Fiji <<FEE jee>> is a country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is made up of more than 800 islands and reefs. A reef is a narrow strip of rock, sand, or coral at or near the surface of the ocean. Coral is a colorful, stonelike material made up of the skeletons of small sea animals.
The island of Viti Levu (Big Fiji) covers about half of Fiji’s area. The island of Vanua Levu (Big Land) covers another large area. Suva, the capital and largest city of Fiji, is on Viti Levu.
Most of the Fiji Islands were formed by volcanoes. The larger islands have high volcanic peaks, rolling hills, rivers, and grasslands. Coral reefs surround nearly all the islands. Rain forests cover more than half of Fiji.
Fiji’s income comes mainly from farming. Gold is the country’s main mineral. Many people visit Fiji each year. Many people in Fiji work in the tourist industry.
More than half of Fiji’s people are Fijians. Fijians have lived in Fiji for thousands of years. Most of the rest of Fiji’s people are descendants of people who were brought from India to work in sugar plantations. The official languages of Fiji are English, Fijian, and Hindustani, the spoken form of the Indian language Hindi.
Fiji became independent in 1970. It had been under the control of Great Britain since 1874.
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