Tamil Girmitiya Heritage and Queer Politics with Salvin Kumar

Image collage of Salvin. Close up image of Salvin looking towards the camera and smiling. Graphics of pink hibiscus flowers, rainbows and books are surrounding him. Upper right corner is an image of an adult and a child smiling and reading Fiji-Baat the book together. Lower left corner is an image of the cover art for Fiji-Baat the book. Upper left corner text reads: Salvin Kumar.


About Salvin

Salvin Kumar (he/him/his) is a social worker, living and working on Gadigal and Bidjigal lands of the Eora nation. He was born and raised in Vitogo Village, Fiji and is a descendant of Tamil Girmitiyas. After finishing a teaching degree, Salvin taught on the island of Taveuni, Suva City and his hometown of Lautoka before migrating to Australia in 2013.

Salvin is passionate about creating visibility and empowering the Fijian LGBTQIA+ community. He has performed dance, storytelling and spoken word poetry at various Queer events. In 2020 he co-founded a closed group on Facebook called Global Queer People of Fiji and has since run programs such as Queer-Talanoa where one talks about LGBTQIA+ issues and Queer-Dost which is a peer-mentoring program aimed at reducing isolation and supporting the community.

In his free time Salvin practices yoga, cooks Mandraaji food, draws and writes poetry. "A Darker Shade" (2015) and "This Story" (2018) are two of his published poems. In mid 2020, he self-published "Fiji-Baat" as a tribute to his heritage. "Fiji-Baat" hopes to reconnect children to their carer's/parents and grandparents, so that inter-generational teaching and learning can continue as the world sees change and deals with a pandemic like COVID.

He hopes that through his life, he helps make other people's journey easier than his.

Link to buy Fiji-Baat the book

Performance: Salvin Kumar – How My Brown Family Reacted To My Gay Wedding

Also available on YouTube