Asian Indians in Belize
|Regions with significant populations|
|Toledo District · Corozal District · Belize City|
|Kriol · English · Spanish|
|Hinduism · Christianity · Islam|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Indo-Jamaican · Kriols|
Asian Indians comprise approximately 2% of the population and began arriving in Belize in the 1880s. 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'.
A more recent migration ensued in the 1950s, when Belize was still a British colony. Some Indians came to work or do business and subsequently invited their relatives and employees from India to join them. This community is composed almost entirely of Sindhis. They are mostly retail traders and have little interest in local politics, but their economic strength assures them an influential position in Belize and Guatemala.
The recent arrivals maintain frequently visited friends and relatives in India, and hence has strong relations to their ancestral home. Some visit to procure marriage partners for their children. Indian music and Hindi films are popular here and have been instrumental in nurturing friendly relations with other Belizeans.
- 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