16 November 2016.
||Did the first
update of the site in 11 (!) years. Updated the e-mail address
call for papers for the "Commemoration of Centennial of
Abolition of Indian Indentureship (CCAII)". It will take place
in Fiji at
22-24 March 2017, Girmit Centre, Lautoka
Won't make it there, I am anyway a "ghora". And feeling sorry
that we never get funds to revamp this website in a responsive
design (done myself 11 of 90 countries this year)-
So the site
looks okay on your PC, notebook, tablet, Iphone, Android phone.
Maybe some people can donate
some sagamoli or dough to
firstname.lastname@example.org (active again since today).
quality-checking a single website is a big task. I am personally
proud that we did that 12 years ago. Others were still sleeping
I did *not* check on any
e-mail. Just because I never had the time. But I guess that
5'000 mails have been sent since - and never answered.
Mea culpa & moce mada
PS: Treasure the short time
with Doc G.C. while in Lautoka last month. I never had the time
to visit all my old collegues and friends. Lautoka has more
money transfer outlets than Zurich/Switzerland. But it was a
great 5-week trip. And thanks to Dave S. we even got a nice
appartment in Suva.
14 December 2005
||Every week we
get some inquiries like:
trying to find information about my great grandfather who
arrived into Fiji under the indentured labourers system.
He may have arrived in early 1900. He lived in Labasa,
Fiji and was with thr same gropu as Mr. Obbaiya Reddy. My great
granddad would be registered under the name Mr. Pollaiya Reddy
(or Polaiya or Polga). not too sure of the spelling. He may have
been in his early to mid 20's but do serach for around 30 or
later years of age at the time of arrival into Fiji.
We duly redirect those people to the
National Archives of Fiji. And also tell them that there is a
microfiche database at the University of Australia.
We have now written again to Mr. Setareki
Tale of the National Archives in Fiji, asking him how far the
progress of the computerisation (not digitialisation) has
Hopefully we will soon be able to make a
statement in our next newsletter.
19 November 2005
decided to take the FrontPage counter on the landing page out.
Firstly, it can easily be manipulated to "fake" page visits that
are not really there. Secondly, it does not care for people that
already know to which of our pages they want to go. For those of
you that are interested to know more about from where people
access this website, which pages they visit the most,
check out these statistics
7 November 2005
me kisaan andolan - Volume 2" is out. For a very limited
time, we provide here
the book for free.
For me, as a "ghora", it is unbelievable how
people can write such stories to share it with the world.
Why nobody ever paid a
single cent to us? We have this guestbook, the majority is
raving about the information on the site. Yet, our bank account
has been closed since the only F$50 donation has been eaten up
by bank fees.
Why is not a single
visitor donating? What do we do wrong?
What would we have to do to encourage even a
If you have any
suggestion, please let us know.
PS: No reply from the
Fiji Girmit Council yet. And this is the institution in Fiji
that claims to be the representative of the Girmit people!
My personal opinion:
what a shame!!!
16 September 2005
completey incomplete, we now provide you the
original website of
the Fiji Girmit Council on this site. We must have saved it once
in June 2004 when it was still in its early stages. We have
written to the Dijenadra Singh, the secretary of the Fiji Girmit
Council and asked if they can retrieve the completed version. We
then would subhost it on this site.
15 September 2005
||We get a lot
of junk mail on our e-mail accounts, some even from us to us,
some with nice viruses attached to it. This clearly shows that
our addresses have been spoofed. We have thus created a new
general address only: information at fijigirmit.org. All
references to our old addresses on this site have been removed
(except the one on the "Our Bookstore" page, but this is the
problem of the send mail function of FrontPage - if this address
will spoofed again then we will have to use the famous Perl
14 September 2005
||Ever been to
our discussion forum recently? We don't know how they are
actually doing it to spam the discussion list. But there must be
some really smart people out in China, Romania etc.
We will try to delele those
rubbish but can't guarantee anything. The problem is that
FrontPage does not offer a better protected discussion list -
and we dont habe a dedicated builletin board software.
