President of Fiji Ratu Wiliame Katonivere says the relationship between the two nations can be traced back to colonel heritage.
While opening the 12th World Hindi Conference in Nadi, President of Fiji Ratu Wiliame Katonivere says the relationship between the two nations can be traced back to colonel heritage.
Ratu Wiliame highlighted that around 60,000 Indians were brought to Fiji under the indentured labour system around 1879 to 1916.
He says following the abolition of the indentured system in 1920, some Indians chose to remain in Fiji.
“Those that stayed in Fiji have now called Fiji their home and they have contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of modern Fiji. Presently Fiji’s population comprises of 62% of itaukei people, 34.2% of Fijian of Indian descent and 33.8% of other races.”
Ratu Wiliame says Fiji’s cultural diversity has presented us with the privilege to hear and learn many languages spoken in Fiji.
The President says over the years, Fiji has experienced many fascinating festivals and religious events.
He says entertainment from India is also a big drawcard for Fijians.
“When it comes to entertainment, Bollywood movies are the favorites Fijians love to watch. Bollywood films accompany singalongs, laughter and dance.”
Delegates and participants of the 12th World Hindi Conference were also accorded a full traditional welcome ceremony.
Some topics that will be discussed include, Hindi in indentured countries and Hindi in Fiji and the Pacific, Information Technology and Hindi in the 21st century and Hindi literature and the changing scenario.
The conference will end on Friday.