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Courtesy of: Fiji Visitor's Bureau Fiji Weather- The seasons are the opposite of the USA, our winter is their summer, our spring their fall. Fiji enjoys an ideal South Sea tropical climate. Maximum summer temperatures average 31 Degrees Celsius (88 Degrees F) and the mean minimum is 22 Degrees Celsius (72 Degrees F) The winter average maximum is 29 Degrees Celsius (84 Degrees Celsius F) and the mean minimum is 19 Degrees Celsius (66 Degrees Celsius F). These are much cooler in the uplands of the interior of the large islands. A cooling trade wind blows from the east-southeast most of the year. It usually drops to a whisper in the evening and picks up again by midmorning. Fiji has a climate ideally suited for the outdoors, the beach and surf, for light cotton dresses, barbecues and water sports. For more details on Fiji's climate and weather forecasts we suggest you visit the Fiji Meteorological Service Online at http://www.met.gov.fj Fiji summer Average Air Temperatures: 23 - 30°C 73 - 86°F Average Water Temperatures: 27 - 29°C 80 - 84°F Fiji winter Average Air Temperature: 20 - 26°C 68 - 79°F Average Water Temperatures: 25 - 27°C 77 - 80°F Map of Fiji Electricity The electrical current in Fiji is 240 volts AC 50 Hz. Fiji has three pin power outlets identical to Australia and New Zealand. If your applications are 110v check for a 110/240v switch; if there is none you will need a voltage converter. Leading hotels and resorts offer universal outlets for 240v or 110v shavers, hair dryers, etc. Attire: Visitors to Fiji should bring a light tropical wardrobe. Bathing suits, shorts, T-shirts and as they will soon discover "sulus" (known also throughout the Pacific as pareau, lavalava or sarong) are a must for both men and women. The wrap-around "sulu" is Fiji’s most distinctive and versatile form of dress. It is women who obtain the most benefit from the "sulu". There are at least ten different ways in which it can be used, even for evening wear. Ask your resort staff for hints on tying and wearing your "sulu". Visitors are asked to be careful not to offend local sensibilities. Wearing bikinis and ultra-brief, swimming costumes is fine at the resort but not when visiting villages or shopping in town. At such times it is easy to take a sulu to use as a wrap-around so no offence is caused. Both men and women should be careful to respect local feelings. LOCAL FASHION - HOW TO TIE SULUS For Women Halter -Neck Sulus Place one corner over-shoulder and wrap around body to tie behind neck One Shoulder Style Place one corner over shoulder and right around body to back tie corners For Men Wrap around body very tight, tuck one corner over and then the other one in and roll the cloth to hold firm Make corners at front and tie firmly Communications Most hotels have direct dialing facilities. Check with the operator for long distance and international charges, which may also be found in the telephone directory. Please note that the international country IDD code for Fiji is 679. There are no area codes. Thus, when dialing any part of Fiji from overseas the procedure would be: Access code (679) plus the Fiji subscriber number. Mobile Communication Vodafone Fiji Limited, a subsidiary of Telecom Fiji Ltd, operates a GSM digital mobile communication service. It has roaming agreements with Australian (GSM) operators namely Telstra, OPTUS and Vodafone Pty, and New Zealand operator - BellSouth plus UK operator Vodafone Ltd UK. All mobile customers are advised to check with their network operators for their roaming status before traveling to Fiji. To find out if you can roam in Fiji with your GSM handset, visit the Vodafone website http://www.vodafonefiji.com for the latest information. Time Zones: When it is 9am in Fiji, it is: 9pm in London previous day, 10pm Frankfurt previous day, 4pm New York previous day, 1pm Los Angles previous day, 6am Tokyo same day, 9am Auckland same day, 7am Sydney same day. When your country is on daylight saving add one hour to the above time. Between November and February, Fiji time moves forward one hour with daylight saving. Etiquette In A Fijian Village - When visiting a village it is customary to present a gift of yaqona, which is also known as kava. The gift, called a sevusevu, is not expensive-half-a-kilo (which is appropriate) costs approximately $10. It is presented to the Turaga ni Koro, the executive head of the village. The presentation is usually in his house and will generally be attended by some of the older men who happen to be in the vicinity at the time and can quickly turn into a social occasion. Pounded into powder, the yaqona will be mixed with water and served. Be prepared to shake hands and to answer many personal questions such as where you are from, are you married, how many children do you have, how much money you earn etc. It is important to dress modestly when away from the immediate vicinity of your resort or hotel. Always carry a sulu (sarong, lavalava, pareu) to cover bathing togs or shorts and halter- tops. Do not wear a hat in a village as it is considered an insult to a chief. Do not wear shoes into people's houses. It is considered an insult to touch someone's head. Fijians are known as the friendliest people in the world. Your respect for their customs and traditions will not only make you a welcome guest in their villages and homes, but also add another dimension to your Fijian holiday. Important Tips About Visiting Villages: Dress modestly. Don't wear shorts, and women must not wear halter-tops and shoulders bare. Do not wear hats. 