Kava is a narcotic beverage. You can buy kava in a powdered form and it is then thoroughly mixed with water. It looks like muddy water and tastes like bitter water mixed with earth and incense. Traditionally, it is men who drink kava but visitors of both genders are encouraged to try.
Each group sits around a large earthenware pot as kava is mixed and prepared. Within each group, the oldest man drinks first, then the second oldest until finally the youngest man, followed by the eldest woman etc until the rotation begins again with the eldest man. You clap once before your receive your bowl, the rest of the group then claps three times. The effects are numbness and a general feeling of content.
There are a few ways to drink kava. You can organise it through your hotel or visit a village and do so if you get invited by a local (this photograph is of the former).
I managed to do it a few times whilst there. The taste is not for everyone, but if you can get to a village for a late night session, chatting idly with the locals and listening to some guitar, the experience is unforgettable.
Church on Sunday
Many Fijians in rural areas are devout Christians. Every village has some kind of church or place of worship. I managed to get along to a church service on a Sunday morning while I was there. The whole village attended the service too. Everybody really dresses up for it, even the small children.
Even if Religion is not your thing, it`s quite an experience. Nobody will preach to you or try to convert you. They just seemed honoured to have us there.
Remember that it`s customary to ask permission first before you enter a village. I went to the church at the Tambua Sands Village, 15 km east of Sigatoka.
- Religious Travel
There are numerous small villages dispersed around the coastline of Viti Levu. Although entering one of them may seem an interesting (and harmless) thing to do, remember that it is mark of respect to get permission to enter first.
If you see someone at or near the village edge, just ask them if you can visit. They will probably then take you to see a senior member of the community.
This village is close Tambua Sands resort. I followed the procedure above and was taken to the house of Kata, the village headman. A casual chat in his living room ensued and then his son showed us around. We were made to feel very welcome.
I helped these locals home
Carolina and I helped 6 familes home by giving them a lift home on our car.
Remeber they were the ladies and children selling the home made ROTI typical FIJIAN food.
They were so suprised of our offer.
We both were very excited that we were able to help these people home without having to pay for their taxi or bus fare.
Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple - Nadi
Nadi is the home to the largest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere and is a 'must stop' for visitors wishing to experience the cultural and architectural diversity for which Fiji is well known.
The three-part Sri Siva-Subramaniya temple is dedicated to the deity Murugan whose statue, specially carved in India, is housed in the main temple. The second part of the complex is Ganesh temple, while the thirds section is the Meenakshi and Shiva Temple.
If you decide to visit this unique structure, please remember this is a Holy Hindu Shrine and show the appropriate respect.