Thursday, July 23, 2015

D.A.V. College Ba Reunion in Vancouver: A stroll down the memory lane

A group of D.A.V. College, Ba, Fiji students organised and met in Burnaby Canada in April, 2015. This small meeting developed into formation of country – branches with an international focus. The next Reunion is schedule for Auckland in 2017. A Historical 2015 DAV, Ba Reunion in Vancouver brought back old memories, and thoughts of those no longer around.

On a crispy and slightly chilly evening of 4 April, 2015 in Vancouver, as I walked into Royal Palace Banquet Hall in Edmonds Street Burnaby, I expectantly hoped to be met by a throbbing crowd of old mates from D.A.V. College, Ba, Fiji. After all it was the first overseas D.A.V Reunion.

The welcome banner at D.A.V. College Ba Reunion in Barnaby, Canada at Royal Palace Banquet Hall
However the excitement was short-lived, as there were strange faces, and I got relief when a few old D.A.V friends, who we already knew and had earlier met, greeted us. I was accompanied by my wife Shashi Kala, who also happened to be from DAV where I met her.

D.A.V College in Ba in 1970s was a very conservative school. It was so with equally conservative strict teachers who were imported from India, who ensured boy-girl relationship was frowned upon, and any relationship, even talking was seen suspiciously, and considered a sin, despite the religion teaching the virtues of love. This was to such an extent that, I think in 1972, even our compounds were divided into two sections which were sexually segregated, for a short-while. Despite these strict rules and nonsensical restrictions by “Mohabbat ke Dushman ‘ (Enemies of love), love affairs flourished, love-letters changed hands and there were at least there couples from the class of 1970s who were instituted in the Lovers Hall of Fame – but that later.

The Class of 1970s- a group-shot of students from 1970-1975
Now, to Royal Palace Banquet Hall in Burnaby – most were strange faces-people I hardly knew from DAV. And I met a few from D.A. V., but from the Suva school. The reason is that most, I would say over 80% were not from DAV, Ba as the organisers had coincided the event with Arya Samaj presentation night for Vancouver. And that is what really took over 80% of the time. All that I was able to sneak out was some half an hour.

Friday, July 17, 2015

We are changing our look and feel!

Oops, sorry friends, we are under repair and look forward to your patience and understanding

Fiji Pundit has been running for some 3 years, and has gone a bit rusty and in need of a makeup

Therefore,we think its about time we give this site a bit of a spic and span polish!

We are re-doing our site to make all the posts standard and easier to read for all including our mobile users.. We started up small and are having heavier traffic, hence we need to look good.
We are under repair, and construction as well. We apologize for any disruption and inconvenience

As such, please bear with us while we change the templates and the post contents to bring them all into line with our new look.

We thank you for your patience and support!

Fiji Pundit!
17 July, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Justice System: A casualty at Crime Forum in Auckland

The murder of Henderson dairy owner Arun Kumar and subsequent court case raises many questions that need answers, but there are no takers. Nobody appears to be interested or prepared to take responsibility. The family feels as that they have been made the victims twice over, with the loss of the loved one, plus a questioning and wanting justice system.

When NZ’s questionable Justice System becomes a casualty at Crime Forum in Henderson, Auckland

Waitakere in general and Henderson in particular is a casualty of the utopia, Auckland Super-City, where we got ignored by the system. You would not read anything about this in any NZ media. An ethnic reporter from NZ Herald was given the script of a speech, but none ethnic events of the past forums saw the light of day. Thankfully, Hindi Freeview 36 channel, Apna TV covered this, while the other Indian cum Hindi media do not seem to be interested.

Anyway, why should they? It was only an ethnic Indian dairy owner who got killed. If it was a celebrated White Man or relative of some politician or Councillor, then there would have been a media frenzy to cover the aftermath of the event. But, sadly, for most media, it is a no-story. That is why, thank God for social media for filling in the vacuum. So here we go - how FIJI PUNDIT fills this news-emptiness in this neglected part of former Waitakere City - the wild - west that we call HENDERSON.

Waitakere Ethnic Board (WEB) Forum heard that justice indeed appears to be blind where the victims have to pay for the crimes they did not commit -twice, while the criminals go free.
Waitakere Ethnic Board (WEB) initially held a crime forum in Henderson on 3 July, 2014, subsequent to murder of dairy-owner, Arun Kumar, and a spate of other deaths and serious crime in Henderson. We heard major stakeholders, including Waipareira Trust, Minister of Social Development, politicians, community and the police. They promised that things would be done to address the issues. To gauge progress, WEB decided to revisit the crime issue a year after the event and this was held on 8 July, 2015 at Auckland Council Chambers in Henderson.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fiji Flag Flying High in Canada!

Fiji Flag Flying High in A remote Canadian Mountain Town – thanks to a proud son of Fiji
Wherever Indo-Fijians are settled around the world, they are exemplary migrants –hard workers and easily able to integrate with the local communities and add colour to cultural landscape of the country. They are recognized as a distinct breed of Indians, very distinct from those from India. While we are well versed and experienced in forming religious groupings, our district soccer clubs or national bodies, we also have a greater need to integrate with migrants from other communities. 

We are doing that well with multiracial organizations, Ethic Boards or other organizations embracing the world population of migrants in New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada, among others. These people in the Indo-Fijian Diaspora do not only fly the flag of multiculturalism, but also of their respective countries. This is one such story for such an individual.

He is Raymond Raj (known in Fiji as Ramendra Singh) and left his home in Rarawai, Golflinks, Ba, Fiji some four decades ago. But that passion for Fiji still exists. And no, he is not settled in any bustling Canadian City, but is settled in a sleepy, little-known and remote small British Columbian Aluminum town of KITIMAT, which is nearer to Alaskan border than Vancouver. Here is that human-interest story of that unsung hero- a proud Fijian Canadian-RAYMOND RAJ

The proud son of Fiji and a grandson of Girmitiya Bansi, RAYMOND RAJ, raising Fiji flag tens of thousands kilometers from a small Fiji in huge Canada on flag-raising ceremony at Heritage Park in Kitimat.