Friday, 8 November 2013

Chindians of Nilgiris

An offspring born as a result of marriage between an Indian and Chinese is known as Chindian. This term is very common in Malaysia as there are quite a number of Chindians in my country.

Back in the 19th century, there were a lot of Chinese convicts in British Malaya. The prison was not enough to accommodate them so these convicts were sent to a prison in Nilgiris.

Nilgiris is a hilly region located in the west of Tamil Nadu. It is known for its natural beauty and tea plantations.

During a stormy night in 1868, 12 of these Chinese convicts escaped from the prison. They were arrested 2 weeks later in Malabar (prese
nt day Kerala).

Some of the Chinese remained in Nilgiris. They married the local Paraiyar tribe women and settled down on the hill slopes between Naduvattam and Gudalur. Their descendants with typical Chinese slant eyes developed into a colony over there.

This is one of the earliest records of Chindian families in modern history outside Malaysia.

I wonder what happened to the Chindians of Nilgiris.

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