We Mark Your Memory: writings from the descendants of indenture

Edited by David Dabydeen, Maria del Pilar Kaladeen, and Tina K. Ramnarine
30 April 2018
229 × 152 mm
212 pp
Paperback: 978-1-912250-07-3

The abolition of slavery was the catalyst for the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers into the sugar colonies of Mauritius (1834), Guyana (1838) and Trinidad (1845), followed some years later by the inception of the system in South Africa (1860) and Fiji (1879). By the time indenture was abolished in the British Empire (1917–20), over one million Indians had been contracted, the overwhelming majority of whom never returned to India. Today, an Indian indentured labour diaspora is to be found in Commonwealth countries including Belize, Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles.

Indenture, whereby individuals entered, or were coerced, into an agreement to work in a colony in return for a fixed period of labour, was open to abuse from recruitment to plantation. Hidden within this little-known system of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Indian migration under the British Empire are hitherto neglected stories of workers who were both exploited and unfree. These include indentured histories from Madeira to the Caribbean, from West Africa to the Caribbean, and from China to the Caribbean, Mauritius and South Africa.

To mark the centenary of the abolition of the system in the British Empire (2017–20) this volume brings together, for the first time, new writing from across the Commonwealth. It is a unique attempt to explore, through the medium of poetry and prose, the indentured heritage of the twenty-first century.

Table of contents: 
David Dabydeen, Maria del Pilar Kaladeen and Tina K. Ramnarine

The Rebel
Kevin Hosein
Mother Wounds
Gitanjali Pyndiah
Mama Liberia
Angelica A. Oluoch
My Father the Teacher
Prithiraj R. Dullay
Gandhi and the Girmitya
Satendra Nandan
Pepsi, Pie and Swimming Pools in-the-Sky
Cynthia Kistasamy
Waterloo: At Siewdass Sadhu’s Temple in the Sea
Anita Sethi
Talanoa with my Grandmother
Noelle Nive Moa
Passage from India
Anirood Singh
india has left us
Eddie Bruce-Jones
Chutney Love
Gabrielle Jamela Hosein
Brotherhood of the Boat: Fijians and Football in North America 
Akhtar Mohammed
The Heist
Deirdre Jonklaas Cadiramen
Stella Chong Sing
The Tamarind Tree: vignettes from a plantation frontier in Fiji 
Brij V. Lal
‘I go sen’ for you’ 
Fawzia Muradali Kane
Paradise Island 
Priya N. Hein
Building Walls 
Kama La Mackerel
The Legend of Nagakanna 
Aneeta Sundararaj
Great-grandmother, Ma 
Jennifer Rahim
Suzanne Bhagan
Athol Williams
Famished Eels 
Mary Rokonadravu
Rights of Passage 
Patti-Anne Ali
The Protest March that Ended Indian Indentureship in St Vincent 
Arnold N. Thomas
Sita and Jatayu 
Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming
Memoir. Tales of the Sea: a sisterhood of the boat 
Gaiutra Bahadur
Pot-bellied Sardar 
David Dabydeen