drive from downtown Suva. There are frequent bases to the USP; the Vatuwaqa bus departs opposite the Dominion arcade in Thomson Street,near the FVB or you can hop on a Raiwaga bus from Victoria Parade. The taxi fare from the city is about $3.

ROTUMA

Rotuma (population 3000) is an isolated, 30 sq km volcanic island, 450km northwest of Suva. Its shape resembles a whale, with the larger body of land linked to the small tail end to the west by the Motusa isthmus. It is about 13km long by 5km at its widest point, with extinct volcanic craters rising up to 250m. The smaller offshore islands of Uea, Hatana and Hofiua, 3km to 6km west of Rotuma, are important seabird rookeries. Uea is a high, rocky island and the spectacular Hofiua is also known as 'split island' because of its unusual rock formation. Endemic wildlife includes the Rotuman gecko and the red-and-black Rotuman honeyeater. Rotuma is a province of Fiji, but - unlike predominantly Melanesian Fiji 0 its indigenous population is Polynesian with a distinct culture that has developed over hundreds of years. Tongans invaded Rotuma during the 17th century and the Tongan influence is evident in the language and dance.

In 1791, Europeans on the HMS Pandora stopped here to search for mutineers from the Bounty. Rotuma became an important port, and the local people were exposed to traders, runaway sailors and convicts. During the mud-19th century, Tongan Wesleyan and Marist Roman Catholic missionaries introduced their versions of Christianity. By the 1870s the religious groups were warring and, in response to the unrest, the Rotuman chiefs decided to cede their home to Britain. Rotuma became joined politically to the Fijian colony in 1881. Most young people leave their remote island home to find work, and about 6,500 ethnic Rotumans live on other Fijian islands, mostly in Suva on Viti Levu. Villagers fish and grow fruit (including oranges and bananas), root crops and coconuts in the fertile soil. There is no bank or shopping centre, just a cooperative. Rotuma produces copra, which is processed at the mill near Savusavu on Vanua Levu. In 1988 Rotumans demonstrated their wish to become independent from Fiji, but the movement was quashed by the Fijian government. In the early 1990s the island hit the new over bad debts and bank-loan scandals. 

The Origin of Rotuma

Rotumas believe their ancestors came from Samoa. The spot where the island presently lies was nothing but open sea until the arrival of Samoan chief Raho and his favourite grandchild. The little girl was unhappy in her homeland as her cousin was always annoying her. To escape his torment, she convinced her grandfather to take her away to live on another island. For days and nights their entourage sailed westward in an outrigger canoe, but failed to find land. Eventually the chief three some Samoan soil overboard. The soil grew to form a beautiful, fertile island, which he named Rotuma. Some of the soil scattered, forming the other small islands. Rotumans commemorate the legend in their dance and song.

For further information about Rotuma, check Jane's Rotuma Home Page: http://www.janeresture.com/rotuma/index.htm

  FIJI
 Language

One of the reasons many visitors from the English-speaking world find Fiji such a congenial place to visit is that they don't have to learn another language - the majority of the local people they come in contact with can speak English, and all signs and official forms are also in English. At the same time, for almost all local people, English is not their mother tongue - indigenous Fijians speak 'Fijian at home and Indo-Fijians speak Fiji-Hindi (also known as Fijian Hindi and Fiji Hindustani). If you really wish to have a better knowledge of the Fijian people and their culture, it is important that you know something of the Fijian language - and, no matter how poor your first attempts at communicating, you will receive much encouragement from Fijians.

FIJIAN

The many regional dialects found in Fiji today all descent, at least partly, from the language spoken by the original inhabitants. They would have come from one of the island groups to the west, either the Solomons or Vanuatu, having left their Southeast Asian homeland at least 1000 years previously and spread eastwards by way of Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. From Fiji, groups left to settle the nearby islands of Rotuma, Tonga, and Samoa, and from there they spread out to inhabit the east of Polynesia, including Hawaii and the north, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the south. All the people in this vast area speak related languages belonging to the Austronesian language family.

There are some 300 regional varieties (dialects) of Fijian, all belonging to one of two major groupings. All varieties spoken to the west of a line extending north-south, with a couple of kinks, across the centre of Viti Levu belong to the 'Western Fijian group, while all others are Eastern Fijian. Fortunately for the language learner there is one variety, based on the eastern varieties of the Bau-Rewa area, which is understood by Fijians throughout the islands. The standard form of Fijian is popularly known as vosa vakabau (Bauan), though linguists prefer to call it standard Fijian. It is used in conversation among Fijians from different areas, on the radio and in schools, and is the variety used in this Web site. In Fijian, there are two ways of saying 'you', 'your', and 'yours'. If you are speaking to someone who is your superior, or an adult stranger, you should use a longer 'polite' form. This form is easy to remember because it always ends in -ni. In all other situations, a shorter 'informal' address is used.

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