Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia: Race, Boundary Making and Communal Nationalism

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy on 2017-12-06 02:45Z by Steven

Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia: Race, Boundary Making and Communal Nationalism

Routledge
2018
322 pages
4 B/W Illustrations
Hardback ISBN: 9781138847224

Uther Charlton-Stevens, Associate Professor
Institute of World Economy and Finance
Volgograd State University, Russia

Anglo-Indians are a mixed-race, Christian and Anglophone minority community which arose in India during the long period of European colonialism. An often neglected part of the British ‘Raj’, their presence complicates the traditional binary through which British imperialism in South Asia is viewed – of ruler and ruled, coloniser and colonised. This book looks at how Anglo-Indians illuminate the history of minority politics in the transition from British colonial rule in South Asia to independence.

The book analyses how the provisions in the Indian Constitution relating to Anglo-Indian cultural, linguistic and religious autonomy were implemented in the years following 1950. It discusses how effective the measures designed to protect Anglo-Indian employment by the state and Anglo-Indian educational institutions under the pressures of Indian national politics were. Presenting an in-depth account of this minority community in South Asia, this book will be of interest to those studying South Asian History, Colonial History and South Asian Politics.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. East Indians
  • 2. The ‘Eurasian Problem’
  • 3. Becoming Anglo-Indians
  • 4. Making a Minority
  • 5. Escapisms of Empire
  • 6. Constituting the Nation
  • 7. Conclusion
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For one year, all the South Asians in the US were considered “white”

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2017-11-20 02:40Z by Steven

For one year, all the South Asians in the US were considered “white”

Quartz
2017-09-02

Preeti Varathan


Stand and be counted. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The history of classifying South Asians in the United States is fraught. For most of the 20th century, the census and courts did not consider South Asians as a distinct race, in part because their numbers were negligible. In 1970, the US census decided South Asians were white.

Racially designating South Asians, especially from the Indian subcontinent, is complicated. India is home to more than 2,000 ethnic groups. In the early 1900s, scholars believed that a major ancestral group, the Aryans, migrated to the subcontinent from Europe. They indisputably integrated into Indian culture—the Mahabharata, one of the most well-known ancient Indian epics, tells the story of Aryan warriors who fought among their families for political and spiritual legitimacy. They grouped into an elite, fair-skinned class, possibly explaining the diversity in skin tones of Indians today.

So what happened in 1970? Let’s go back to 1919…

Read the entire article here.

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The Anglo Indians: A 500-year History

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-09-17 03:25Z by Steven

The Anglo Indians: A 500-year History

Niyogi Books
2014
228 pages
275 black and white photographs
Size: 232 x 150mm
70 gsm book printing paper
Flexiback ISBN: 978-93-81523-76-6

S. Muthiah and Harry MacLure

The Book reveals that small though it be, the Anglo Indians are a community with a great heritage. It is a story of disappointments and of hopes, of uncertainty being a part of their lives from the day they were born. It is also the story of a people who found happiness and satisfaction in the various niches they were fitted into.

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Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Social Science on 2017-07-21 18:58Z by Steven

Mixed Race in Asia: Past, Present and Future

Routledge
2017-06-15
250 pages
1 B/W Illus.
Hardback ISBN: 9781138282674
eBook ISBN: 9781315270579

Edited by:

Zarine L. Rocha, Managing Editor
Current Sociology and the Asian Journal of Social Science

Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor in Anthropology and Sociology
University of Western Australia

Mixed racial and ethnic identities are topics of increasing interest around the world, yet studies of mixed race in Asia are rare, despite its particular salience for Asian societies.

Mixed Race in Asia seeks to reorient the field to focus on Asia, looking specifically at mixed race in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and India. Through these varied case studies, this collection presents an insightful exploration of race, ethnicity, mixedness and belonging, both in the past and present. The thematic range of the chapters is broad, covering the complexity of lived mixed race experiences, the structural forces of particular colonial and post-colonial environments and political regimes, and historical influences on contemporary identities and cultural expressions of mixedness.

