Cutting Out

Photograph by Bruce Connew

Cane worker Salance Khelwan treasures shirts sent by relatives in the U.S.

Only one ethnic Indian has become Prime Minister of Fiji. He was promptly deposed. For the indigenous nationalists who led the 2000 coup, the descendants of the sugar-cane laborers brought from India in the late 19th century are not true Fijians and never can be. For all the laments about the coup, outsiders tend to think the same way. Four in 10 Fijians are Indian, but their culture isn't part of the nation's image. The postcards leave them out.

When Mahendra Chaudhry was taken hostage in 2000 along with members of his government, New...

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