25 Ogos, 2009

Malaysian Indian

Indian migration
Main article: Tamil Malaysians
The overwhelming majority of migrants from India were ethnic Tamil and from British Presidency of Madras. In 1947 they represented approximately 85 per cent of the total Indian population in Malaya and Singapore. Other South Indians, mainly Telugus and Malayalees, formed a further 14 per cent in 1947, and the remainder of the Indian community was accounted for by North Indians, principally Punjabis, Bengalis, Gujaratis, and Sindhis.[7]

[edit] Large scale migration
British acquisition of Penang, Melaka and Singapore - the Straits Settlements from 1786 to 1824 started a steady inflow of Indian labourers, traders, sepoys and convicts engaged in construction, commercial agriculture, defence and commerce. But large scale migration of Indians from the subcontinent to Malaysia followed the extension of British formal rule to the West coast Malay states from the 1870s onwards as British brought the Indians as workers to work in the rubber plantations. The Indian population in pre-independent Malaya and Singapore was predominantly adult males who were single with family back in India and Sri Lanka. Hence the population fluctuated frequently with the immigration and exodus of people. As early as 1901 the Indian population in the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States was approximately 120,000. By 1931 there were 640,000 Indians in Malaya and Singapore and interestingly they even outnumbered the native Malays in the state of Selangor that year. The population was virtually stagnant until 1947 due to many leaving for Burma during the Japanese occupation as recruits for the Indian National Army and "Indentured Japanese labors" for the Death Railway.' At the time of Independence in 1957 it stood at a little over 820,000. In this last year Indians accounted for approximately 8 to 12 per cent of the total population of Malaysia (in the range 1.8 to 2.5 million) and 8 per cent in Singapore (250,000). There has also been a significant influx of Indian nationals into Singapore and Malaysia in recent years to work in construction, engineering, restaurants, IT and finance with many taking up permanent residence in Singapore where they account for nearly a quarter of the Singapore population.

Occupational divisions
A vast majority of people from the Indian sub-continent brought over were the Tamils. They were predominantly estate workers, the majority being employed on rubber estates, though a significant minority worked in Government public works departments. The North Indians, with the exception of the Sikhs, were mainly merchants and businessmen. For example, the Gujaratis and Sindhis owned some of the most important textile firms in Malaya and Singapore while the Bengalis were became professional. The Sikhs were either in the police or employed as watchmen.

[edit] Geographic distribution
The close correspondence between the ethnic and occupational divisions of the South Asian community was inevitably reflected in the community's geographical distribution in Malaya. The South Indian Tamils were concentrated mainly in Perak, Selangor, and Negri Sembilan, on the rubber estates and railways, though a significant proportion found employment on the docks in Penang and Singapore. The Telugus are concentrated in lower Perak,northern Selangor,Negeri sembilan and Pahang.However in recent times most Telugus has shifted to high end profession like doctors,lawyers and businessmen in major cities as compared to estates workers whom their parents are,though a significant minority were pawn shop owners,particularly those in Negeri Sembilan.The Malayalees were located predominantly in Lower Perak, Kuala Lumpur, parts of Negri Sembilan, and Johore Bahru, while the business communities, the Gujaratis, Sindhis, Chettiars, and Tamil Muslims, were concentrated in the urban areas, principally Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, and Singapore. The Ceylon Tamils were also mainly an urban community, though some were found in rural areas working as staff on the estates.

[edit] Religions and faiths
In Malaysia are a number of religions and faiths practiced by a majority of Malaysians such as Islam primarily amongst the Malays, Buddhism amongst the Chinese, Hinduism amongst the Indians, and Christianity amongst the Chinese, Indians, Kristang people, and Eurasians of British descent. In the Indian communities which compose of Tamils,Telugus, Malayalees, Punjabis,Bengalis, Gujaratis, and Sindhis reside a number of faiths.

From Chinese sources, both Hinduism and Buddhism has been in existence in the Malay Peninsula dating from the second century A.D. Indianized kingdoms such as Kadaram (Old Kedah), and Ilangosagam (Langkasuka) have practiced Hinduism and Buddhism during the rule of the Malay-Sri Vijaya and Tamil-Chola kingdoms.[8] Islam found its way to the Malayan Peninsula as well as the Archipelago of Indonesia not from Arabia, but from southern India, specifically, Tamil country.[5] The early Indians married into leading Indonesian families and brought Hindu ideas of kingship, just as more than a thousand years later the Tamil Muslims married into the families of the Sultans and Bendaharas of Malacca.

Trade contacts between the Tamils and Arabs & between the Tamils and East Indies antedate the Islamic period (circa 570-632 A.D.), or the birth of Islam. Indonesians and Malays came to know about Islam through the Muslim merchants of south India and not through Arab missionaries. Furthermore Islam had reached South India, particularly Tamil country in the 8th century A.D., while the state of Gujurat received Islam during the early 14th century, as a result of the invasion of the Delhi sultanate. Muslim traders of the Coromandel Coast are said to have been even politically influential in historical Malaya.[5] In 1445 A.D. Tamil Muslim traders staged a coup at Malacca, installing a sultan of their choice.[9] During the coming of Islam to Malaysia was the early decline of Hinduism and Buddhism.

