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Fiji Indians – Girmit and Girmitiyas Posted by on May 31, 2021 in Culture, Hindi Language, History

Island with huts

Fiji

History of the Fiji Indians

 In the 18th century 18 वीं शताब्दी the British were busy dominating पर हावी the world, making colonies and, bringing with them, their brand ब्रांड of tea चाय, sugar चीनी, and the English language भाषा.   The demand मांग for sugar was increasing worldwide दुनिया भर and the ability to cultivate विकसित करना it with new techniques तकनीक were improving.

The British took seedlings रोपण of the sugarcane  गन्ना plant from England in the 19th century to Fiji. They discovered पता चला that the weather मौसम and conditions शर्तेँ of the soil in Fiji were perfect उत्तम for growing sugarcane गन्ना and the demand for this item वस्तु increased its value मूल्य in the world community समुदाय-भावना.

What is Girmit 

Sugarcane was high in demand मांग में अधिक in those days and continues to be. However, in order to keep up with the demand, few कुछ Europeans wanted चाहता था to work on the plantations वृक्षारोपण in Fiji.  So, they made agreements समझौतों with Indians to bring them as indentured slaves गिरमिटिया दास to work. This is a painful वृक्षारोपण past दर्दनाक अतीत for India and for Fiji and therefore not much बहुत ज्यादा नहीं is written about it in history books इतिहास की पुस्तकें.

The agreement was called Girmit. The document दस्तावेज़ of agreement held the name नाम, place of birth जन्म स्थान, occupation अधिभोग, next of kin परिजनों के बगल में and faith धार्मिक आस्था of the indentured slave.  This agreement or contract was for five years after which it could be renewed.  

The Girmit and Girmitiyas

The British took Indians भारतीयों, mostly from areas क्षेत्रों that the British ruled शासन करनेवाला by ship समुंद्री जहाज to Fiji. Many did not make the journey सफ़र, dying मरते हुए on the ship. Many never saw कभी नहीं देखा their families परिवारों again. These Indians who settled में बसे in Fiji are called Girmitiyas. They have their own उनके स्वंय के language बोली, culture संस्कृति, and food खाना. 

The Indians introduced Fiji to typical cuisines such as chicken मुर्गी curry and Rotis रोटी, although seafood समुद्री भोजन and vegetables सब्जियां along with coconut नारियल make up a large part of their diet आहार. Hindus and Sikhs celebrate their traditional festivals and one can see temples and priests also in Fiji.

Where are the Girmitiyas today?

The indentured system व्यवस्था ended in 1916 but many ended up staying रह गया in Fiji. This and the influx तांता of families joining broughtले आया more Indians to Fiji under normal immigration आप्रवासन. Fiji gained independence स्वतंत्रता प्राप्त की in 1970 after 96 years of British rule ब्रिटिश शासन. However  हालाँकिthere was growing unrest बढ़ती अशांति due to conflict टकराव between native देशी Fijians and the Indian population आबादी.

The native Fijians tolerate सहन them but live-in an uneasy truce असहज संघर्ष विराम with many natives मूल निवासी even today. Due to की वजह से this many Indo Fijians leave Fiji वे फिजी छोड़ते  for the UK, US, Australia, and Canada. India is a distant land दूर भूमि of the Ramayana to them, and many have never stepped on her shores. 

 

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About the Author: Nicole Herbert Dean

Language, Region and Culture Consultant


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