welcome to the south asian concern website
click here for the homepage click here for news and blog click here for faith questions click here for our prayer room pages click here for pages about south asians click here for resources
   
  east indians in trindad

Why did South Asians leave their homelands?

The reasons people left or leave South Asia are varied and complex. The main movements of South Asian peoples around the globe occurred in the 20th century and continue to this day, although there is plenty of historical evidence to show that they were trading, spreading cultural and religious ideas and working in other regions centuries before this.

The British Empire was the main force for spreading South Asians abroad in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They went as indentured labourers for the expanding plantations in Fiji, Malaya, South Africa, the Caribbean and South America, or worked on the railways of East and Central Africa. Many of the South Asians in these regions are the descendants of these workers. However, there are many who have arrived more recently for business or work purposes.

World War Two and the collapse of the British Empire were also responsible for much of the movement of peoples around the world. The 1947 violent partition of India resulted in hundreds of thousands of people moving within the region and beyond. Later, the need for professional and manual workers in post-war Britain, and then in the United States, resulted in the period of mass immigration in the 1950s and 60s.

In the early 1970s, the expulsion of Asians from East Africa brought many entrepreneurs and professionals to the West.

Since then, South Asians have continued to move around the globe. Some emigrated to escape war, such as the Sri Lankan Tamils in the 1990s, others to escape poverty or persecution. Many continue to go for work or education: every year, 200,000 Indians apply for student visas to the USA. Skilled South Asians are being recruited to the West for their specialist expertise in areas such as IT or medicine. The Middle East continues to draw a steady stream of South Asians for work in a variety of fields, from housekeeping to accountancy.

Also see…

> Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History – by Rozina Visram
> Asians in Britain from the British Library website
> UCLA South Asia website
> The Center for South Asia Studies, University of California



Add your comment

Name

Email

Your comment

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


Please note that all comments are read and approved before they appear on the website

 
Left: East Indian labourers on a Trinidad cacao estate. Photo: Project Gutenberg

Who are South Asians?

What does ‘South Asian diaspora’ mean?

Diaspora maps

Why not just say ‘Asian’?

Why did South Asians leave their homelands?

Why is the South Asian diaspora important?




Follow us on...
Latest blog posts

The Decor of Democracy

PenguinIndia and The Deconstruction of Azaadi (Freedom)

Bad Press for Saints!

Free gift on offer

So how many will it be this year?

 
 
  © South Asian Concern 2013
Registered Charity No. 1002270