Kiran explains apology ceremony

May 26, 2024 12:09 pm

Assistant Minister of Women, Children and Social Protection Sashi Kiran [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

Assistant Minister of Women, Children and Social Protection Sashi Kiran has clarified the purpose of the Matanigasau ceremony held after the Girmit celebration.

In her statement in Parliament on Friday, she explained that it was organized to seek forgiveness in case any guests were inadvertently offended or felt uncomfortable.

Kiran says that this practice aligns with Indian cultural traditions of treating guests with deep respect and seeking apologies at the end of events.

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The Minister adds that the opposition ministers have misguided the public by misinterpreting the gesture of the Matanigasau.

“This event has been misinterpreted deliberately or otherwise as a national apology. On behalf of the descendants of the Girmitays I have seen a rambling Facebook post by Faiyaz Koya and similar comments by some of his colleagues that I had led a national apology on behalf of indentured laborers seeking forgiveness from the chiefs in the Matanigasau ceremony, and this is false for the reason I have stated.”

The Assistant Minister has also highlighted the importance of celebrating multiculturalism to improve understanding among people from different ethnic backgrounds.

“Celebrating national days like Girmit and Ratu Sukuna allows us this opportunity. It is also important for those of us in the minority to recognize and acknowledge all that has been done for us by the majority community. Something many descendants of the Girmitays may not think about is that the vanua and the chiefs have a generous heart.”

Minister for Multi-Ethnic Affairs Charan Jeath Singh supported the initiative, praising the efforts made by the assistant minister in preparing for the Girmit celebration.

Singh also assures that the funds allocated for the celebration were well accounted for by the Ministry.