Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum officiated at the ‘Remembering Fiji’s Girmit Heritage’ celebrations at Albert Park.
AG highlighted the struggles and achievements the descendants accomplished and said that as a nation it is very critical for us to recognize the history of Fijians including the indenture experience.
He said perhaps this is one of those stories that are least uttered or least told.
“At one stage there was very little display about the Girmit issue at the Fiji Museum. Now lot more history is being told through the Museum. It is very important for us to be able to have that collective memory and history about what happened in Fiji,” Acting Prime Minister, Sayed- Khaiyum said.
He adds of course it is a time to celebrate, because many of these people its only through their tenacity, their ability to survive through that, they were able to live through Girmit, educate their descendants and today we are where we are.
“We must be able to see this as a celebration of individual human beings who came to a country that was foreign to them, adopted it, their descendants adopted it and their descendants do not know any other place other than Fiji as their home. They of course now are Fijians. They were always been Fijians but now legally they can call themselves Fijians. They have been given the right to do that,” Acting Prime Minister, Sayed- Khaiyum said.
He highlighted that next year there are plans for a nation wide celebration on the 140th year of Remembering Fiji’s Girmit Heritage’ celebrations.