“Bula Maleya” is one of Fiji’s favorite songs. It originated with Fijian soldiers who fought, as members of the British Commonwealth, in the British military campaign to fight the Japanese in Malaysia (then Maleya) during World War II. During the battles Fijian and Malayan soldiers became friendly and wrote this song to mark their cooperation.
Fijians have adopted “Bula Maleya” as a welcome song, singing it readily to greet tourists arriving on the islands. There are a several versions of the song, some more bawdy than another, but FijiIslands.com translates the song in a way we and the kids in our classes can sing it: “Greetings Malaya and Fiji also, All the young men are very strong, Talking to the sea, gives me happiness, Hello, hello everyone. Remember Fiji, a small country, With a will to move forward, Fiji will grow to be famous, For Malaya to be known in the world, We found each other again, We will celebrate gloriously, We patriotically declare, The name of Fiji for the honour of the Queen.”