Vol. 66 No. 2 (2018)

What’s in a Demonym? A Note on a New and Uplifting Ethnonym

Published 2018-04-03


  • Kokomo,
  • Indiana,
  • Miami-Illinois language,
  • American Indian place names,
  • Indiana place names,
  • early American spelling practices,
  • folk etymology
  • ...More


Ethnicity is all important in Fiji, and labels for the different ethnic groups are a constant source of debate. A significant proportion of Fiji’s population are descendants of indentured laborers from the Indian subcontinent. An appropriate name for these citizens has for a long time been a contentious issue. In 2017 a new name was proposed; one that signals the beginning of a change in attitude. This note reports on the new name.


  1. Baleilevuka, Rusiate. 2017. “Turaga na Tui Noco explains why they came up with the name ‘Luvedra na Ratu’ for Indo Fijians.” Fijivillage.com. Accessed May 8, 2017. http://fijivillage.com/news-feature/Turaga-na-Tui-Noco-explains-why-they-came-up-with-the-name-Luvedra-na-Ratu-for-Indo-Fijians-5sk29r
  2. Boila, Sainiani. 2017. “Girmitiyas now officially called ‘Luvedra na Ratu’.” Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Accessed May 8, 2017. http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/50484/girmitiyas-now-officially-called-%E2%80%98luvedra-na-ratu%E2%80%9D
  3. Cava, Litia. 2017. “Children of the Ratu.” Fiji Times. Accessed May 8, 2017. http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=399427
  4. Fiji Bureau of Statistics. 2008. “Census 2007 Results: Population Size, Growth, Structure and Distribution.” Statistical News, No 45. Accessed May 8, 2017. http://www.statsfiji.gov.fj/statistics/2007-census-of-population-and-housing/
  5. Krishna, Kathrin. 2017. “New Rewans Honored in Historic Event.” Fiji Sun. Accessed May 8, 2017. http://fijisun.com.fj/2017/05/06/new-rewans-honoured-in-historic-event/
  6. Narayan, Vijay, Iva Danford, and Ilaitia Ravuwai. 2017. “Descendants of Girmitiyas now known as ‘Luvedra na Ratu’ – Ro Teimumu.” Fijivillage.com. Accessed May 8, 2017. http://fijivillage.com/news-feature/Descendants-of-Girmitiyas-now-known-as-Luvedra-na-Ratu–Ro-Teimumu-95ks2r