In a country best described as a melting pot of culture, how do you define your heritage? The modern South African Indian community is largely descended from Indians who arrived in South Africa from 1860 onwards. The first 342 of these came on board the Truro from Madras, followed by the Belvedere from Calcutta.
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The better known migration is that of Indian indenture to the plantations, railways and mines of colonial Natal between 1860 and 1911. Indenture, although portrayed to be an act of benevolence, was really slavery by contract. The Indian ports for this transit of human labor were Madras and to a lesser extent Calcutta. The overwhelming majority of South Africans of Indian descent trace their origins to this colonial hunger for labor.
Indian South Africans are citizens and residents of South Africa of South Asian descent. The majority live in and around the city of Durban, making it the largest Indian city outside India. Increasingly they self-identify as “African“, “South African” and, when necessary, “Indian South Africans“.
The Indian presence in South Africa has come through diverse routes. In the centuries before the Dutch conquest of the Cape in 1652, Indian traders were active along the eastern coastline of Africa. One theory points to pre-colonial long-term settlement in Southern Africa. Much easier to demonstrate are the Indians slaves brought by the Dutch to the Cape since the mid-seventeenth century.
Showcasing the identity of the South African Indian as we remember the story of the arrival of Indian-indenture 160 years ago to the shores of South Africa. The SA Indian community of South Africa are uniquely African and so are their stories. Submit your piece of history to us for a feature click here
Source: Newsbreak Lotus