9 September 2005
Finally we received the first article from the National Farmers
Union 'Girmitiya' magazine. A contribution titled "The
Legacy of Rajasthani Girmitiya - Thakur Bansi Chauhan"
8 September 2005
Fiji's oldest girmitiya, has died at the age of 104.
Read here some news coverage. To
the berieved family members our sincere sympathies.
6 September 2005
of roots - a
journey to find oneself. An article
written in 2003 but which we only now have received.
2 September 2005
Girmitiyas hold on to ancient art form
- an article about the 'terekuttu' dance.
26 August 2005
||Thakur Ranjit Singh
has contributed two recently published articles to our website:
Girmit Era – Manipulation of
Indo Fijian History
What Australian CSR Company Stole
from Indo Fijians in Cane Fields of Fiji
21 August 2005
||The Arya Samaj
celebrates its birthday. Read an article from the "Fiji Times"
12 June 2005
||Dr. Ahmed Ali,
the current Information Minister in the Qarase government, has
passed away on Thursday, 9 June, in Sydney.
Click here to read
Editor: Dr. Ahmed Ali
has indeed been of help for the Fijigirmit.org cause since we
started this site. Numerous articles written by him can be found
on this web. He was also kind enough to help people wanting to
track their ancestors personally. We thank and salute you - may
you rest in peace.
31 May 2005
||The election of
Miss Indo-Fiji 2005 took place in Calgary, Canada.
Here the press release.
Editor: We love to provide
articles on our website that have something to do with the Fiji
Girmit Era. However, we were rather reluctanct to put this
article on our site. What it beauty, what is just cute, what is
beautiful? There are 500 millions of good-looking Indians
abroad. They make up for probably 20% of the female popolation
of the earth.
What does that have to do
with a site devoted to Indians that went - at least sometimes -
through hell do make it through a foreign country?
Yes, we love the pictures
of those beauties. But then again, if they were born 100 years
ago in Fiji: would they show their bodies like this? Would
not the the portrayal of such cute women attract the
senses of the colonialists and sirdars?
We leave it to you to be the judge.
24 May 2005
article called 'The Girmit
Focus' is now available
here. It was written by Satish C. Rai.These
articles appeared in the Australian newspaper Indian Link’s
Girmit Link page from August 2004.
23 May 2005
||An e-mail from the Movement of
Democracy in Fiji titled "The Reconciliation and Unity
Bill is more of Qarase's trickery". Click
here to read it.
Editor: Fijigirmit.org is a
non-political organisation. The views here, specially in this
e-mail, may or may not reflect the personal beliefs of the
members of the organisation committee. With this website we are
politically neutral - we try to be unbiased. However, we don't
want to block political views. We would even invite any opposing
article or e-mail. On demand, we would even conceal the source.
But let us make one thing
straight: We are not a publishing vehicle for any political
party or affilliation of views. Our website has only one aim: to
shed light on the Girmit era in Fiji. And not to comment on any
happenings in Fiji (could this be a reason for
a new website?).
22 May 2005
the Girmit story' is from an e-mail which we received from
21 May 2005
a newsletter from the website
Indian Diaspora website attempts to document the history of
Indians migrating beyond the territorial borders of India during
various time periods. In the process this website acts as a one
stop information hub on various resources on the Indian
Diaspora, and its history.
2 May 2005
International Girmit Congress Inc, presents "A
Tribute to Fiji Girmitiyas", to
mark the 126th anniversary of the arrival of the First Indian
girmitiyas to the shores of Fiji.
The event will take place
on Saturday 14th May 2005 at 7:00
pm, at Hilda Davis Centre,
185 Bigge Street, Liverpool,
Click here to download the inivitation.
