Tribute to Girmityas 139th Anniversary
A visiting Indian Minister has said that the descants of Girmityas have played an integral part in the development of Fiji over the years and that they must preserve and promote their identity through Sanskrit and Hindi.
Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Satya Pal Singh praised Fijians of Indian origin in Fiji during his visit to the Girmit Centre in Lautoka on February 23, 2018.
He was in Fiji to attend the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers.
Traditional Values important
Mr Singh said that parents should teach their children traditional values of India to keep them alive and promote them.
“It is about our ancestors, the various difficulties that they went through in their lives and through them all they still made Fiji their home. The specialties that they brought with them and what they have done for Fiji has helped the country grow,” he said.
Connection through Hindi
Mr Singh said that it was good to see that the Hindi language has connected everyone in Fiji.
“The important part is our culture, religion, and our beliefs. These need to be preserved. Teach your children about our culture and traditional values. What our children learn in schools like rhymes, stories and poems have been of the Western World that are not related to Sanskrit,” Mr Singh said.
He said that to keep Sanskrit alive, parents should teach their children Hindi.
“The naming of a child is also important. So, do not give any type of name, all names should have a meaning and linked to our religion,” he said.
Girmit Centre Secretary Selwa Nanadan said it was a timely visit and members were grateful that the Minster took the opportunity to donate books for students to enhance their knowledge about India.
“We have had a historical link with the Government of India and it has played a pivotal role in the development of Fiji over the years. Mr Singh has elaborated on how we need to safeguard our identity and values. We have made some submissions of the financial status of our Centre so we are seeking their help as well,” Mr Nandan said.
The above Report and Picture, which appeared in Fiji Sun, has been published by Indian Newslink under a Special Agreement with the publication.
Indian Minister Satya Pal Singh with the Members of the Girmit Centre in Lautoka, Fiji, on February 23, 2018. (Photo for Fiji Sun by Karalaini Tavi)