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 villagers ask you to eat or accompany them, politely note that you are with your host and would be honored to visit with them at some other time. Remember, Fijians will, out of customs, always ask you to eat with them or share whatever they have. Speak softly. Raised voices are interpreted as expressing anger. Show respect, but be cautious with praise. If you show too much liking for an object, then the Fijians will feel obliged to give it to you as a gift, whether they can afford to or not. If you spend a night in the village, reward your host with a useful gift of similar value for each member of your party. It is not recommended that you stay in a village, which is in the habit of accommodating paying visitors. If you feel obliged to pay more, then ask your host what he or she might like and purchase it for them. A bundle of groceries are graciously appreciated by large Fijian families. You will find some villages more traditional than others, especially those distant from towns and urban centres. Remember, Fijians are not judgmental of other people and will rarely express a negative opinion. However, you will find that the more you respect their customs, the warmer your village welcome will be. Tipping Tipping is not encouraged in Fiji and it is left to the individual to determine whether to make a gratuity. Some resorts operate a staff Christmas fund. Though tipping is not a local custom, you will find local people tipping. This has as much to do with social attitudes as it does recognition of the excellence of service. Fijians ritually exchange gifts of food, clothing, "yaqona", "tabua", kerosene, and even money during important social occasions, so that tipping can be seen in the light of sharing. It can denote a person of affluence who is generous. But it must be emphasized that at all times it is a question of individual choice. Say it in Fijian Almost everyone in Fiji speaks English - as it is the official language, but the Fijian language is preserved and widely spoken in many different dialects. Almost everyone is bilingual and many Fijian terms are included in everyday English usage. It is handy to know some of the more common words and phrases, and the Fijians will be delighted to know you picked up some of their language. Fijian pronunciation is similar to English, but with a few changes to the phonetic alphabet. Below is a brief guide, which will bring you close to the correct pronunciations. The best way to learn, since there are many subtleties, is to have a Fijian instruct you and then listen closely. Pronunciation - "a" is "ah" as in father, but shorter. The correct pronunciation of Nadi, is closer to "Nahn-di" than "Nan-di". "b" is "mb" as in bamboo. you'll hear "bula" or "hello" many times. You may notice the slight humming "m", almost silent at the beginning. When something precedes the "b", then the "m" sound becomes more pronounced. The formal "hello", Ni Sa Bula, is pronounced "ni sahm" boola". "c" is "th" as in "this". So "moce" meaning goodbye is pronounced "moe-they". "d" is "nd" as in candy. "g" is "ng" as in singer. "i" is"i" as in sit or "ee" as in routine. "o" is "ngg" as in finger. The island of Beqa is pronounced "Mbeng-gah". "u" is"oo" as in bamboo or "u" as in put. English Fijian good morning ni sa yadra (ni sah yan dra) hello! bula(mbula) goodbye ni sa moce (ni sa mothey) please yalo vinaka (yalo vee naka) excuse me tulou (too low) yes io(ee-o) thank you vinaka (vee naka) no seqa (senga) eat kana (kana) village koro lady marama mister turaga (tu rang ah) little vaka lailai (vaka lie lie) plenty vaka levu (vaka ley vu) quickly vaka totolo (vaka toe toe lo) house vale/bure (valey/mburey) toilet vale lailai (vale lie lie) come lako mai (la ko my) go lako tani (la ko tanee) bring kauta mai (ka ou tah my) one more dua tale (ndua ta lay) one dua (ndua) two rua what is this na cava oqo (na thava on go) drink gunu (goo noo) coconut niu (new) I want au vinakata (aoo vina kahta) church vale ni lotu (vahle nee lohtoo) shop sitoa (seetoah) Health Quarantine Fiji is free from malaria, yellow fever and major tropical diseases that are endemic to most tropical countries. It has an effective medical system in place although local people still believe in the efficacy of age-old herbal remedies. Fresh water reticulated in Suva, Lautoka and the other major towns has been treated and is safe to drink from the tap. This also applies to hotels and resorts. Some resorts use artesian water for bathing, but provide drinking water separately. If this is the case, visitors will be advised. Vaccinations Yellow Fever and Cholera vaccinations are only required if coming from an infected area as designated by the World Health Organization. Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers over I year of age coming from an infected area.