24 March 2005
an e-mail from Rod Evins:
I thought you might be interested that I have just updated my
Fiji Postcards site with a page of Indo-Fijian photographs, a
couple of which date back to the Girmit era. I will be adding to
this page as I acquire more photographs. I have also placed on
it a link to your old Girmit photos page. You may like to place
a link to this page on your site, but please remember that the
images are copyright. The link is
||The Reconciliation week organised
by the Fiji Government has ended. Some people have highly
praised this effort. Others have voiced concern like
this email copy to us
||An e-mail from the Movement of
Democracy in Fiji titled "Empty gestures of
reconciliation" has reached us. Click
here to read it.
||People reported problems with the
PDF file of "Fiji ka itihasik darshan".
We have made a new PDF file with embedded Webdunia font.
Hopefully it works.
of the sons of Mr. Har Nath has provided us with a
downloadable version of the new book published by Fiji
Institute of Applied Studies. The book is called "Fiji ka
itihasik darshan" (A historical view of Fiji). Click
here to download (people who don't have the Webdunia
font, also need to download
it here, then install it in the Fonts folder of their
computer - without this font the book won't display the Hindi
entire book with embedded Hindi font
Thanks a lot for your generous offer, Rattan
Prakash (Executive Officer, New
Zealand Federation of Ethnic Councils)!
||Kate "Katz" Weaver,
content manager of Wikiverse,
informed us about a comprehensive page about the life of Ratu
Sir Kamisese Mara. Her site also provides some interesting
links about Fiji's
history and and Indo-Fijians.
||Read an interesting article
titled "Lessons from the past" that appeared in the
June edition of Wansolwara. Click
here to jump to it.
||Just received the reaction
of Satish Rai on the virtual
interview with Dr. Ganesh Chand in a letter to the
webmaster of Indes réunionnaises.
Note: We disagree with his assessment
of our negative reply to an inquiry
from a Lata Lakhan to help her trace her ancestors in
India. We have been and are doing this website without any
financial support. We maintain that research on behalf of an
individual would absorb too much of our own spare time.
However, we want to make it perfectly clear that we clearly
see the need for a computerisation of the emigration passes in
the National Archives of Fiji. Already on 25 May we have written
to the Minister of Information asking him for a support
letter for such project. Till today no reply!
We just received word that the new book of Professor Vijay Naidu, called "Violence
of Indenture in Fiji" is soon to be released. Click
here () to
download the preface.
The book is available from the Fiji
Institute of Applied Studies.
||From Govindin Sully Santa we have
just received an article about "Indian immigration,
Hindu rites and Tamil culture in Reunion Island". Click
here () to
||People have been sending us
articles associated with the Indian diaspora. We thus decided
to create a dedicated page for articles about the diaspora. Click
here for the main page.
||Finally we found time to place
some photos of the Girmit Divas celebrations in Nadi onto this
site. Click here to view
||The translated French version of
the interview with Ganesh Chand is ready. Click
here to read it (yes, it is both in French AND English
there). Merci, Philip, pour de cette excellente traduction!
Editor: Link does no longer
work as per Sept 2005
||Article in the Times
of India (1 June 2004) about Fiji and Girmit
||Link added to HelloIndia.com.au.
Hello india.com.au is an Internet search directory which
offers online information about various products and services
for Indian people living in Australia and for those who
require information regarding Indian businesses, services and
||Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council (ICC)
wishes to announce the publication of its latest magazine
commemorating Indian Heritage Month (May 2004) in Trinidad and
Tobago (Caribbean). The theme of this magazine which marks the
arrival of East Indians from India to Trinidad during
indentureship (1845-1917) is the massacre of Indians in the
1884 Hosay. The magazine is available for US$10. Click here
for more details.
||We just received an e-mail with a
press-release-looking document from National Farmers Union
about the launching of their two books "Girmityas"
and "Children of the Indus". Click
here to read the full story.
||Jone Dakuvula's contribution to
the discourse at the 'Girmit Divas' 125th anniversary has been
added. Click here for the speech
given on 13th May 2004, Suva Civic Centre
||No, we were not even notified by
them. Just by accident we saw their website mentioned in
today's "Fiji Times": www.fijigirmitcouncil.com.
Editor: As end of 2004 the
website was no longer visible.
||Did we say 'no local newspaper
has ever done an article...'? Isa lei, we were wrong.
