Segments in this Video

Introduction to Series: Islands and Life (01:20)


The islands of the world are part of the changing global community; this series will explore the lives of islanders--who can no longer separate their futures from the future of humanity.

Brief History of Fiji (03:35)

British colonialism brought immigrants, conflict and violence to Fiji. Today, new and old ways live in tenuous balance as tourism, erosion and rising ocean temperatures ravage this once idyllic land.

Tribal Living on Viti Levu (03:14)

Most of Fiji's 1 million inhabitants live in Suva on Viti Levu. Travel to Beqa where pre-Christian traditions are preserved. Meet Tui, an elder who leads the village. See preparations for a celebratory feast through which children are taught to keep traditions.

Firewalking (04:24)

Learn the legend behind one custom this tribe is determined to preserve. See Beqa villagers prepare for the ritual; stones reach temperatures of 315 degrees Celsius. Tribesmen brave the scorching heat, walking in the footsteps of their ancestors.

Christianity Comes to Fiji (04:48)

200 years ago, Fiji was home cannibal society. Methodist minister Thomas Baker was killed and eaten here in 1867. Learn the history and current status of religion in Fiji.

Mother of the Tribe (02:01)

In Beqa, the chief's wife takes responsibility for meeting the needs of the village. In 2004, she started the region's first kindergarten. Her faith sustains her; she talks about singing and faith.

Conflict: Tribal Ways and Modern Religion (04:18)

Christian groups objected to the Fijian National Rugby Team's practice of chanting a traditional war cry before games. Rugby is integral to island life and national identity; eventually, the team prevailed and was allowed to resume the practice.

Climate Change on Fiji's Islands (01:57)

Extreme weather events ravage Fiji above and below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Rising tides are washing away Fiji's coastline, which is home to 90% of Fijians.

Sugar Industry in Fiji (02:03)

In the late 19th century, sugar became the cornerstone of Fiji's industry. 60,000 Indians were shipped to Fiji to harvest sugar as indentured labor. By the time this practice was abolished, Indians had established roots in Fiji.

Family Farming in Fiji (02:51)

Meet a 5th-generation Indo-Fijian who farms his own plot of sugarcane. He and hundreds of others come for daily worship at this Hindu temple. Learn about the drought of 1997 that killed many cattle; weather changes continue to threaten agriculture here.

Political Instability (01:20)

Ethnic tensions between native and Indian Fijians continue and thousands have fled in the 30 years of conflict. Hear the perspective of a Fijian with Indian ancestry.

Fiji's Coastline: Extreme Weather (03:56)

Fijian weather has become unpredictable. A fisherman gives his perspective on the changes brought by repeated El Niño weather patterns. Damage to coral reefs threatens fish stocks; extreme weather also affects the tourist industry.

Fiji's Mountainous Interior: Extreme Weather (03:51)

Visit Navala, a traditional village where life has been virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. Hear from a traditional medicine woman just how climate change is affecting villagers.

Natural Pharmacy in Danger (02:56)

Medicine woman Milly takes viewers on a medicine gathering tour; villagers are in greater need as weather conditions create more problems. The plants she needs are becoming scarcer due to drier conditions and heat.

Plight of Fiji's Coral Reefs (03:35)

Global warming is killing Fiji's coral reefs--which serve as habitat and protection from strong waves. Hear from a man who is working with Corals for Conservation to restore and protect Fiji's coral reefs.

Restoring Fiji's Coral Reefs (02:54)

Corals for Conservation members use cuttings to reproduce and transplant corals. Through "eco-tourism" tourist labor is used to build fish houses for the coral, thus supporting the project.

Summary Fiji: Islands and Life (02:05)

With it's divided past and uncertain future, today's Fijians are in a unique position.

Credits: Fiji: Islands and Life (00:31)

Credits: Fiji: Islands and Life

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Fiji: Islands and Life

Part of the Series : Islands and Life
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Situated in the South Pacific north of New Zealand, the Republic of Fiji was settled as far back as 3500 BC. With the help of foreign settlers, Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau united part of Fiji's warring tribes under his leadership and established a united Fijian kingdom in 1871. The British subjugated the island in 1874 and brought over Indian contract laborers. This film examines how, after gaining independence from British rule in 1971, Fiji has struggled to maintain political stability in spite of differences between the Fijian and Indo-Fijian people. With a culture that is a rich mosaic of Indigenous Fijian, Indo-Fijian, Asian, and European traditions, a unique way of life has developed on this beautiful island nation. Part of the series Islands and Life. (52 minutes)

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL55079

ISBN: 978-0-81608-697-9

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA.