One afternoon during my lunch hour at work, my ex-colleague and I were walking around the Circular Quay in Sydney. He had mentioned about Fiji and how there were some software companies that had opportunities. “Where is this Fiji?“, I had asked him without knowing how beautiful and exotic location that country was.
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Fiji, I had learned, is an island country in South Pacific Ocean and is most visited country by Australians. The country island has more than 300 islands and is a heaven for scuba divers and beach lovers.
- There are two ways to reach Fiji from other countries, one is by taking a flight (Virgin Australia and Fiji Airways) and two is by taking a cruise that stops at the island. The flight is the shortest way to get there as the journey between Sydney and Fiji only takes 5 hours one way.
‘Hmm! It just takes about 5 hours by flight from Sydney. So, why not plan a trip with my mother!‘ I had thought. My mother was visiting me that year from India and I wanted to go some where exotic and hence I had thought an island is a perfect way to spend time.
Read my post 4 days in Fiji for the things to do in Fiji during the 4 days of travel.
Last day in Fiji
On my last day in Fiji, I had decided to take a taxi to visit the second largest city in Fiji, Lautoka. Lautoka is on the west coast of the island Viti Levu. It is known for its sugar cane fields and is known as the Sugar city of Fiji.
The taxi driver had picked us up promptly, early in the morning.
As he was was a local native Fijian, I had inquired, “Do you still have tribes here?“
The driver had immediately responded, “Yes, madam!“. Giving a dramatic short pause, he had added, “Don’t worry madam! Cannibalism is stopped now.” He had grinned looking for my response.
‘Dude! what do you expect me to respond? Should I be glad that my mom and I are not eaten because Cannibalism is stopped?‘ I had thought to myself.
But I wanted to listen to his story more, I had asked him to take us to meet the tribes. Since, we had developed a good rapport, he had agreed and taken us to a tribal village Viseisei. He had arranged for one of the tribal women to show us around the village.
The tribal village had huge houses around an arena. One of the houses had extra decoration of sea shells on the roof and that had belonged to the Chief of the tribe.
The arena had a white pillar in the middle. The tribal woman, seeing me clicking the picture of the pillar, had casually remarked, “Generations back, that pillar used to be decorated by the human skulls!“
History of Cannibalism in Fiji
As the history goes, Fiji was once known as ‘Cannibal Isles‘. If the stories are to be believed, one tribal chief is said to have eaten about 850+ people and to have collected a pile of stones to record his achievement (‘OMG! Scary, isn’t it?’). There is also a belief that there lived a giant once who had eaten about 999 people and in case he had crossed the mark of 1000, he would have been immortal.
Read - 10 bucket list items for Fiji.
Cannibalism or not? Don’t know! True stories or not? Don’t know! Fiji is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen and would remain as one of my favourites for a long long time. The legends that have been passed on by generations are truly fascinating.
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