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Sino-Mauritians In The Making Of A Multi-Ethnic Society

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses the challenges for new immigrants to Mauritius in the 19th century, and compares the settlement experiences of the Chinese and Indian arrivals during this period. It discusses the means and methods by which the former moulded themselves into Sino-Mauritians, through a study of their interactions with the wider society. Unlike Indian immigrants, who were already British subjects in India, Chinese settlers were designated aliens on their arrival in Mauritius and, prior to the 1860s, were consequently restricted from purchasing property on the island. They therefore initially depended on other Mauritians to assist them in their careers and transactions. Like the Chinese settlers, the Indian indentured labourers also faced discriminatory clauses in Mauritian legislation. Today, both internally and externally, Mauritius' connections to the Chinese and Indian global diasporic communities are recognized to have "proved a positive factor in the development of the nation as an international trading force.".

Keywords: British subjects; Chinese settlers; Indian immigrants; Mauritius; multi-ethnic society; Sino-Mauritians



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