Fiji Indian diaspora

Fiji Indian Diaspora

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Fiji Indian diaspora

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The Fiji Indian diaspora developed with people of Indian origin leaving Fiji, mainly following the racially inspired coups of 1987 and 2000, to settle primarily in Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada. Smaller numbers have settled in other Pacific islands, the United Kingdom, and other European countries.

Origin of the Fiji Indians

Indians were initially brought to Fiji as indentured labourers to work on sugar cane plantations. Between 1879 and 1916, a total of 60,000 Indians arrived in Fiji. Approximately 25,000 of these returned to India. From 1900 onwards, some Indians arrived as free immigrants, who were mostly from the provinces of Gujarat and Punjab.

Early Fiji Indian emigration

Fiji Indians have been emigrating to United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom since the early 1960s. These were mainly economic migrants and their number gradually increased in the 1970s and 1980s to reach approximately 4000 per year.

The exodus following the military coups

Following the military coup of 1987, many Indians saw little future in staying in Fiji and tried to find any means to leave the country. Professional, middle class and business found it easier to emigrate. It has been estimated that more than 100,000 Fiji Indians have emigrated since 1987. This represents a third of the existing Indian population in Fiji.


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