South Asian Diasporas

The stories they have to tell are as varied as the communities and regions in South Asia which they or their ancestors left. From the indentured labourer condemned to subhuman existence to the gutsy 'free' entrepreneurs who ventured out to make a fortune; from the unskilled working at menial jobs in the industrial heartland of the West to the highly educated, skilled professional of the global economy, they all left their home regions seeking a better future. Most people know of the latter-day migrants and how they are faring in their new countries, but accounts of the earlier pioneers are largely consigned to scholarly tomes and hardly appear in popular circulation.

About 10 million people of South Asian origin can be found living outside their 'homeland'—from the Caribbean to Fiji, from Canada to New Zealand. They are con-centrated in North America, Southeast Asia (mainly Malaysia, Burma and Singapore), Europe (mainly the UK), Eastern and Southern Africa (mostly Mauritius and South Africa), the Caribbean, the Pacific (mostly in Fiji), and now, as migrant workers, in West Asia.

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Himal Southasian