Indo-Seychellois

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Indo-Seychellois
Total population
(5,000)
Regions with significant populations
Mahé
Languages
Seselwa Creole French,[1] English, French, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati
Religion
Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Others

Indo-Seychellois are inhabitants of Seychelles with Indian heritage.[2] With about 5,000 Indo-Seychellois in a total Seychellois population of 81,000, they constitute a minority ethnic group in Seychelles.[3]

Origins[edit]

The first Indo-Seychellois were south Indians, who were brought as slaves along with Africans, by the fifteen French colonists in 1770.[4] Later, as colonial plantations and road construction work started, a larger group was brought in not as slaves, but as indentured labourers (called 'coolies').[4]

The colonial era arrival records of Indo-Seychellois were not well kept. Those available suggest ships brought Indians to work, and many returned back to India when their work contract expired. For example, in February 1905, one British Indian ship's record states that 135 Indians arrived in the Seychelles mostly male adults (106), some females (42), and a few children (7).[4] Those who stayed integrated within the Seychelles society.[4]

Demography[edit]

A Tamil Hindu Temple in Victoria, the capital of Seychelles

Indians represent a small minority, at just over 6% of the total population[3]

The majority of Indo-Seychellois are Hindus (60%) from Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Others are Indian Jains, Muslims, Christians, and others. They speak Seychellois Creole, Hindi, Urdu, and Tamil. Typically they constitute the farming, manufacturing entrepreneurs, wholesalers and traders community in Seychelles.[4][5] They are mostly settled in the island of Mahe, some on Praslin and La Diguemall, with cities such as Victoria exhibiting higher concentrations of Indo-Seychellois.[5]

Impact[edit]

Many Indo-Seychellois have intermarried with non-Indian ethnic groups, and their children are usually classified as a part of the Creole majority. They have had a noticeable impact on the Seychelles, states the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, "Overall, it is believed that more than 82% of the population of Seychelles has some Indian roots. Many local shops cater to the needs of the Diaspora by stocking Indian consumer items. The community has established a Hindu temple that is run by the Hindu Kovil Sangam. There is also here an Indo-Seychelles Friendship Association and a Hindu Council of Seychelles".[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Languages in Seychelles, Ethnologue
  2. ^ Angus Stevenson (2010). Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford University Press. pp. 891, 1632. ISBN 978-0-19-957112-3. 
  3. ^ a b Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (2004), Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora. Chapter 8: Other Countries of Africa (PDF), p. 94 
  4. ^ a b c d e Mahoune, Jean-Claude Pascal. "Seychellois of Asian Origin". IIAS Newsletter Online. After the abolition of slavery in 1835, the French landowners were clamouring for Indian ('coolies') labour to work on their plantations though they had many 'liberated Africans' in the 1860s. When the 'coolies' did come, they were to mostly set to work on road construction. Unlike Mauritius most of them left. 
  5. ^ a b Tom Masters; Jean-Bernard Carillet (2007). Mauritius, Reunion & Seychelles. Lonely Planet. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-74104-727-1. 
  6. ^ Report of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora. Chapter 8: Other Countries of Africa (PDF), p. 108