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Bala: Remembrance Day Important

Bala: Remembrance Day Important
Descendants of Girmitiyas during the Girmit Remembrance Day celebrations at the Nadi Civic Centre on May 13, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO
May 15
10:13 2018

It is important for people to use Girmit Remembrance Day celebrations as an event to get a better sense of history and context of how indentured labourers from India came to Fiji.

The comment came from Minister for Lo­cal Government, Housing, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala during the Gir­mit Remembrance Day celebrations at Nadi Civic Centre on Sunday.

The centre was packed to capacity as peo­ple from all over the Western Division gath­ered in big numbers to pay their respects to the suffering and struggle their forefathers faced under the indentured labour system.

As part of the celebrations, Mr Bala joined women in cutting a cake to mark Mother’s Day.

“Today marks the 139th year since the ar­rival of the first Girmityas, the first inden­tured labourers came to Fiji from India in May 1879 on board the Leonidas,” he said.

The theme of the event was Remembering Fiji’s Girmit Heritage,

“The Legacy Our Future.

“It is important that we use Girmit Re­membrance Day to get a better sense of the history, background and context to why and how Girmityas came to Fiji,” Mr Bala said.

“There was a great challenge under the British Administration to find labour to sustain the economy,” Mr Bala said.

“This is the truth.

“Turn the pages of history books you will find all these facts unfortunately some years back and until today, but I really don’t know the reason why this history was not told.

Sundra Singh Gounder, who came all the way from Tavua to be part of the celebra­tions, said he was honoured to call Fiji home and thanked the Government for fi­nally remembering the suffering of their forefathers under British colonial rule.

“It is an honour to be part of these celebra­tions and come here and remember our forefathers for it was through their struggle and hard work we are able to be where we are today,” he added.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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