Interreligious Dialogue Report on Girmit Day Celebrations

Girmit Day Event - May 25, 2024 - Photo: Pescila Magdalin

Embracing Unity in Diversity Through Cultural Expression

The Columban Interfaith Girmit Day celebration was held on Saturday 25th of May 2024. This gathering brought individuals together from diverse religious backgrounds to commemorate and reflect on the historical significance of Girmit Day. The Interfaith council members lead the opening prayer. Through prayers, hymns, skits, role plays, chants, and cultural traditions, participants displayed the richness of their respective faiths while fostering unity and understanding, respect and appreciation for each others’ belief and cultures. Many faiths that participated were from the Bahai Faith, Shri Sanatan Dharm, Arya Samaj, Catholic church (Tamavua youths), Hare Krishna and TISI organisations and Ahmadiyya Anjuman (AAIIL Islam).

Highlights of the Event:

Prayers: Representatives from various faiths offered prayers in their native languages, emphasizing themes of peace, unity, and remembrance for those affected by Girmit.

Hymns and Chants: Musical performances featuring hymns and chants from different religious traditions added a spiritual dimension to the event, resonating with attendees and promoting interfaith harmony. 

Skits and Role Plays: Creative presentations depicting stories and experiences related to Girmit served as powerful reminders of the struggles and resilience of those who endured indentured labor. 

Cultural Traditions: Participants displayed their cultural heritage through dance, attire, cuisine, and other traditional practices, fostering appreciation for diversity and shared humanity. 

Sharing Sessions: Individuals shared personal narratives, historical accounts, and reflections on Girmit, facilitating dialogue and deeper understanding among participants. 

Conclusion:

This Columban Interfaith Girmit Day event served as a platform for individuals of different religious backgrounds, and almost seventy people came together in solidarity, honouring the legacy of Girmit while celebrating cultural diversity. Through prayers, hymns, skits, role plays, chants, and sharing sessions, participants demonstrated the power of unity in embracing our collective past and shaping a harmonious future. At the end, everyone was served with delicious vegetarian refreshments and juice. Their commitment to dialogue and cooperation was a testament to the spirit of community that we strive to cultivate.

Pescila Magdalin
Columban Interreligious Dialogue Coordinator

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