தமிழ்த் தேசியம்

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Tamils - a Trans State Nation

Fiji - பிஜி


From Ethnologue Report for Fiji - Republic of Fiji. National or official languages: Fijian, Fijian Hindustani, English. 796,000 (1998 UN), including 46.2% ethnic Fijian, 48.6% Indian, 5.2% Chinese and European. 325 islands, 100 inhabited. Land area 7,000 square miles. Literacy rate 80% to 90%. Also includes Gujarati, Malayalam, Eastern Panjabi, Pitcairn-Norfolk, Samoan 300, Tamil, Telugu, Tongan 300, Tuvaluan 357, Urdu, Wallisian, Chinese 5,500. Information mainly from A.J. Schütz 1972; S. Wurm and S. Hattori 1981; P. Geraghty 1983. Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh. Blind population 392. Deaf population 46,321. Data accuracy estimate: B. The number of languages listed for Fiji is 10. Of those, all are living languages. Diversity index 0.60.

From Murukan worship in Fiji "Indians were brought to Fiji by the British to work on sugarcane plantations. The first batch of Indians from North India arrived on the ship Leonidas in 1879. The first batch of three Indians from South India arrived on ship Elba in 1903. With the arrival of South Indians, Lord Murukan too arrived to the shores of Fiji Islands. The distance between India and Fiji is about 15,000 km as the crow files. But our forefathers left India not knowing where Fiji was. It took the ships some three to six months to sail to Fiji, passing Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia..." more

see also Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple- Nadi

FijiS.JPG (33515 bytes)

From: R.Sri Hari (@ modem55.bayrac3.eureka.lk) on: Tue Mar 9 08:05:55 EST 2004 in Forum Hub Discussion List

Dear Readers,

Mr Avinesh G. Mudaliar has opened a 'thread' titled "South Indians in Fiji" in this same Forum Hub - which provides some useful informations on the Tamils in Fiji.

I am re-producing same under this thread where it is more appropriate, for the interest of others who wish to know of same.

South Indians in Fiji

Topic started by Avinesh G. Mudaliar (@ adsl-63-207-103-102.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net) on Tue Jun 4 00:08:20 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

Namaste/Vanakum

I'm the present generation of South Indian in Fiji who does not know the full entirety of the my own native language that is Tamil let alone sometimes get very confused as to whether we are Indians or some sort of race that was lost and brought to Fiji by mistake..infact if any Hindi speakers here we are labeled as "Ravan ki Logh" or sometimes called as "Madrasi's" but we have the following people with Last/Surname. Here are the list.

Pillai, Mudaliar , Padayachi , Naicker , Gounder , Achari , Sami, Reddy, Naidu

The present generation does not want to equate with any South Indian culture thus Fiji Baht/Fiji Talk with Hindi as a base is widely used for daily conversation. The only representation of us been South Indian is our surnames. We are all referred in Fiji as Hamara sab kuch Hindustani ki Logh.. What is this suppose to be when we don't even look anyway close to Uttar Logh. Can someone please explain to us, so that we can know where we stand as far as a race and the people of origin. Our forefathers had taken this long and treacherous journey without realising that Fiji is way out in South Pacific, and yet South Indians are only known by names in this island nation. Please can anyone gave us some feedback about our lost touch from our roots. It will be a great asset from fellow South Indians in this board who can give us something to hang on to.
 

From: (@ adsl-63-202-187-196.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net) on: Tue Aug 20 14:01:01

Namaste/Vanakum

...Though our links to South Indian origin are still intact in our surnames, but .. Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam languages are dead and there is no hope of revival in the island nation of Fiji at least to best of my knowledge. I don't think this has nothing do with ignorance, but just plain survival strategies in this impoverished island nation.

FYI..Vanua Levu (Big Island) has a good composition of South Indians around a town call Labasa pronounced as Lambasa, and Viti Levu(Fiji Island) where all the hustles and bustles takes place particularly on the western side of this island you will see the infamous South Indian mandir/temple outside of Nadi.

Nadi in Veti Levu pronounced as Nandi where the airport sits as well Lautoka, Raki Raki and Sigatoka and Suva the island capital has a sizeable South Indian population who had intermarried with North Indians and come to realities and conclusions that is simply the way of life in Fiji. ...


From: Poopathi Manickam <poopathi@aa.net>, 27 May 2000 in mailing list tamil@tamil.net

What Thiru Poopathi says is cent percent true. Tamils in Fiji are in name  only, they have almost completly lost their identity. Tamil Nadu govt. should also take responsibility for that pathetic status.

Ethnologue site says only 6,000 out of a possible 100,000 (1/5 of the total Indian population ?) declared Tamil as their mother tongue, the rest might even speak Tamil but did not want to acknowledge it.

The problems in Fiji is all because of non resident Gujaratis and Marwaris who completely dominate the economic scene using the Indians who went there to work as "coolies" as cover. Those Indians who are born and bred there are actually poor working class people and get along well with the natives.

For some reason many people of Tamil decent have Goundar or Goundan as a last name in Fiji. I was not aware that the Goundars ever migrated during the British period because after all they were/are a land owning class ?

It is intriguing. May be it is like most Lankan Tamils claiming Vellala origin because after all there is no one to question this assumed "higher" identity in Lanka. I would like to confess that in Lanka many Vadukar, that is Naidus from Tamil Nadu also have assumed Vellala identity along with many Malayalee castes. So the Vellala identity was a free for all, anyone could assume it as long as they had the power (including Goonda power) and the money to shut the nosy neighbours mouth:-)

Also Vaduge, Manawadu and Kurrupu are also common Sinhala names showing that Telugus and Malaylees also assimilated as Sinhalas.

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