Home to some of the happiest people on earth Fiji is a destination where cultural experiences are a must, and we can assure you will be a life changing experience. The hearts of the Fijian people shine through in all that they do and taking the time to experience their culture will create memories you will never forget. Here are our top picks for cultural experiences when you visit Fiji:
#1 Local Village Visit
Visiting a local village is top on our list of cultural activities because it will allow you to experience daily life in Fiji as well as to interact and connect on a personal level with the locals. Best experienced on a tour, which you can organize through your travel agent or resort, a local village tour will start with a warm welcome of song, smiles and heartfelt handshakes followed by an explanation and exploration of the village. Village tours will also often include a kava ceremony.
A few things to note in preparation for a village tour;
Expect the locals to have lots of questions for you - don't be shy!
The Fijian culture is modest, so you will want to make sure that your attire is conservative. For the ladies you will want to cover your chest and shoulders and wear a longer skirt, dress or pants. For men tank tops should be avoided and instead opt for a button up shirt or nice t-shirt paired with shorts or pants.
The children in the village will be eager to meet you, so feel free to bring gifts of toys and/or school supplies such as paper, pencils, crayons etc.
#2 Dig Into a Lovo Dinner
When visiting any new destination one of the best ways to experience their culture is to taste their local cuisine. In Fiji some one of the best ways to do this is to dig into a Lovo whichi you will find is served at most resorts and/or on local village tours.
A Lovo dinner is a traditional Fijian meal that is cooked underground in what's called an 'earth oven'. This delicious meal typically includes chicken, fish or pork along with root plants and vegetables which are wrapped up tightly in banana leaves and palm fronds and then set on hot stones in the earth oven. These ingredients are buried and left to cook for up to three hours before it is retrieved from the earth oven and set up buffet or family style for dining.
#3 Take in a Football Game
Enjoying a sports game with locals is an excellent way to get a taste of what everyday life is like in other places - and in Fiji the sport to watch is football (as in rugby not NFL football). To say that Fijians are passionate about their football would be an understatement....in fact Fijians not only love watching football they also love playing it and supporting their professional team. Watching a football game with the locals will be unlike any sports watching experience you've had - their passion, excitement and true love for the sport is invigorating to say the least!
#4 Enjoy a Kava Ceremony
Kava is a drink derived from the roots of the kava plant and is a part of Fijian life - often shared with family and friends during things like celebrations, communal meals, special occasions and even as part of conflict resolutions. Best known for its sedative properties, it's a great way to relax and unwind with the Fijians. During the kava ceremony the village chief, or staff lead if you are at a resort, will hand the drink to ceremony guests, who all must remain seated. In a traditional ceremony this will start with the men and then end with the women - but in many resorts it is not quite as strict.
Following the kava ceremony, guests will typically participate in song and dance making it a unique and joyous occasion.