The practice of Hinduism began to rise during the second wave of people from the Indian subcontinent during British rule. Hinduism is the most practised religion amongst the Tamils comprising of the both the major Hindu and Tamil pantheon of deities. Tamils of both Indian and Sri Lankan backgrounds practice Hinduism. Telugus predominantly belong to the Vaisnavite branch of Hinduism, with a minority among them belonging to Christianity and Islam. Amongst the North Indians are the Gujarati, Sindhi, Bengali, and Punjabi Hindus

Christianity is prevalent and growing amongst the Tamil people in many denominations. Christianity has been in Tamilakkam or the Tamil country since the times of St. Thomas, an apostle of Christ. After him, came the Portuguese who introduced Catholicism, then the British who introduced the Protestant denominations. In Malaysia, most of the Christians are Methodist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Brethren, and Catholic. Amongst the Malayalee community Catholicism is strong.

Islam is the religion of roughly 10% of Malaysian Indians with a population of roughly 200,000.

Sikhism is practiced amongst the Punjabis. (The majority of Punjabis are Muslims in South Asia with significant Sikh and Hindu populations.)

[edit] FestivalsOne of the biggest South Indian festivals in Malaysia is Thaipusam. Thaipusam religious festival dedicated to the Tamil deity Murugan which occurs on the day in the Tamil month of Thai (January-February) when the asterism Poosam is on the ascendant. A popular festival in Tamil Nadu , its celebration is recorded by immigrant laborers from the earliest dates. It is now celebrated in grand style in the temples of Singapore, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur for three days.

In Kuala Lumpur, Thaipusam has become an almost national seat for Poosam celebrations. The venue of the Kuala Lumpur celebrations is a picturesque shrine right inside a cave that lies many feet above the ground, and can only be approached by a steep climb. This place, known as Batu Caves, is about eight miles from the city, and a chariot procession carrying the image of the deity to and from the place adds to the color and gaiety of the festival. Crowds from all over the country throng to the cave, including people of all classes and groups. It is above all a day of penance, on which all kinds of vows are fulfilled. A 42.7m high statue of Lord Murugan was build at Batu Caves and was unveiled in Jan 2006, having taken 3 years to construct.

Thus one can see various forms of self-mortification that are common in Tamil Nadu
Icons carried in procession during Thaipusam at Batu Caves.One of the most significant rites performed is the carrying of the kavadi, a large wooden decorated arch, as an act of penance. When deities were taken on procession from one shrine to another, they would be followed by a number of these voluntary kavadi-bearers. In other towns and estates, kavadis would be taken for other festivals like Chittirai Paruvam. As back in the Tamil country, some of the more rigid practitioners would bear spikes, spears, and hooks pierced into their bodies. The Chittirai Paruvam festival and festivals to the Tamil deity Mariamman are usually accompanied by a fire-walking ceremony.[8]

Deepavali is another very popular Indian Hindu festival of lights. It has the advantage of being an all-Indian Hindu festival, and hence truly national to Indian Hindus in Malaya. In keeping with this, both in Malaysia and Singapore this day has been a public holiday for a long time. Thai Pongal is a festival of the Tamils occurring on the first day of the month of Thai. In Tamil Nadu it is celebrated as a harvest festival when the first grains are gathered and brought in for the ceremony.[8] Tamil New Year is also another festival which falls on April 13 and 14th.

The Telugus celebrate Ugadhi, Telegu new year based on the lunar calendar as compared to solar calendar which is celebrated by Tamils and Sikhs. Sankarathari is another major festival for Telugus which is also celebrated as ponggal by Tamils.

Of the remaining 9% of the Indian population which comprise of Punjabis, Gujuratis, Bengalis and Sindhis, the festival of Vaisakhi is celebrated as the Sikh New Year in reverence of Guru Nanak and of Guru Gobind Singh. The Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja .The Festivals of the Christian faith practiced by the Indian communities are Easter, All Souls Day, and Christmas. In the Islamic faith, Ramadan is practiced by Indian Muslims.

Notes^ a b Sneddon, James (2003). The Indonesian Language: Its history and role in modern society. Sydney: University of South Wales Press Ltd. p. 73.
^ International Tamil Language Foundation (2000). The Handbook of Tamil Culture and Heritage. Chicago: International Tamil Language Foundation. p. 877.
^ Sastri, K.A. Nilakanta (2000) [1935]. Cholas (fifth printing ed.). Chennai: University of Madras. pp. 86 & 318.
^ Sastri, K.A. Nilakanta (1949). "Takuapa and its Tamil Inscription Part I.". Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society Vol. 22.
^ a b c d e f g Arokiaswamy, Celine W.M. (2000). Tamil Influences in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Manila s.n.. pp. 37, 38, 41, 43, 45–49, 51–57.
^ Sastri, K.A. Nilakanta (1949). South Indian Influences in the Far East. Bombay: Hind Kitabs Ltd.. pp. 82 & 84.
^ Ampalavanar, Rajeswary (1981). Indian The Indian Minority & Political Change in Malaya 1945-1957. London: Oxford University Press.
^ a b c Arasaratnam, Sinnappah (1970). Indians in Malaysia and Singapore. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 4, 168, 169, 170, 171, & 175.
^ Kulke, Hermann & Rothermund Dietmar (1986). A History of India. New Jersey: Barnes & Noble Books.

[edit] See alsoThaipusam
Indians in Singapore
Little India, Singapore
Malaysian Indian Congress
Ill-treatment of Indians in Malaysia

[edit] External links
A Network of Indians in Malaysia
Tamils in Malaysia from Tamil nation
Telugu Community in Malaysia
Indian Malaysian Online
Malaysian Indian Community

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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