Fiji in detail. Fiji has been an important Pacific crossroads over the centuries, and its culture reflects the manifold influences that have touched the nation. Indigenous island culture, based on the communal values of the village still holds sway, rubbing up against sometimes with friction the Indian culture brought by indentured labourers, and the influences of Western colonialists in everything from Christianity to rugby. Since Fijian independence, there have frequently been tensions between Fiji’s two main communities — those of island descent and those from the Indian communities who settled in the islands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These tensions have spilled over into disputes over who holds political power and whether all communities are equal in the eyes of the law. Until , Fiji was divided into ‘indigenous Fijians’ and ‘Indo-Fijians’, with only the former officially allowed to call themselves Fijian. Under current law, all citizens are finally now referred to as being Fijian, with the appellation iTaukei used to refer to members of the original native community.
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with the Fijian Indians or with attempts to transform Fijian society in directions required presenting relatively recent innovations as things that date back.
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Chronology for East Indians in Fiji
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They were from all parts of India, especially from Gujarat and the Bhojpuri regions of modern-day India and Nepal , with other large numbers coming from Sindh and the Tamil and Telugu regions of the Madras Presidency. They were brought to the islands as indentured servants by Fiji’s British colonial rulers between and to work on Fiji’s sugar cane plantations. Indians had been employed for a long time on the European ships trading in India and the East Indies.
Many of the early voyages to the Pacific either started or terminated in India, and many of these ships were wrecked in the uncharted waters of the South Pacific. The first recorded presence of an Indian in Fiji was by Peter Dillon , a sandalwood trader in Fiji, of a lascar Indian seaman who survived a ship wreck and lived amongst the natives of Fiji in Before Fiji was colonized by Great Britain, some planters had tried to obtain Indian labour and had approached the British Consul in Levuka , Fiji but were met with a negative response.
In a direct request by a planter to the Government of India was also turned down and in , an official request by the Cakobau Government was informed that British rule in Fiji was a pre-condition for Indian emigration to Fiji. However, most came from rural villages in northern and southern India. These labourers demonstrated knowledge of the terms of the indenture agreement and were aware of their rights and refused to do the heavy work assigned to them.
Their contract was terminated by mutual agreement between the labourers and their employers. In , thirty-eight more Indians arrived from New Caledonia and again most of them left but some stayed taking Indian wives or island women. The colonial authorities promoted the sugar cane industry, recognising the need to establish a stable economic base for the colony, but were unwilling to exploit indigenous labour and threaten the Fijian way of life.
A recruiting office was set up especially around Calcutta and the South, West and North later, especially a lot in rural village areas in different farming regions, land and areas.
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The standard greeting in Fiji Hindi is namaste. This greeting comes directly from Hindi as spoken in India. Dating was unknown among unmarried Indo-Fijians.
November 18, Located thousands of miles away in the South Pacific Ocean, but kindred in spirit, Fiji, a string of plus stunningly picturesque coral islands, is intimately linked with India by over , persons of Indian origin who have made this Pacific nation their home for over a century. Kindling new fire in old ties Call it the Pacific Bonding, if you like. This will be the first prime ministerial visit from India to Fiji after Indira Gandhi visited the Pacific nation 33 years ago in The warmth in India-Fiji ties under the new dispensation in Suva is palpable.
The talks will focus on scaling up developmental cooperation with Fiji and expanding engagement in areas such as health, education and capacity building.
More Than Ethnicity Behind Fiji’s Unrest
That pottery is generally associated with peoples who had well-developed skills in navigation and canoe building and were horticulturists. From Fiji the Lapita culture was carried to Tonga and Samoa , where the first distinctively Polynesian cultures evolved. Archaeological evidence suggests that two other pottery styles were subsequently introduced into Fiji, though it is not clear whether they represent major migrations or simply cultural innovations brought by small groups of migrants.
The early ancestors of Fiji Indians came from different regions and backgrounds from India and other.
Premdas Ralph R. Ethnic politics and inequality in Fiji: understanding the new Constitution. Regimes of inequality and repression have become the predominant pattern in the plural societies of the Third World. Very few consociational arrangements for sharing power have emerged to reconcile the divergent claims of the ethnic elements in the state so as to preserve a modicum of democracy and stability simultaneously.
Inequality and ethnic domination have become the new norms. In this article, we examine the Fiji case looking at the patterns of inequality and repression that have emerged in the new constitution of this mini South Pacific state. Although not inevitable, inequality and repression appear to be endemic features of multi-ethnic plural societies, especially those in the independent states of the Third World. Furnivall, the father of the plural society model, argued that the internal cultural diversity of these societies, lacking a common shared social will, required an ” umpire ” to maintain order and stability ‘.
In colonial times, this role of an umpire was performed by the colonial administration which had an interest in maintaining the cleavages of a deeply divided state.
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Abstract Fiji’s two military coups in prompted an exodus of Fiji Indian migrants to New Zealand and presented challenges for the migrants themselves and for this country’s policies and settlement programmes. A few studies have looked at New Zealand’s Fiji Indian migrants. However, the challenge of this thesis was to embark on a study of a wider scope, investigating the core framework of the management of migration, entry and settlement of this distinctive and highly skilled “Pacific” migrant group.
Contribution of Indians to Fiji’s growth, development
The nonelected interim government appointed after the release of the hostages has now been declared unconstitutional, the man who was declared the legitimate president has resigned, and the country waits while the courts determine whether to dissolve parliament and conduct new general elections. The interim government includes no officials from the deposed government, which seeks reinstatement.
But a fuller understanding of the recent instability in Fiji requires analysis of its demographic, economic, and political complexities.
Fiji is a small island state in the middle of the Pacific. It has a multiracial population of , comprising of 42% per cent Indians, 51% native Fijians and 7%.
Most Indo-Fijians are the descendants of indentured laborers brought to Fiji during the nineteenth century by the British. In the system of indentured labor, workers who had been moved to a new country against their will were forced to perform a job for little or no pay until they earned enough money to buy their freedom. The system was created to provide cheap workers for British colonies after the abolition of slavery in Britain and its colonies in The first indentured laborers from India arrived in Fiji in and the indenture system lasted until Other immigrants from India arrived in Fiji in the early twentieth century, and they opened small shops in the coastal towns.
The Fijian archipelago string of islands is located in the western Pacific Ocean. The climate of Fiji is tropical with plenty of rainfall, sunshine, and high humidity. The largest islands within the island group are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The vast majority of Indo-Fijians reside on Viti Levu. Today, Indo-Fijians make up around 43 percent of the total population. Before the military coup of , Indo-Fijians made up close to 48 percent of the total population, but about 5 percent have moved to Australia, Canada, and the United States.
Fijian Indians–the women’s predicament. A study of bureau marriages
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Log in. Remember Me. Forgot password? Email this document Printable version. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Search Refworld. Clear Search. Advanced Search Search Tips. Due to epidemics of various diseases, thousands of indigenous Fijians died. Their numbers did not begin to rise again until the s. The Fijian islands were colonized by the British.
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