Originally posted on Repeating Islands:
Migration of unskilled manual workers from Bihar is not a new phenomenon. It began in the middle of 19th century when they left for Mauritius, Fiji, Surinam, Guyana, the Caribbean Islands and other distant lands during the British Raj as girmitiya (indentured) workers.
Most of them ended up leading lives of unmitigated hardship and abject penury. But some fought against all odds to not only survive but also to pave the way for a better future for their descendants.
They embraced the local culture and assimilated themselves totally in alien lands. In fact, some of their descendants went on to become the heads of the governments in those countries, underlining the triumph of human spirit over all impediments.
But while they acclimatised themselves with local cultures and learnt new languages in their adopted lands, they could not sever the proverbial umbilical cords with the land of their forefathers.
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