Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
map of Jamaica, www.hercampus.com

By Pashchiema

History of Indian Diaspora in Jamaica


  • Jamaica is an island nation in the West Indies.
  • The Indian connection with Jamaica is 170 years old. The history of Indian Diaspora started with the arrival of over 36,000 Indians as indentured workers to Jamaica between 1845 and 1917. As the Indian labourers had proved their worth in Mauritius where the conditions were very similar, they were brought to Jamaica to work, mainly in sugarcane plantations as there was unavailability of workers after the end of slavery in 1830.
  • On May 10, 1845, the first ship, Maidstone, arrived at Old Harbour Bay carrying the first group of workers from India.
  • Although, many Indians were planning to return to India but the planters and the Indian government did not encourage the return of Indian workers. During a period of time they were not allowed to leave the plantations, on pain of fines or even imprisonment
  • Even though, majority of immigrants were Hindus but Non-Christian unions were not recognised until 1956 and hence many had to adopt Christianity.
  • The final group of workers landed in Jamaica in 1914 and over half of the Indians who had arrived till 1917 settled in Jamaica and gradually the Indian community began to develop.
  • The Indo-Jamaicans went into trading and setting up their small enterprises and over the decades accountants and managers were recruited from India to work in these enterprises.
  • The Indian community grew further as they started taking up jobs as Indian expatriates such as professors, managers, supervisors, doctors and many other professionals.


Jamaica is located in the West Indies. Wikimedia Commons

Indians in Jamaica today

  • As most of the Indians are descendants of indentured workers, it has largely influenced the facets of farming, medicine, cuisine and politics.
  • Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the same way as it is celebrated in India. Every year in the month of October and November, houses are cleaned and brightly lit.
  • Today, 81,500 Indians live in Jamaica which constitutes about 3 per cent of its population of 2.7 million.
  • The Indian influence on Jamaican life can be seen in the traditional Indian foods such as goat curry, rice, roti and a variety of spinach called callaloo dishes which have a become part of the national cuisine.
  • Indian workers also introduced ‘Marijuana’ and chillum pipe into the island.
  • Indian jewellery, in the form of tortuously shaped gold bangles, have become common in Jamaica.
  • 10 May is now celebrated in the country as ‘Indian Heritage Day’ or ‘The Indian Arrival Day’ and ‘The Roti festival’ which accidently coincides with Mother’s Day and is engraved in the hearts of Indo-Jamaicans.

Pashchiema is an intern at NewsGram and a student of journalism and mass communication. Twitter: @pashchiema5


Popular

CNN

Doris Lessing who won a Nobel Prize in Literature

London (CNN)- At five o'clock in the morning, the esteemed 86-year-old astrophysicist Jim Peebles was woken suddenly by the telephone ringing.

"In previous experience, the only phone calls at that time of night are bad news," he said. This one was great news. "The opening sentence from the caller was: 'The Nobel committee has voted to award you the Nobel Prize in Physics. Do you accept?'" Peebles recalled. The wording threw him. Who wouldn't accept a Nobel Prize? "You know the Bob Dylan fiasco?" he said during a phone interview with CNN. "That might have put the wind up them."The "fiasco" Peebles mentions refers to the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, which was controversially given to an utterly unimpressed Dylan.Aside from being ever-presents on college campuses in the 1960s, little connects Peebles, an expert in theoretical cosmology, with Dylan. But one of the starkest contrasts might lie in their reactions to winning a Nobel -- and the songwriter is far from the only laureate whose crowning turned out to be an awkward affair.

The five committees are notoriously secretive, fiercely shielding their choices from the outside world -- including the laureates themselves, who are told of their victories just minutes before they are announced to the public.

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Sindoor implies the longevity of a woman's marriage to her husband in the Hindu tradition

Married Hindu women are recognised by a red streak of vermillion in the middle of their foreheads. This is traditionally called 'sindoor', which is derived from the Sanskrit word sindura, meaning 'red lead.'. Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum.

Vermilion powder mixed on a plate Sindoor is traditionally powdered turmeric and lime, sometimes red saffron, or red sandalwood. It is also called vermilion, or Kumkum. Image source: Photo by Gayathri Malhotra on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Actress Urvashi Rautela has recently announced the name of her next film which is titled 'Dil Hai Gray'.

Actress Urvashi Rautela has recently announced the name of her next film which is titled 'Dil Hai Gray'. It's a Hindi remake of Tamil film 'Thiruttu Payale 2'. Urvashi Rautela will be seen alongside Vineet Kumar Singh and Akshay Oberoi.

Urvashi shares: "I am excited to announce the title of my next film 'Dil Hai Gray' on the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami. The film is very close to my heart and it was lovely working with director Susi Ganeshan sir, producer M Ramesh Reddy sir, and my co-stars Vineet Kumar Singh and Akshay Oberoi. "

"The film has created a massive response in the south industry and I am very positive about the story that it will be also be loved by the audience here. I hope my fans would bless us with their love and support. Super excited to watch my film on the big screen after a long time," she concludes. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep reading... Show less