Asian Indians in Belize
|7,000-8,000 (January 2016, est.)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Toledo District · Corozal District · Belize City|
|Caribbean Bhojpuri-Awadhi Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) · Manak Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) · Sindhi · Punjabi · Gujarati · Tamil · Kriol · English · Spanish|
|Hinduism · Islam · Sikhism · Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Indo-Jamaican · Indo-Caribbean · Indian diaspora · Kriols|
Asian Indians began arriving in Belize in the 1880s as part of the Indian indenture system set up by the British Indian government after slavery was abolished. Initially coming in as indentured, many of them stayed on to work the sugar plantations and were joined by other Indian immigrants. Indians are spread out over many villages and towns primarily in the Corozal and Toledo districts and live in reasonably compact rural communities. They are fairly well integrated into the Belizean population through intermarriage. However, they are still identifiable through their physiognomy and are known as 'Hindus'. These set of Indians were almost entirely composed of Bhojpuris, Awadhis, Rajasthanis, and other Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu)- speaking people of the Hindustani Belt in North India. A minority of indentured laborers were from South India.
In 1907, the Canadian Government made an unsuccessful attempt to transfer Indian independence activists residing in the province of British Columbia to Belize (then known as British Honduras). A Canadian delegation led by the chief clerk of the Canadian Ministry of the Interior Harkin, and a small Indian delegation including Teja Singh traveled to British Honduras in November 1907 to determine if conditions were suitable for the move. Upon his return to Canada, Teja Singh stated that Indians were being sent to Honduras for slave-labour and claimed that Canadian officials had attempted to bribe the Indian delegation to secure a positive report. The Canadian government blamed Teja Singh's statements for the failure of the proposed transfer.
- Nora Parham, only Belizean woman to be executed
- Doug Singh, politician
- George Singh, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Belize
- Lutchman Sooknandan, twice Director of Public Prosecutions, a native of Guyana born to a father from Kolkata
- "India - Belize Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. January 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Andrew, Christopher M.; Noakes, Jeremy. Intelligence and International Relations, 1900-1945. University of Exeter Press. p. 57. ISBN 9780859892438. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Chief and two new justices sworn in". News 5 Belize. 1998-02-02. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Ramos, Adele (2011-09-25). "Book Review: From Bengal to Bushlot to Belize". Kaieteur News. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
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