Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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Hindu presence in British Malaya has been documented from the early decades of the 19th century, when the kangani system (from Tam. kaṅkāni, overseer) provided South Indian labor for not only British Malaya but also Burma and Ceylon (Sandhu, 1969). Large numbers of Tamils of non-Brahman and Dravidian background were moved as "coolie" workers globally to South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Réunion, Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. For British Malaya, much of this labor was drawn from the lowest rungs of the Indian class and caste hierar…

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Sinha, Vineeta, “Singapore”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 14 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2018

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