Singh wears attire with pride
When Sukhdeo Singh heard there would be a Girmit Centennial celebration, he decided to dress like his ancestors to the celebrations yesterday. “I have grown up hearing Girmit stories from my parents,” Mr Deo said. “My father was forced to come to Fiji where he was told that he will work in sugarcane farms in Fiji and they will pay him good money,” he said.
The 78-year-old was part of the Girmit Centennial Celebrations at the Albert Park in Suva. “At times I cried after hearing how my ancestors were treated in Fiji. “I am happy that the contributions of our ancestors are appreciated by everyone in Fiji and to remember them, we celebrate Girmit day,” he said.
“After the five-year Girmit agreement expired, my father settled in Ellington, Rakiraki, and then married my mother.
“I am the youngest of five siblings and we worked hard on the sugarcane fields to fulfil our basic needs,” he said. Mr Singh now resides with his son and daughter-in-law in Riverside Road in Narere, Suva.
“I am happy to be part of this celebration and it is very good to see how our young children have come in large numbers to thank the ancestors.
“Fiji is a multiracial country and it is good that all Fijians are given equal rights,” he said.
From left: Kamala Wati, Nikita Singh, Sukdeo Singh, Romi Maharaj and Aruna Devi, in traditional attire at Albert Park Pavilion and Grounds yesterday.