Fiji celebrates Girmit Day

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 15, 2023
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SUVA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of people on Monday turned up at Albert Park in Suva, capital of Fiji, to participate in the celebration of the Girmit Day, a marked public holiday in the country.

The celebration began with a float and parade of the Indo-Fijian and i-Taukei (indigenous) communities.

While officiating at the Girmit Day celebration, Fiji's Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said the Girmit story is now the center of a new national movement for peace and reconciliation.

According to Rabuka, from 1879 to 1916, 60,000 people from India crossed the vast seas to become indentured laborers in sugar cane plantations in Fiji.

Fiji became a British colony in 1874.

The words "girmit" and "girmitiya" stem from the Indian pronunciation of the employment agreements signed by these workers, he added.

Anurag Subramani, academic and historian at the University of the South Pacific, said indenture was a concealed form of slavery and Girmit is always tied to the idea of coercive labour regime and brutality, whereas people seem to have forgotten or half remember the past traumatic events. Enditem

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