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Hadramis in Hyderabad: From Winners to Losers

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The paper describes and analyses the Hadrami migration to and adaptations in Hyderabad, India. The various adaptive niches exploited by the Hadramis in Hyderabad before the merger with India in 1948 are outlined, particularly the ones relating to the military field. Hadrami officers and soldiers were a typical features of the Nizam's army. But this was to change with the Indian take-over in 1948. The second part of the paper outlines these changes as they relate to Hyderabad in general and to the new adaptive strategies adopted by the Hadramis in particular. The new evolving adaptations during the 1950s was based on petty trade and represented a downward turn in the fortunes of the Hadramis. During this period the Hadrami identity was fading and they tended to disappear among the other Muslims in the city. In the 1970s, however, labour migration to the Gulf helped improve the economic status of the Hadrami families, and it lead to a strengtheneing of the diasporic organisations that could facilitate the migration and which also strengthened the Hadrami diasporic identity.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen and Research Director, Unifob Global


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