• Short Summary

    FIJI, A GROUP OF ABOUT 500 ISLANDS WITH A POPULATION NOT FAR SHORT OF HALF A MILLION, HAS BEEN A BRITISH COLONY FOR OVER NINETY YEARS; AND ITS POPULATION HAVE NOT EXPRESSED ANY DESIRE TO BECOME INDEPENDENT JUST YET.

  • Description

    FIJI, A GROUP OF ABOUT 500 ISLANDS WITH A POPULATION NOT FAR SHORT OF HALF A MILLION, HAS BEEN A BRITISH COLONY FOR OVER NINETY YEARS; AND ITS POPULATION HAVE NOT EXPRESSED ANY DESIRE TO BECOME INDEPENDENT JUST YET. THE FIJIAN GOVERNMENT HAS RECENTLY SAID THAT A UNITED NATIONS FACT-FINDING MISSION WOULD NOT BE WELCOMED, BECAUSE, IN ITS OPINION, SUCH A MISSION WOULD BE LIKELY TO COME WITH PRE-CONCEIVED IDEAS ABOUT COLONIALISM.

    A NEW CONSTITUTION INTRODUCED LAST YEAR BROUGHT THE COLONY A STAGE NEARER SELF-GOVERNMENT, BY PROVIDING THAT ALL BUT FOUR MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL SHOULD BE ELECTED, AND THAT A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE COUNCIL SHOULD BE DRAWN FROM THESE ELECTED MEMBERS.

    THE POLITICAL SITUATION IS COMPLICATED BY THE COMMUNAL MAKE-UP OF THE POPULATION. PEOPLE OF INDIAN EXTRACTION NOW OUTNUMBER THE FIJIANS. THE INDIANS ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF INDENTURED LABOURERS BROUGHT IN TO WORK ON THE SUGAR PLANTATIONS AT THE END OF THE LAST CENTURY. THE LAWS THAT USED TO KEEP THE COMMUNITIES APART HAVE BEEN MODIFIED - FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE NOW INTEGRATED SCHOOLS. BUT INDIANS CAN ONLY LEASE LAND, NOT BUY IT, AND THEY ARE FINDING THIS INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO DO AS MORE FIJIANS WANT TO FARM THEIR OWN LAND. SO MOST INDIANS MAKE THEIR LIVING BY TRADE OR IN THE PROFESSIONS.

    SUGAR PRODUCTION IS THE MAINSTAY OF THE ECONOMY, AND BIGGEST EARNER OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE. AFTER THAT COMES TOURISM. MORE THAN 40,000 TOURISTS VISITED FIJI LAST YEAR, AND THE NUMBER IS RISING ABOUT 10% A YEAR. SUVA, THE CAPITAL, IS A PORT OF CALL FOR LINERS FROM AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND THE PACIFIC COAST OF AMERICA. AND EIGHT WORLD AIRLINERS USE THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT NANDI. THIS COST GBP4,000,000 TO BUILD, AND BRITAIN, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND CANADA CONTRIBUTED FINANCIALLY.

    ONE FEATURE OF LIFE ON FIJI THAT IT IS HOPED WILL ATTRACT THE TOURISTS IS THE SUGAR TRAIN. THE LINE, WHICH RUNS THROUGH SOME OF THE MOST PICTURESQUE SCENERY ON THE MAIN ISLAND, EXISTS PRIMARILY TO COLLECT UP THE CUT SUGAR CANE IN THE HARVEST SEASON IN NOVEMBER AND TAKE IT TO THE MILL. BUT OUT OF SEASON, THE SUGAR COMPANY RUNS A FREE SERVICE ONCE A WEEK FOR PASSENGERS, WHICH IS VERY POPULAR WITH THE LOCAL PEOPLE.

    ANOTHER SOURCE OF INTEREST IS THE TRADITIONAL CEREMONIAL AND DANCING OF THE FIJIAN PEOPLE. FILM INCLUDES SCENES OF TWO OF THESE CEREMONIES - THE PRESENTATION OF THE TAMBUA, OF WHALE'S TOOTH, AND THE PREPARATION AND DRINKING OF YAN??? OR KAVA. IT ALSO INCLUDES A TYPICAL SPEAR DANCE. THERE IS NATURAL SOUND THROUGHOUT THIS SECTION OF THE FILM.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5KLM0KS87U4MV7IQ4Q3I2IK87
    Media URN:
    VLVA5KLM0KS87U4MV7IQ4Q3I2IK87
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    03/05/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:24:17:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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