Sikhs (belonging to Sikhism community) came to Fiji between 1879 and 1916. Unlike Fiji’s Indian population (most of which are descendants of Indian indentured labourers), Sikhs in Fiji comprised mostly of free immigrants (such as teachers, policemen etc). Sikhs in Fiji are commonly referred as Punjabis.
- Sikhism is a religion which worships only one god. Originating in Punjab region (sub-continental India), it was formed during 15th The term Sikhism originated from Sikh which was taken from a Sanskrit word Shisya (meaning a disciple) or shiska (meaning instruction). Sikhism is the 5th largest religion in the world.
- One of the philosophies of this religion (as mentioned in the holy text of Guru Granth Sahib) is that “soul is on loan from God, who is ever merciful, and the follower must dedicate their life to all good causes – to help make this life more worthwhile.”
- There are several Gurdwaras established in Fiji in mainly Sikh concentrated regions. Along with worship, these Gurdwaras also provide food and shelter to the poor and needy.
- The first Sikh temple was built in Samabula (near Suva), Fiji in 1922. Commonly known as Samabula Sikh Temple, it fulfilled the needs of poor Sikh migrants.
- This spiritual heritage site which comes under the National Trust of Fiji is now expected to undergo a major restoration. Though there were several extension works done earlier but this will be the first major renovation work which will be carried out.
- More than Half a million dollars is the projected cost as estimated by one of the secretaries Haridayal Singh Rana. Members of the temple (both from Fiji and abroad) will provide assistance in this major refurbishment.
- Presently many Sikhs have migrated from Fiji to western regions especially to the United States.
Prepared by Pritam
Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata.Twitter @pritam_gogreen