Adding significant richness and depth to existing theoretical frameworks, this enlightening volume develops markedly different understandings of, and recognizes nuances around, what it means to be mixed, practically, theoretically, linguistically and historically. It will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral and other researchers interested in fields such as Race and Ethnicity, Sociology and Asian Studies.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Mixed Race in Asia / Zarine L. Rocha and Farida Fozdar
  • Section One: China and Vietnam
    • Chapter One: “A Class by Themselves”: Battles over Eurasian Schooling in Late-19th-Century Shanghai / Emma J. Teng
    • Chapter Two: Mixing Blood and Race: Representing Hunxue in Contemporary China / Cathryn Clayton
    • Chapter Three: Métis of Vietnam: An Historical Perspective on Mixed-Race Children from the French Colonial Period / Christina Firpo
  • Section Two: South Korea and Japan
    • Chapter Four: Developing bilingualism in a largely monolingual society: Southeast Asian marriage migrants and multicultural families in South Korea / Mi Yung Park
    • Chapter Five: Haafu Identity in Japan: half, mixed or double? / Alexandra Shaitan and Lisa J. McEntee-Atalianis
    • Chapter Six: Claiming Japaneseness: recognition, privilege and status in Japanese-Filipino ‘mixed’ ethnic identity constructions / Fiona-Katharina Seiger
  • Section Three: Malaysia and Singapore
    • Chapter Seven: Being “Mixed” in Malaysia: Perspectives on Ethnic Diversity / Caryn Lim
    • Chapter Eight: Chinese, Indians and the Grey Space in between: Acceptance of Malaysian Chindians in a plural society / Rona Chandran
    • Chapter Nine: ‘Our Chinese’: The Mixedness of Peranakan Chinese Identities in Kelantan, Malaysia / Pue Giok Hun
    • Chapter Ten: Eurasian as Multiracial: mixed race, gendered categories and identity in Singapore / Zarine L. Rocha
  • Section Four: India and Indonesia
    • Chapter Eleven: Is the Anglo-Indian ‘Identity Crisis’ a Myth? / Robyn Andrews
    • Chapter Twelve: When Hybridity Encounters Hindu Purity Fetish: Anglo-Indian Lived Experiences in an Indian Railway Town / Anjali Gera Roy
    • Chapter Thirteen: Sometimes white, sometimes Asian: Boundary-making among transnational mixed descent youth at an international school in Indonesia / Danau Tanu
    • Chapter Fourteen: Class, Race and Being Indo (Eurasian) in Colonial and Postcolonial Indonesia / Ros Hewett
  • Afterword / Paul Spickard
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Tall, pale and handsome: why more Asian men are using skin-whitening products

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive on 2016-11-25 22:50Z by Steven

Tall, pale and handsome: why more Asian men are using skin-whitening products

The Conversation
2016-11-24

Gideon Lasco, Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Anthropology
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
University of Amsterdam

Jose, 19, is a college student in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines.

On a regular school day, after he wakes up, he takes a shower, scrubbing his body using soap made of papaya (Carica papaya), a fruit that’s said to have skin-whitening properties. Afterwards, he applies a facial whitening lotion, and before finally going to school he uses SPF 30 sunscreen, again with whitening properties, on his face and arms.

Jose was one of many young people I met in my ethnographic work as part of the Chemical Youth Project, a research programme that sought to document and make sense of the different chemicals that young people use in their everyday lives, from cosmetics to cigarettes.

Skin whitening among women has long been commonplace in the Philippines and other parts of Asia and the world but, while working on this project, I was struck by the fact that young men too, are using a plethora of whitening products. And that these products have proliferated in various retail outlets, from shopping malls to small sari-sari, or neighbourhood, stores.

But this development is not unique to the Philippines either. A 2015 study found that the prevalence of skin-whitening product use among male university students in 26 low and middle-income countries was 16.7%. The figure was higher in many Asian countries: 17.4% in India, 25.4% in the Philippines, and 69.5% in Thailand.

In the Asia-Pacific region alone, the male cosmetics industry was estimated at $2.1 billion in 2016. Whiteners are likely to be a significant component of this figure; a 2010 study reported that 61% of all cosmetics in India had a whitening effect…

Read the entire article here.

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Hybrid by Robert Wood

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Oceania, Passing on 2016-06-15 16:25Z by Steven

Hybrid by Robert Wood

Mascara Literary Review
2015-10-04

Robert Wood

Robert Wood grew up in a multicultural household in Perth. He holds degrees from the Australian National University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a National Undergraduate Scholar and a Benjamin Franklin Fellow respectively. He has edited for Margaret River Press, Wild Dingo Press and Overland, and volunteered for the Small Press Network, Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Books through Bars. He has published work in literary journals such as Southerly, Plumwood Mountain and Counterpunch and a academic journals including Foucault Studies, JASAL and Journal of Poetics Research. He currently hosts a reading and conversation series at The School of Life and is a regular contributor to Cultural Weekly. His next book, heart-teeth, is due out from Electio Editions later this year.

