Every year thousands of people from all over the world come to Canada to start a new life. They come with many talents and skills and with the hope of contributing to their new society. Your interest in reading this profile may be due to your involvement with the HOST program, where you have the opportunity to meet people from Fiji and introduce them to life in Canada. You may have a colleague at work or a student in your school from one of the Fiji islands. 

The decision to make a new home in another country is not an easy one. People must leave behind familiar things. Although Canada may seem quite different from Fiji, there are also many similarities. Immigrants from Fiji will have many of the same questions that you would have if you moved to a new town or city. They will wonder how to find a job, which school their children should attend, where to find a doctor and what their new community will be like. You will probably find that you have much in common with your new friends and that you can learn from them too.

The indigenous people of Fiji make up almost half the population. The second largest cultural group (over 40%) is made up of the descendants of people who originally came from India. They are usually called "Fijian Indians" or "Indo-Fijians." Caucasian people in Fiji, regardless of their county of origin, are referred to as "Europeans" in Fiji. Other inhabitants are identified by their ethnic origin as Chinese, Tongan, Rotuman (Polynesian) or Banaban (Micronesian). In this cultural profile, we use the terms "indigenous Fijian" and "Fijian Indian" for the two largest groups and Fijians to refer to all the people of Fiji. 

Fiji's various ethnic communities have many distinct traditions. Although this profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life for these different groups. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Fiji.


  Did you know?
The International Date Line crosses the Fiji islands. This imaginary line marks the change from one day to the next. The Date Line swings around to the east of the islands, so that the whole country can be in the same time zone.
  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Sovereign Democratic Republic of the Fiji Islands
Capital Suva
Type of Government Parliamentary Republic 
Population 800,000 
Area 18,376 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Indigenous Fijians (Melanesians and Polynesians), East Indians
Languages English, Fijian, Hindi
Religions Christianity, Hinduism, Islam
Unit of Currency Fijian dollar
National Flag Blue with a Union Jack in the top hoist-side corner and a crest on the opposite side. At the top of the crest, a lion holds a cocoa pod. A red cross divides the bottom of the crest into four sections showing three sugar canes, a coconut palm, a bunch of bananas and a dove.
Date of Independence October 10, 2021