1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hindi
  4. >
  5. Why does Fiji have Hindi as a…

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seth_Pullishy

Why does Fiji have Hindi as an official language?

Apparently Hindi is an official language in Fiji

I've heard about the British exporting (?) people from India but did that many go that's an important language

January 23, 2020

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ueck1

The British had many sugar plantations scattered throughout their colonies, including on Fiji. After slavery was abolished in the British Empire in the 1830's, the British turned to indentured Indian laborers as an alternative source of labor. About 2 million Indians participated in the program. Ostensibly an Indian laborer would sign a five-year contract to work on a plantation somewhere else in the British colonies, and later to the colonies of other European powers. This lasted from the 1830's to the 1910's. The system was rife with abuse, such as poor working conditions. While some indentured laborers decided not to return home, others were not allowed to go home. Thus Fiji, the Caribbean, and several other parts of the Empire got large Indian populations. You can read more about the system here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_indenture_system.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/belstar128

A lot of indian people moved to Fiji during the British empire now around half of the population of Fiji speaks hindi.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seth_Pullishy

Half? That's way more than I thought, I kinda assumed it was more a connection to their past


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fiji_loving

Hiya! Hindi is one of three different official languages spoken in Fiji. The indigenous Fijian community have their own native language which comprises of many different dialects depending on the region on Fiji one is traditionally from. The indentured labourers were brought over from India while it was a British Colony and therefore today, their descendants still speak Hindi. However, being a former British colony, English is also widely spoken across the country between the different groups and is also taught as the main language in most schools. The spoken languages in Fiji are Fijian, Hindi and English and the language of choice spoken may depend on your home setting or your social/work setting. My family for example, will only speak Fijian when we're altogether, however when at work or our at school or at supermarkets, English would be used if the person is not an Indigenous Fijian.

Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.