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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
Author, Analytic
Mansingh, Laxmi; Mansingh, Ajai
Author Role
Presenter
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Paper/Section Title
Indians in the making of the Caribbean
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Proceedings Title
2nd Conference on Caribbean Culture and the Festival of the Word
Date of Meeting
January 9-12, 2002
Place of Meeting
University of the West Indies (Mona)
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Abstract
Indian migration which started thousands of years ago in venture for trade and commerce, has made greatest impact on the lives, thought, culture and religion of these countries where India's influence is quite apparent. The nineteenth century saw migration of indentured labourers to Mauritius, Fiji, South Africa and the Caribbean. The latter half of the twentieth century saw transition of professionals who found their way to various developing countries and particularly to North America, and made their presence visibly felt in their chosen professions by dedication and hard work. In the Caribbean, Indians made a unique and indelible mark by their contribution, which spans from agriculture to spirituality. During the period of 1838-1917, a little less than half-million people were brought to the Caribbean from India. The Hindu mystical, spiritual and philosophical influences on Afro-Caribbean have been a process of osmosis along the concentration gradient. The customs and traditions of Indians have been able to inscribe themselves into the history of the Caribbean. They brought remarkable transformations through sheer preservance, labour, thrift. They laboured to give their descendants better economic futures, and in time came to capture the trade and commerce of their new homelands. There can be no history of Trinidad and Guyana that is not also a history of the humanisation of those landscapes of Indian labour.' Over the 150 years, the Indians built a new life and gave themselves an inestimable and indispensable place in the countries to which they had been brought.....
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