Since originally migrating as indentured labourers from throughout India in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hindu Indians have dominated the agricultural sector and emerged as the prominent force of political opposition in Trinidad and Tobago. Their unique cultural and religious practices - the focus of strong ethnic sentiments - have developed in relation to historical conditions in Trinidad, marked by socio-economic constraints, intra-communal controversies, and inter-ethnic tensions.;Beginning with a comparative examination of socio-cultural change affecting Indians in a number of post-indenture settings (such as Fiji, Mauritius and elsewhere in the Caribbean), the author challenges fundamental categories such as the Indian family, caste and Hinduism itself. He suggests that especially with regard to developments among overseas Indians, these categories have often been seriously misunderstood. The Indian presence in Trinidad is explored by detailing the ways in which these and other Hindu social, cultural, political and religious phenomena have been transformed in discourse with shifting historical contexts. The book also provides an analysis of how Trinidad's oil boom in the 1970s and subsequent recession in the 1980s effected a heightening of Hindu ethnic sentiments, and it concludes with a detailed look at contemporary Hindu practices and their place within everyday rural life on the island. This historical and anthropological study covers important issues, particularly concerning the Indian diaspora, Caribbean studies, and more generally the social scientific study of religion, cultural change, migration and ethnicity.
Scuffed edges & creases on cover. Some markings & underlining on pages