Fiji has a Malabar connection

Noor-Ul-Hassan does not speak a word of Malayalam. Nor does he quite recognise the provincial entity called Kerala. But this lecturer in Islamic theology from Fiji whose great grandfathers were shipped from the Malabar coast by the ruling British almost a century ago as coolies and cultivators to the island republic, says there are thousands of families in Fiji who still have many a cultural remnant of Malabar, which they keep close to their heart even while living in a different country, speaking a different language.

There are many like him, who represent the third generation of Indians in Fiji, who later migrated to New Zealand, Australia and Canada, especially after the peace of the land was shattered after the military coups.

Not the songs alone, certain food items such as Thenga Choru, Neyyappam, and Tharikkanhi, which are still prepared by the Muslim families in Malabar on special occasions, are prepared by the Muslim community in Fiji as well.

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