Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"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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Fijian version of Thirukural Released 24 February 2009
"Former Vice President Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi says he remains hopeful people can reach out and build bridges despite these difficult political times. At the launch of the book the Tirikural a Fijian version of ancient Tamil book Ratu Joni said the publication of the book at this time is a mark of faith and confidence in the people of Fiji. In sharing his sentiments about the need for cultural integration, Ratu Joni said there is a reluctance amongst the Fijian Community to read anything of another religion given their Christian sensibilities, but the Thirukkurali is being made available in Fijian not for religious reasons, but because it has useful ideas about living our daily lives. The translation was inspired by YP Reddy and the late NK Naidu. It was put together by Kanti Jinna and Dr. Paul Geraghty who retraced an old translation of the book by late Sam Berwick
Murugan Worship in Fiji, Dr.Ponnu S. Gounder "..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. Those days ship sailing was left to the mercy of the winds, for there were no steam powered ships. One such sailing boat was wrecked on a reef in the night, and all the Indian labourers met with their end no one to cry for them..."
South Indians in Fiji
Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple, Fiji "School children officially had the day off-and everyone else seemed to take it anyway-as most of the Hindus of Nadi and the surrounding towns gathered at the Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami temple on Friday, July 15th 1994 to witness the Maha Kumbhabhishekam of their new national temple. The high point came at 8:30am as a helicopter first slowly circled the temple, then showered flowers upon the temple, priests and devotees while the sacred water was poured over the very top of the three-story main sanctum by chief guest Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and temple priest Sadasivan Gurukkal. A few minutes later the exquisite life-size deity of Lord Muruga (Kartikkeya) as a sannyasin monk (Dandayutapaniswami, as enshrined at Palani Hills temple in Tamil Nadu) was brought to life with more sanctified water. Shouts of "Haro Hara" and "Vel Vel, Shakti Vel" rose from the assembled devotees. The entire event was broadcast live on all-Fiji radio.

This US$1.2 million temple, Fiji's largest, represents a decided resurgence of Hinduism in Fiji, and a regaining of confidence in the island's future by the Hindus. That confidence was shaken by the coups of a few years ago, the imposition of a constitution guaranteeing Fijian dominance in the political system, arson attacks against five Hindu temples and the beating of a priest. Native Fijians (who are Christians) and the ethnic Indians are approximately equal in population at 350,000 each.

Five priests and a nagasvaram troupe were flown from India. Jayalukshimy Kandiah's Natanalaya dance troupe of eight were brought from Australia. The head priest of the dedication, 72-year-old Sivachariya Thiyagaraj of Tirukalikundram [see sidebar], told Hinduism Today that this was his 1,118th kumbhabhishekam! It is an indication of the worldwide enlivening of Hinduism that this last year has been his busiest, with a total of 60 temple dedications in India, Malaysia, Fiji and other countries.

The original Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple of Nadi was founded by Ramaswami Pillai in 1913 on land leased from the native Fijians. That lease expired recently, and it was decided to move the temple to a more secure location at the other end of town on leased government land. After 20 years of on-again, off-again efforts, ground was broken on September 12th, 1991.

The renowned architect, V. Ganapati Sthapati of Madras, India, was commissioned to create the largest Hindu temple not only in Fiji, but in the southern hemisphere. It is also the largest between India and Texas. Ganapati has designed many temples in the USA, Canada, England, Australia and India. In 1992 he sent Sri Palaniswami to be resident architect and to supervise seven Indian silpis (traditional temple craftsmen) and one painter working on the concrete and mortar building. The temple follows all of the traditional agamic scriptures of South India, one of a handful of orthodox temples outside of India to do so.

Tamils - a Nation without a State

Fiji - பிஜி

FijiS.JPG (33515 bytes)

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.

[see also Language Planning And Policy in the Pacific: Fiji, the Philippines, and Vanuatu (Language Planning and Policy) (Hardcover) by Richard B. Baldauf (Editor), Robert B. Kaplan (Editor)]

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.


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


...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 <[email protected]>, 27 May 2000 in mailing list [email protected]

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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