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Afro-Asian (African Asian) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Afro-Asian (African Asian)


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Afro-Asians (African Asians) are African communities that have been living in the Indian subcontinent for
several hundred years and have settled in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India.
These communities are the Sheedis/Siddis, Siddi, Siddis settled in Karnataka and Gujrat just a 400 years ago,
Sri Lanka Kaffirs. One of the largest communities of Africans in India and Pakistan, are the Siddis.
The term also encompasses the Negritos such as the Andamanese who are the aboriginal inhabitants of
Southern Asia and Southeast Asia.

Contents
1 Slave trade
1.1 Portuguese Era slave trade (15th century 17th century)
1.2 British Era slave trade (17th century 19th century)
1.3 Conditions for Afro-Asians during slavery
1.3.1 Slavery abolished
1.4 European Colonial Era
2 Assimilations and acculturations
2.1 Assimilation
2.1.1 Black African heritage and identity
2.2 Marginalization
2.3 Racism in Asia
3 Influence on Afro-Asian culture
3.1 Sports
4 Afro-Indian Diaspora in South Asia
4.1 African Diaspora in India
4.2 African Diaspora in Pakistan
4.2.1 Shada ayesha
4.2.2 Black African identity
4.3 African Diaspora in Sri Lanka
4.3.1 Imperialism
4.3.2 African Identity
4.3.2.1 Afro-Lankans today
5 See also
6 References

Slave trade
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Afro-Asian (African Asian) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The slave trade in Asia predated the Atlantic one, and it is generally believed that it was smaller in scale
although accurate records were seldom kept because they were transporting fewer people, and because
traders would intentionally not keep records.[1]

Portuguese Era slave trade (15th century 17th century)


During the 16th-17th centuries Portugal was trying to control sea access to India and needed slave labor to
build its empire at the sea which spiked the demand for slaves.[2] Slaves here were mainly used for navy and
military defense but were also used in business, farms, as domestics, teachers and priests due to the
Portuguese shortage in personnel.[2]

British Era slave trade (17th century 19th century)


By the 17th century, a struggle for imperialism grew amongst the Arabs, Dutch, British and French.[2] The
Dutch had needed labor for agriculture during the time and needed slaves.[2] The French needed slave labor
for plantations.[2] The British needed slaves for their navy, marine yards and for work as caulkers in the East
India Company. The battle supremacy in the area eventually led to British dominated era that lasted until the
19th century.

Conditions for Afro-Asians during slavery


Although slavery was oppressive and brutal in India and slaves were flogged or forced to work with little
food, being a slave in India for most slaves, still meant access to some wealth or power, particularly during
the Muslim era.[3] For example, As slaves, the Siddis were allowed some degree of social mobility so it was
possible for them to achieve high posts in the military and governing bodies.[4] Muslim slaves were also
allowed to become educated, marry freely, become political advisers, recruit other slaves through purchase,
inducement, or capture.[4] Slavery in India and the Indian subcontinent was not the same as chattel slavery
that was found in the Atlantic, where people were treated like property. Most slaves were domestics or
worked in the military, navy, or other trades. They could gain their freedom over time; the slavery found in
South Asia encouraged assimilation.
Slavery abolished
By the 18th century, the British abolished the slave trade but efforts were made to circumvent this by the
British in the colony, and other European imperialists.[2] Across all eras though, there was a steady demand
for personal slaves as slaves were seen as a social status and were employed as domestics.[5] The economic
situation determined the demand for slaves and was the underlying factor in the nature of slavery that
developed in the Indian Ocean, and assimilation was possible for slaves in India. Slavery in British India was
abolished in 1860.

European Colonial Era


During the era of European imperialism and colonialism, the African Asians became further marginalized as
it is believed that the imperialists brought in attitudes about race into a complicated social and class system.
Many of the Afro-Asians were systematically divided into settlements so that they could not organize
politically. They were encouraged to assimilate.

Assimilations and acculturations

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Assimilation
Due to the type of slavery that encouraged assimilation, many of the Afro-Asians assimilated into the main
culture of the country and adopted the language, religion, names, and rituals of the people. For survival
purposes, the enslaved adopted the culture of their slave masters.
Black African heritage and identity
Many Black African descendant groups still retain some of their African traditions. The Siddis of India for
example, still speak Swahili, sing Swahili songs, and worship African Gods.
In recent years, after the World Conference Against Racism in Durban South Africa, many of them have
been trying to organize politically so that they can improve their poor economic conditions.

Marginalization
Afro-Asians have largely been marginalized after the rise of the imperialist or colonial era in India and the
subcontinent. Many live in poor economic conditions.

Racism in Asia
A great deal of racism exists in Asia. Racism in Asia was worsened by the colonial period due to colonial
attitudes toward color.

Influence on Afro-Asian culture


Sports
There have been a few athletes that have risen to fame in the region due to sports like running and wrestling.

