Fiji was created by the combination of volcanic mountains and warm tropical waters. The majestic and varied coral reefs now attract tourists from all over the world, but were the nightmare of European sailors until well into the 19th century. As a result, Fijians have retained their land and often much of the non-commercial attitude of people living in large extended families with direct access to natural resources.
When it came, European involvement and cession to Britain was marked by conversion to Anglicanism, cessation of animist beliefs, brutal tribal warfare and cannibalism, and immigration of large numbers of Indentured Indian workers whose descendants now make up almost half the population, as well as smaller numbers of Europeans and Asians.
Today, Fiji is a country of tropical rainforests, coconut plantations, beautiful beaches and fire-tanned hills. For the casual tourist, it is blissfully free of evils such as malaria, landmines or terrorism that plague many similarly beautiful places in the world.
Internal political events in the recent past have led to a reduction in tourism. The tourism industry in Fiji has responded by lowering prices and increasing promotion of the main holiday areas, which are far removed from the politics in and around the capital Suva.
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