Yesterday, the "Daily Post" published our 4th press
release in full and today the "Fiji Times" printed
an edited version of the same.
||A newsfeed of the "New York
Times" has been added to our landing page.
||Exactly one month ago, we started
publish to the World Wide Web! We are therefore rather
disappointed that no local Fiji newspaper has ever done
an article about this site, despite four press releases. Is it
coincidence, carelessness or a deliberate tactic? We don't
know but are comforted from the encouraging guestbook
feedbacks and the fact that the site appears #1 on Google with
the keyword 'girmit' - see below.
||Still some schedules are coming
in, virtually too late. Click
here for the celebration of the Girmit Divas Samabula
||The first speeches and keynote
addresses have arrived. Click here
||A provision has been made for an
online bookstore. Click here
for details. Or read our press
||An e-mail reached us that
"...the Fiji- Australia Club Inc and International
Congress Of Fiji Indians will organising a Girmit
Nite on 15 May 2004...". Click here for the
schedule (however, we don't know where the event will take
||We quote officially from an
e-mail we received on 7 May but got misinterpreted by our web
Vicas Press, the publisher of "Fiji me
Kisan Andolan", by Ayodhaya Prasad, gives permission to
fijigirmit.org to publish the book online on its site, and to
use any revenue it so receives for the benefit of the said
site. Please also place a statement that Vol. 2 of the book is
to be published by July.
Ganesh Chand, Director, Vicas Press
Ultimately, this means the 240-page book
will soon be downloadable from this website at a not yet
||An interview was recently
conducted with Ganesh Chand, a Fijigirmit.org project
committee member. This "virtual interview" was
initiated by Philip Pratx from the island of La Réunion
(Indian Ocean). Philip runs a web portal called "Le
portail des cultures indiennes de la Réunion" (http://www.indereunion.net/)
and we may probably expect an French translation of the
interview. Until then, you can find the interview here.
||A new page for the coverage of
the 2004 celebrations by the press has been created. Click
here for details.
||For people wanting to track their
ancestors in India, this
website of the Indian Government may help you. Thanks a
lot, Satish Rai, for providing this link which could also be
of interest to the Indian Diaspora people in Fiji.
||"Fiji me kisan andolan",
a book written by Pt. Ayodhaya Prasad Sharma (first published
in 1962 under the name "Fiji tapu me kisan andolan
atharth Kisan Sangh ka itihas = Farmers, struggle in Fiji or a
history of Fiji Kisan Sangh") has been re-published by
Vicas Press in Lautoka. The book (240 pages) will soon be
downloadable at a yet undisclosed amount from this website
here for the title page
here for the table of content and introduction
here for the back cover
||We just got a mail from Mrs. Anne
Holvey and who works for the for the British Royal Mint. This
is what she wrote:
I am currently researching to produce a commemorative gold coin in conjunction with the Government of
Fiji which will mark the 125th Anniversary of the first
indenture labourers reaching Fiji from India.
It is our intention to include the ship 'Leonidas'
in the design of the coin, but I am having difficulty finding
an image of the ship we can use as reference.
Do you have any good images of this ship
that we may be able to use, or alternatively can you recommend
some other organisation that may be able to help.
||For the first time, an
advertisement of the Fiji Girmit Council appears in the local
media. Click here to see it.
||All Girmit Divas events organised
by the National Farmers Union have been submitted to us. Click
here for more.
||A visitor submitted an
interesting story how a veteran researcher in South Africa
created a CD-ROM to help South African Indians trace
roots. Click here for
||Search page created to allow
easier retrieval of documents.
||Suddenly we even get links to
French websites of countries (e.g. La
where intendured labourers later settled. Use the free
translaters of SDL
to read the text (sorry, they are not THAT good!)
||A new page has been added for
people who want to track down their Fiji girmit ancestors
either in Fiji or India. Click
here for further information.
Both the Suva City
Council and the Shri Sanatan
Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji have placed advertisements about
scheduled celebrations in the local media.
