Do's and don'ts
Fijian customs are very important to learn and to understand. These include caring and sharing, respecting parents and older persons, responsibilities for not only immediate family but also extended family and others
Dress modestly. Don't wear shorts, and women must not wear halter tops and shoulders bare.
Any modern style is accepted: mini, midi, bare top except wearing of two-piece bathing suit or swimming togs are strictly for the beaches.
- Do not wear hats or touch anyone's head.
They are interpreted as a sign of disrespect.
- Always remove your shoes before entering any house or other building. Stay with your assigned host.
If other Fijian villagers ask you to eat or accompany them, politely note that you are with your host and would be honoured to visit with them at some other time.
- Speak softly. Raised voices are interpreted as expressing anger.
Shouting in the village or just plain making loud noise is considered offensive or disrespectful.
- We kiss family members or relative on just one side of the cheek and for acquaintances just formally shaking hands when greeting or bidding farewell.
Hugging and embracing was totally foreign to our land.
- It is considered taboo to point a finger at someone who is older or of high rank.
- If you intend to visit a village, it is a must to take a sevusevu (Sae-vooh Sae-VOOH). This is one of the traditions.
It is the presentation of the yagona (kava in the Pacific and pharmacological Kavakava) to the chief of the village to enable the visitors to eliminate any bad omen that would emanate from unconsciously violating the traditional taboos in the village through ignorance.
Yaqona is a plant that has the power to off-set any evil-related problem.
- In the presence of the chiefs no one is allowed to be standing up or make unnecessary noise except those who are equally high in status and of course with the exception of the traditional guards dressed like warriors.