What is the hybrid to do?

I have passed as a white man for most of my life. I have a name – Robert Wood – that is invisible in the hegemonic Anglo society of suburban Australia. I have a body that if a little tanned, a little hook nosed, a little ‘Latin’ or ‘Mediterranean’, is nevertheless unthreateningly, benignly unnoticeable. I present in dress and language, in what Pierre Bourdieu called habitus, as white. But I am also a person of colour. My mother is brown. She is Malayalee from Kerala in South India. Although there are degrees of complexity and complexion in the vales and folds of family history, through her I participate in a network of colouredness. Colouredness means both the aesthetic reality of the body itself, how we look, and the political meaning of bodies, how we are represented. In other words my mother’s skin is literally not ‘white’ (or for that matter ‘pink’, ‘yellow’ or ‘black’) and we have a shared history of colonial oppression that is racially based, which involves the British, the Portugese and northern India…

Read the entire article here.

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Africans in India: Pictures that Speak of a Forgotten History

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, Slavery on 2016-03-20 23:08Z by Steven

Africans in India: Pictures that Speak of a Forgotten History

The Wire
2016-03-20

Jahnavi Sen


Sultan Muhammad Adil Shah of Bijapur and African courtiers, ca, 1640. Credit: The British Library Board.

An exhibition on Africans in India, highlighting the long history of African communities in India, opens on March 21

India and Africa have a shared history that runs deeper than is often realised. Trade between the regions goes back centuries – 4th century CE Ethiopian (Aksumite) coins have been found in southern India. Several African groups, particularly Muslims from east Africa, came to India as slaves and traders. On settling down in the country, they played important roles in the history of the region.

Forgotten histories

Unlike slave experiences in other parts of the world, enslaved Africans in India were able to assert themselves and attain military and political authority in their new homeland.

One of the most famous slave-turned-generals was Malik Ambar, an Ethiopian born guerrilla leader who went on to hold a prominent position in the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in west India in the 17th century. In spite of Ambar’s important role, he is a near forgotten chapter of history. Like Ambar, several other enslaved Africans rose to positions of power and prestige.


Ikhlas Khan, African prime minister of Bijapur, c. 1650, Credit: Johnson Album 26, no. 19, British Library. Public Domain.

“Free African traders, sailors, and skilled artisans were part of the movement of people across the India Ocean. Later on, captives were brought by the Arabs, the Portuguese and Indians”, Sylviane Diouf, director of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery in New York, told The Wire. “The people who became ‘elite slaves’ came mostly from the countries that today are Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. The Portuguese brought in men and women from Mozambique. Later years also saw the arrival of people from Tanzania and adjacent countries.”

Africans in India were known as either Habshi or Sidi to denote their African origins. Even after centuries of mixing with local populations, the name Sidi remains for their descendants…

The historical African diaspora in India is rarely discussed. What is the idea behind this exhibition and what is it trying to highlight?

The idea was to show the diversity of the African diaspora in terms of geography and history. Few people know that there is an African diaspora in the east, the vast majority think only of the Atlantic world. There is also a diversity of experiences within slavery. I started with a digital exhibition: The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World, which presents the history of Africans in Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, etc. The Indian story was so unique that it I thought it had to be the focus of a physical exhibition…

Read the entire article and interview here.

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9 Benefits of Being in an Intercultural Marriage

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Family/Parenting, Live Events on 2016-02-21 22:40Z by Steven

9 Benefits of Being in an Intercultural Marriage

Masala Mommas: An Online Magazine for Today’s Moms with a South Asian Connection
2016-02-17

Alexandra Madhavan

My husband is from South India and I am Canadian. We are the living, walking, breathing epitome of cultural differences – he is Hindu, I am Catholic; he is a strict vegetarian, I am not; he comes from a huge traditional Iyengar family, I come from a very small Canadian family. We met and fell in love 10 years ago in college, and it still stands that he’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I fell in love with him because he was perfect for me – and he just happened to be from a completely different culture than my own.

Sure, we have had our challenges. There were difficulties being accepted by his family, we still have frequent misunderstandings, we get stared at a lot in public, and we feel a bit isolated in our journey as an intercultural couple because our mix is such a rarity. But our journey getting to know each other’s cultures has been beautiful, mind-blowing and so interesting.

For Example:

Read the entire article here.

