• 24 Jun, 2024

International Conference on Indentureship in Fiji in May12-13, 2023

International Conference on Indentureship in Fiji in May12-13, 2023

International Conference on Indentureship in Fiji in May12-13, 2023

‘Girmityas’, referring to all those who can trace their ancestry back to the Indian Indenture System (1834-1921), are estimated to number between 12-15 million worldwide, although no confirmed figures exist. These individuals, who now reside in nearly every country in the world, are bound together by a shared history.

In 2023, the Fijian Government took a major step in recognizing Girmitiya history; it has declared an annual public holiday to mark this, and allocated some funds to celebrate

Girmitiya lives. This conference’s major sponsor is the Government of Fiji within the theme

of celebrating Girmitiya lives and identities in Fiji, and globally. In light of the growing interest in Girmit and Girmityas, and the recent Fiji Government’s support for recognising Girmitiya history and people, this transdisciplinary Conference will focus on documenting, researching, writing, and communicating the histories and lives of Girmityas, past and present.

The primary objective of the conference is to facilitate discourse on all aspects related to documenting, researching, writing and communicating the histories and lives of Girmitiyas.The conference aims to create a dialogue among scholars from different disciplines on the themes listed below, and to celebrate Girmitiya lives and identities.

The Theme of the Conference is: Celebrating Girmitiya Identities and Lives: Documenting, Researching, Writing, and Communicating Histories and Lives. The following core subthemes are suggested within the overall Theme of the Conference: Core Theme 1: Lives: Inclusivity & Diversity; Core Theme 2: Indenture Database; Core Theme 3: Documenting Families, Family Histories and Oral History; Core Theme 4: Academic Research on Indenture; Core Theme 5: Girmitiya Fiction; Core Theme 6: Publishing of Girmitiya Materials; Core Theme 7: Music, Dance, Drama, Movies, Languages as medium of Communication; Core Theme 8: Emerging Thoughts and New Directions; Core Theme 9: General – Other papers related to Girmitiyas ; and Core Theme 10: Binding Themes – Identity formation and Significance of Girmitiya; Identity(ies), and Sustaining Girmitiya Identities.

Special Theme 1: Tribute to Late Professor Brij Lal, Girmitiya Scholar; Special Theme 2: Tribute to other senior (Late) Girmitiya Scholars; Special Theme 3: Hindi Panels – papers in Hindi. The themes listed above are not exhaustive. Researchers are welcomed to submit proposals for other themes, and/or panels on other topics related to Girmitiyas. Book Launches: Books relating to Girmitiya lives and living, published between January 2021 and May 2023.

The National Conference Committee Members include Dr. Ganesh Chand, Chairperson, Global Girmit Institute; Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice Chancellor, University of the South Pacific; Professor Unaisi Nabobo-Baba, Acting Vice Chancellor, Fiji National University; Mr. Satya Shandil, Head, School of Business, Pacific Polytech; Ms. Mohini Devi, University of Fiji; and

Dr. Rohit Kishore, Director, Fiji Higher Education Commission (co-opted member).

For details, see http://globalgirmitinstitute.org