Sample Fiji - Traditions (Grades 4-5) Worksheet
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Fiji - Traditions
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman

1     Fiji has a long history full of cultural influences from around the world. Native Fijians have found some of their traditions changed by visitors from India and as far away as Europe. Sometimes, those changes were for the better; sometimes, those changes severely damaged ancient Fijian traditions.
2     Song and dance are very important parts of Fijian culture. Dances have been passed down through the generations. Dances called "meke" tell stories about Fijian life and are performed at important life events like birth, death, and marriage. During these dances it is believed that Fijian dancers take on spirits from another world. Indians who were brought to Fiji as slaves by the British in the 18th and 19th centuries brought their own dances with them. Many Indian dances are still practiced today.
3     Religious missionaries from around the world brought church singing to Fiji, where it is sung today like nowhere else in the world. Beautiful harmonies and bright and airy melodies are features of Fijian singing. The Fijian islands feature many locally popular musical artists. Many of these artists perform popular Indian music for the Indian populations of Fiji. These performances feature traditional Indian instruments like the tabla and sitar.

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