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Réunionnais of Indian origin

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Réunionnais of Indian origin are people of Indian origin in Réunion They form two ethnic groups on the island, Malbars and Zarabes


  • 1 Origins
  • 2 Today
  • 3 Malbars
  • 4 Zarabes
  • 5 Demographic factors
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


Originally brought in as indentured laborers as in Mauritius, they were mostly from South Indian Tamils2 The next largest group was from North Indian Hindus, speaking Hindi, Bhojpuri and Gujarati The smallest group were Muslims from North, South and West India There were also latter emigrants, mostly Hindu, traders and businessmen In Réunion, Indians from South India, often Hindu, are known as Malbars and Muslim Indians from North India are known as Zarabes


Indo-Réunionnais people have affected the culture of Réunion, bringing Indian foods as well as plants and animals to the island The Hindus here have mixed with the other races


Main article: Malbars

Originally brought in as indentured laborers as in Mauritius, they were mostly from South Indian Tamils and Telugus2 Tamils in Reunion are gradual awakening and desire to their ancestors' culture, and started studying their language and religions especially from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu2 They also now wanted to translate their newly acquired civic and political rights into a gradual and increasing participation in local and other elections

  • Mr Jean-Paul Virapoullé is an example of Tamil Participation in the island's civic and political life He is currently Mayor of Saint Andre and First Vice President of the General Council of Reunion There are other examples of this kind, such as those Mr Saminadin Axel Kichenin
  • Mrs Nadia Ramassam who are respectively Second and Third Vice Presidents of the same General Council
  • Mrs Denise Nilameyom is Deputy Mayor of Tampon


Main article: Zarabes

Zarabes is the name given to the Muslim community of Réunion The Muslims migrated to Réunion in mid-nineteenth century Zarabes are mostly South Asian and specifically from the modern state Gujarat in Indiacitation needed

Demographic factorsedit

Many are Christians and Hindus, including some who are nominally Christian but include Hindu practises3 There is a significant Muslim minority known as Zarabes Others are Sikh, Baha'i or non-religious Hare Krishna is also practised in Réunion They speak Réunion Creole and French There are a handful of schools where Indian languages such as Tamil may be studied as a third or fourth language


  1. ^ 1
  2. ^ a b c http://indiandiasporanicin/diasporapdf/chapter6pdf
  3. ^ Ghasarian, Christian 1997 "We Have the Best Gods! The Encounter Between Hinduism and Christianity in La Réunion" African and Asian Studies 32: 286–295 doi:101163/156852197X00079 

External linksedit

  • Indian Diaspora in Reunion

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