October 10 is Fiji Day, celebrates the independence of Fiji from United Kingdom in 1970.
The first settlements in Fiji were started by voyaging traders and settlers from the west about 5000 years ago. Over the centuries, a unique Fijian culture developed.
The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman visited Fiji in 1643 while looking for the Great Southern Continent. Europeans settled on the islands permanently beginning in the 19th century.The first European settlers to Fiji were beachcombers, missionaries, whalers, and those engaged in the then booming sandalwood and bêche-de-mer (sea cucumber) trade.
The British subjugated the islands as a colony in 1874, and the British brought over Indian contract laborers to work on the sugar plantations as the first governor of Fiji, Arthur Charles Hamilton-Gordon, adopted a policy disallowing the use of native labour or any interference in their culture or way of life.
The British granted Fiji independence in 1970.
Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 km (1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand’s North Island.
Video: Fijians who we met in Okinawa in April, 2016.