10,000 Bulas – A Fijian Language Lesson

Fiji kidsFrom the moment we stepped onto the airplane bound for Fiji, we were greeted with BULA! their universal word of welcome. And the Bulas haven’t stopped since! Fijians definitely live up to their reputation as the Friendliest People on Earth!

BULA is Hello, To Your Health, Welcome; a smile and a nod on the street, a shout from the window from a small child, a chorus from a cluster of teenagers in the park, a lilting melody from a smiling Fijian woman.

“Bula! Bula!” says the man walking down the road with a machete in his hand and fresh bananas slung over his shoulder, “BOO-Laaa!!” sing the ladies with brilliant hibiscus blossoms tucked behind their ear. A Bula is exchanged and we’re fast friends. We’ve both given and received so many Bulas we could fill our suitcase ten times over – and would not have missed it for the world!

BULA VINAKA – Another form of Thank You Very Much. Heart-felt and freely given here on the islands.

VINAKA – Thank you

SULU – Also called a lava lava. A wrap or skirt worn by Fijian women. Traditional wear in the village where customs call for women to have knees and shoulders covered.

PAW-PAW – Papayas. Served in everything from curry to dessert custards, this island staple is also a favorite of the enormous fruit bats that circle around at dusk every evening. As soon as the first tingle of ripening yellow is visible on the fruit, the race is on with the bats for the prize!

LOVO – Traditional Fijian feast of fish, chicken and pork, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked on heated rocks in an underground oven. YUM!

KOKODA – National dish of Fiji. Raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice, spiced with pepper, onions and tomato (Fijian ceviche)

FIJI TIME – While not part of the official language of the islands, this “slow down and take it easy” mantra is certainly a big part of Fijian life. It may take a while for the Type A personalities to embrace, but once it’s caught on, you wonder why every place else on earth doesn’t join in.

Our time in Fiji is always magical. The smiles, the heart-felt greetings, kindness, and true compassion you feel from those who make these beautiful islands their home. Thank you Fiji for making us feel welcome and for sharing your heart with us for a short time. I feel certain that we’ll be back!

BULA FIJI!

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