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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book and its chapters. It answers the questions: What was the social condition of the migrants in Cochin in the second half of the eighteenth century? How did they cope with the changing political and economic scenarios between 1750 and 1830?, and places the institution - the VOC - and the individuals - the servants of the Company - in the context of their times. The author enquires into the socio-cultural life of Cochin from mid-eighteenth century onwards to the early decades of the nineteenth century. The study involves Dutch, Indo-European, and Indian social and cultural life in its connectedness and interdependence, as well as its peculiarities. It concentrates on a variety of specific aspects such as ethnic composition and boundaries, inter-marriage, wealth, status and rank differences, social stratification, occupations, household and family composition along with cultural factors relevant for the shaping of local civic society.

Keywords: Cochin; Dutch; eighteenth century; Indo-European; socio-cultural life



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