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Bombay To Brooklyn: New York’s Indian Jews Strive To Preserve Heritage

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, History, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2015-12-20 00:27Z by Steven

Bombay To Brooklyn: New York’s Indian Jews Strive To Preserve Heritage

News India Times
New York, New York
2015-12-14

Ela Dutt, Managing Editor


Siona Benjamin. Photo by Sami studio

Siona Benjamin, a greater New York City artist, hangs her “very typical” Indian Jewish Mezuzah, a prayer scroll in an engraved casing, on her door to remind her of her cultural roots. “Every time I walk through my main door, it reminds me of my Indian Jewish background,” especially so during Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights that began Dec. 6 and stretches over 8 days.

Originally from Bombay, Benjamin’s art is a blend of her background growing up in a Hindu and Muslim society, educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools, raised Jewish and now living in America. She is among the barely 100 or so Bene Israelis left in the Tri-state area, and the 350 or so around the U.S. according to Rabbi Romiel Daniel, rabbi and president of the Rego Park Jewish Center who since 1995, has tried to keep his flock together and raise awareness among the second and third generation Bene Israeli youth.

Some of the history of this small and unique community is captured in the exhibit “Baghdadis & the Bene Israel in Bollywood & Beyond” that opened in early November at the Center for Jewish History in New York City and will be on till April 1. Presented by the American Sephardi Federation, most of the items at the exhibit come from the Joyce and Kenneth Robbins collection, and highlight how Indian Jews, women in particular, were leaders in Bollywood and beyond at a time when custom and tradition kept many other Indian women out of Bollywood.

In exploring the largely forgotten history of the Bene Israel of India, the exhibition showcases the careers of Pramila (Esther Victoria Abraham), (Florence Ezekiel) Nadira, Sulochana (Ruby Myers), Abraham and Rachel Sofaer, Ezra Mir, RJ Minney, and Joseph David Penkar, each of whom played multiple roles in front of and behind-the-scenes in Bollywood…

Read the entire article here.

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British Women Writers and the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1785-1835

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, United Kingdom, Women on 2015-11-29 21:20Z by Steven

British Women Writers and the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1785-1835

Ashgate Publishing
November 2014
160 pages
234 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4724-3088-5
eBook PDF ISBN: 978-1-4724-3089-2
eBook ePUB ISBN: 978-1-4724-3090-8

Kathryn S. Freeman, Associate Professor of English
University of Miami, Miami, Florida

In her study of newly recovered works by British women, Kathryn Freeman traces the literary relationship between women writers and the Asiatic Society of Bengal, otherwise known as the Orientalists. Distinct from their male counterparts of the Romantic period, who tended to mirror the Orientalist distortions of India, women writers like Phebe Gibbes, Elizabeth Hamilton, Sydney Owenson, Mariana Starke, Eliza Fay, Anna Jones, and Maria Jane Jewsbury interrogated these distortions from the foundation of gender. Freeman takes a three-pronged approach, arguing first that in spite of their marked differences, female authors shared a common resistance to the Orientalists’ intellectual genealogy that allowed them to represent Vedic non-dualism as an alternative subjectivity to the masculine model of European materialist philosophy. She also examines the relationship between gender and epistemology, showing that women’s texts not only shift authority to a feminized subjectivity, but also challenge the recurring Orientalist denigration of Hindu masculinity as effeminate. Finally, Freeman contrasts the shared concern about miscegenation between Orientalists and women writers, contending that the first group betrays anxiety about intermarriage between East Indian Company men and indigenous women while the varying portrayals of intermarriage by women show them poised to dissolve the racial and social boundaries. Her study invites us to rethink the Romantic paradigm of canonical writers as replicators of Orientalists’ cultural imperialism in favor of a more complicated stance that accommodates the differences between male and female authors with respect to India.

Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: British women writers and late Enlightenment Anglo-India: the paradoxical binary of Vedic nondualism and the Western sublime
  • 1. The Asiatic Society of Bengal: “beyond the stretch of labouring thought sublime”
  • 2. “Out of that narrow and contracted path”: creativity and authority in Elizabeth Hamilton’s Translations of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah
  • 3. Confronting sacrifice, resisting the sentimental: Phebe Gibbes, Sidney Owenson, and the Anglo-Indian novel
  • 4. Female authorship in the Anglo-Indian meta-drama of Mariana Starke’s The Sword of Peace (1788) and The Widow of Malabar (1791)
  • Epilogue: lost and found in translation: re-orienting British revolutionary literature through women writers in early Anglo-India
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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