14 May 2015

Girmit Day in Fiji

Every May 14th in Fiji there are celebrations for the Girmityas. The first ship of Indian indentured laborers arrived in Fiji on May 14, 1879. Today their descendants remember their sacrifice, their dreams, their hardships, and  honor their memory and legacy.
While Fiji still has problems with racism and the communities of native Fijians and Indians don't always get along, the celebration of Girmit Day is also used to help Indians work towards better relations with others.
India High Commissioner Gitesh Sarma said "The celebration today reflects modern Fiji where everybody is part of this country and has an equal chance to make a contribution in the development of the country."
Let's hope this spirit of hope and good will continues.
With Girmit Day there are often several stories in the news about the Girmityas. Here is a small sampling:
Old Girmit: A Journey of New Freedom
Celebrating the Life of Girmitya
Fiji Girmit's Great Legacy
Journey of 80 Years
Legacy of the Koya Clan in Ba