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Lord Ram’s Teachings Inspire Fijian Indian Diaspora: Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad

Fiji’s Deputy Prime Minister Biman Prasad highlighted the significant influence of Lord Ram’s teachings on Fijians of Indian origin, particularly those of Hindu background, who were indentured labourers in the 19th century. The struggles and lessons from the Ramayana provided solace and inspiration to the girmitiyas, who carried copies of the epic during their journey.

Prasad noted that the indentured labourers, despite facing hardship, got strength from Lord Ram’s story of exile and return to Ayodhya. The Ramayana served as a psychological connector between modern-day Fijians and their Indian roots. Prasad emphasized that Indians in Fiji, irrespective of religious backgrounds, carried their holy texts, establishing temples, mosques, churches, and schools, fostering a secular society. He highlighted the unique tradition of Ramayana mandalis, community-driven sessions that have survived since the girmitiya era, fostering a sense of unity and shared heritage among Fijians of Indian origin.