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Girmitiya tribute

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, May 15, 2014

THE plight of indentured labourers who travelled from India will be remembered in a song composed by former Fiji resident Mohammed Shaan.

Now residing in the US, Shaan composed a song which pays tribute to labourers who changed the course of the country's history.

Mr Shaan said the Girmit song was aptly titled Unn Garibo'n Ki Sachi Kahaani Suno Jinko Girmit Mei'n Lakar Sataya Gaya.

"The song pays tribute to our brothers and sisters who came to work on the sugarcane plantations during the indenture system in Fiji," he said.

"It talks about the difficulties and hardships faced by these labourers during that time and how they worked hard and contributed towards the betterment, development and a better life for Fiji and its people."

He said remembering the plight of the Girmitiya was important for every Fijian of Indian descent in the country.

"Remembering that day on May 14, 1879, as the significant day the first ship Leonidas arrived in Fiji with 479 Indian labourers.

"A total of 82 other ships followed and transported over 60,000 Girmitiyas to Fiji. This ended on December 31st 1919."

The single is part of his album Yaadein which consists of other compositions by the aspiring artist.

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