Afro-Indian Diaspora in South Asia


African Diaspora in India
The Siddis are the largest settlement of slave descendants in India, many settled around the western coast
and hinterland in cities like Janjira, Gujarat, and Goa. Today, it is estimated there about 6,000-7,000 Siddis in
Gujarat (India), 400 in Bombay (Mumbai, India) and 40,000-50,000 in Pakistan (formerly, India).[6] The
Siddis are currently a poor and socially marginalized community in India. Due to the caste system and even
though they assissimilated in culture but were physically different were not accepted into Indian society. The
siddis lived in their own communities separate from the mainstream community such as the maroons. Due to
discrimination they are ignored by the common people and the mainstream society.

African Diaspora in Pakistan


Pakistani African descents consist of the "Makrani", "Sheedi" or "Habshi". The Makrani (Urdu/Persian:
)are the inhabitants of Makran coast of Balochistan in Pakistan and lower Sindh.[7] The Siddis
(Sheedi) In Karachi live area of Lyari and other nearby coastal areas. Although most people use the term
Siddis to describe many of the African populations in Pakistan, they are not all Siddis.
Shada ayesha

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The Sheedis are divided into four clans, or houses: Kharadar Makan, Hyderabad Makan, Lassi Makan and
Belaro Makan. The Sufi saint Pir Mangho is regarded by many as the patron saint of the Sheedis, and the
annual Sheedi Mela festival, is the key event in the Sheedi community's cultural calendar. Some glimpses of
the rituals at Sidi/Sheedi Festival 2010 include visit to sacred alligators at Mangho pir, playing music and
dance.
Black African identity
Many of the Afro-Pakistanis have assimilated into the dominamt culture. The Sheedis have assimilated into
Pakistani Baloch culture, the instrument, songs and dance of the Sheedis appear to be derived from Africa.
Linguistically, Makranis are Balochi and Sindhi and speak a dialect of Urdu referred to as Makrani. Their
local culture have been influential in shaping the dominant culture of Pakistan. The musical anthem of the
ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, "Bija Teer", is a Balochi song in the musical style of the Sheedis with Black
African style rhythm and drums

African Diaspora in Sri Lanka


The Sri Lankan Kaffirs (cafrinhas in Portuguese, kpiriy in Sinhala, and kpili in Tamil)
are an African descendant ethnic group in Sri Lanka who are partially descended from 16th-century
Portuguese traders and the African slaves.
Imperialism
When Dutch colonialists arrived in about 1600, the Kaffirs worked on cinnamon plantations along the
southern coast. The Kaffirs ancestors were chained up and forced by the Dutch to take on the Sri Lankan
army. After the Dutch military thrust was successfully repelled by Sri Lankan army in 1796, the Kaffirs were
further marginalized by an influx of Indian laborers who took most work on tea and rubber estates. Their
descendants survive in pockets along the island's coastal regions of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Negambo.
African Identity
Sri Lankans of African descent are proud to be Sri Lankans, they also acknowledge their African history.
Kaffirs have an orally recorded history by the families who are descents of former Sinhalease slave traders.
Many of them are believed to be from Mozambique. There dance and singing performances are the strongest
indicators of African cultural retention. The term Kaffir means 'non-believer' and does not hold the same
meaning as it does in countries like South Africa;it is not used as a racial slur. Many speak a creole which is
a mixture of Sinhalese and Tamil.They have assimilated over the years and have married Tamils and
Sinhalese Sri Lankans.
Afro-Lankans today

Many have been denied education. They have become dis-empowered (they were used as soldiers by the
Europeans) since the European colonizers have left the island and have tried to find their role in Sri Lankan
society.

See also
African Pakistani
Afro-Asian
Indo-African

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Indo-Caribbean
Marabou (ethnicity)
Afro-Indians

References
1. ^ Harris, J. E. (1971). The African Presence in Asia. Evanston: Northwestern University.
2. ^ a

bcdef

Jayasuriya, S. D., & Pankhurst, R. (2003). On the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean. In S. d.

Jayasuriya, & R. Pankhurst, The African diaspora in the Indian Ocean (pp. 7-17). Trenton: Africa World Press.
3. ^ Basu, H. (2003). Slave, Soldier, Trader, Faqir: Fragments of African Histories in Western india (Gujarat). In
S. d. Jayasuriya, & R. Pankhurst, The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean (pp. 223-250). Trenton: African
World Press
4. ^ a b Oka, R., & Kusimba, C. (2007). Siddi as Mercenary or as African Success Story on the West Coast of
India. In J. C. Hawley, India in Africa Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitans (pp. 203-224). Bloomington:
Indiana University Press.
5. ^ Alpers, E. (2003). The African Diaspora In the Indian Ocean: A Comparative Perspective. In S. D.
Jayasuriya, & R. Pankhurst, The African Diaspora In the Indian Ocean (pp. 19-51). Africa World Press.
6. ^ Basu, H. (2003). Slave, Soldier, Trader, Faqir: Fragments of African Histories in Western India (Gujarat). In
S. d. Jayasuriya, & R. Pankhurst, The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean (pp. 223-250). Trenton: African
World Press.
7. ^ http://www.wikipedia.org/ Makrani

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Categories: Peoples of the African diaspora Slavery African slave trade Mozambican diaspora
Swahili culture Malawian diaspora Ethiopian diaspora

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