Singh wears at­tire with pride

Fiji Sun - - Fiji Today - SHAHANI MALA SUVA Edited by Ranoba Baoa Feed­back: shahani.mala@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

From left: Ka­mala Wati, Nikita Singh, Sukdeo Singh, Romi Ma­haraj and Aruna Devi, in tra­di­tional at­tire at Al­bert Park Pavil­ion and Grounds yes­ter­day.

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