14 May 2024

The 145th anniversary of Girmit Day

From , 6:03 am on 14 May 2024
M.N. Naidu (sitting second from the left) with his family Photo: Courtesy of Nik Naidu

Photo: Supplied

The 145th anniversary of Girmit Day is being celebrated across Fiji and New Zealand this week.

It marks the arrival of Girmit indentured laborers from India to Fiji under British Colonial Rule on May 14th, 1879.

More than 60,000 people from India were brought to Fiji to work in the sugar cane plantations, enduring extreme hardship in a foreign land. 

While some returned, many chose to stay and call Fiji their home, by raising families, working and contributing to the Fiji economy and its overall growth. 

The term "Girmit" is coined from the word "agreement" - the binding document between the workers and the British. 

They are collectively referred to as "Girmitiyas."

President of Fiji Girmit Foundation Krish Naidu spoke with RNZ Pacific's Eleisha Foon.