Up to 1'000 pages are downloaded
daily from this website. Thus we informed the local media
about this with a press
||The website is only one week old
and we are already getting up to 200 visitors per day!
Some people also would like to trace their ancestors and are
asking us for help. This is what Dr. Ahmed Ali had so say
about tracing his own ancestors: "...Four of my great grandparents and my two paternal
grandparents were indentured labourers: I have found their indenture passes but not as easily as some people think The last
person of these I tracked down only a few months ago.
Altogether this exercise must have taken me close to thirty years. I intend
to write about the whole exercise and when that is done I will
give it to you so that your readers might learn what to do and
what is entailed..."
||24 April 2004
||The entire website will be made
available offline to all schools in Fiji (all have already
been notified with this
letter). We are currently looking for sponsors for this
task (F$7 per CD-ROM/school, includes courier shipping cost).
If you want to contribute, send an e-mail to donate @ fijigirmit.org or go to the donations page.
||Gee, we forgot to mention who
created the background of this website! It is no other than
Tevita "Hulkstah" Antonio. Vinaka, bro, for all the
help. People interested in his artwork click
here. Or he can be contacted through email
23 April 2004
page for letters which we receive has been created.
22 April 2004
|We have now a bank account! The
USP Branch, Suva, Fiji Islands
Account No: 755-79099
Account Name: Fijigirmit.org
Should you need any help with your donation,
please contact us by e-mail, call (++679) 665 2595 or 3315191,
or fax to (++679) 665 2596.
21 April 2004
|Acolades and stories about the
late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara are overshadowing any other local
news. Apart from a TV announcement, no paper has yet reported
the launch of this website. A small article, however, can be found on USP's
19 April 2004
|The Fijigirmit.org website is
launched on Monday, 19 April 2004 by Dr. Biman Prasad,
Associated Professor and Head of Department of Economics,
University of the South Pacific.
Click here for
his launch speech
Click here for photos of the
here for post launch press release
18 April 2004
|Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, Fiji's
first prime minister, passes peacfully away at the age of 83.
Click here to read more
17 April 2004
|Two chapters from "Chalo
Jahaji - on a journey through indenture in Fiji", a book
by Brij V. Lal, are now on this site.
16 April 2004
|A press release has been issued
to all media outlets in Fiji. The official launch of the
website will be officiated by Dr. Biman Prasad, Associate
Professor of Economics at the University of the South Pacific.
The event will take place Monday, 19 April 2004 at noon.
here to read the launch press release
16 April 2004
|2 excerpts from Dr. Brij Lal's
book "Crossing the Kala Pani - a documentary history of
Indian indenture in Fiji" have just arrived.
Click her for
the Introduction chapter
to read the original Agreement of Indenture
15 April 2004
|A donations page has been set up.
Click here for further information
about how you can contribute.
14 April 2004
|A subscription page for our
upcoming newsletters has been set up. Click
here to subscribe.
13 April 2004
|A small online discussion forum
has been added to the site. Click here
11 April 2004
We have just received excerpts from
a new book of Dr. Brij Lal. It is called "Girmitiyas: The Origins
of the Fiji Indians"
What is it all about? We
quote here from the book:
"This study does not look at the lives of the
girmitiyas once they had reached Fiji; instead it examines the
circumstances which led to their departure from India. Various
questions are discussed: the reasons for introducing indentured
labourers into Fiji, the structure and operation of the recruitment
system in India, the regional origins of the migrants, their social
and economic background in India, and the migration of women and
here to read excerpts from this book.
The book will be available mid-May from the Fiji
Institute of Applied Science
8 April 2004
|The domain name FIJIGIRMIT.ORG is
registered. Hosting of the site is done by Fijihosting.
2 April 2004
|We received substantive Girmit era
material from Dr. Ahmed Ali. For example his excellent book, Girmit
- The Indentrue Experience in Fiji
12 March 2004
|After scanning pictures from the Girmit
era in the National Archives, a small group decides to create a
website for the 125-year celebrations of the arrival of the first
indentured labourers in Fiji.