Indian Singaporeans

Indian Singaporeans
Traditional Indian Chettiar financiers in Singapore, circa 1920.png
Indian Chettiar financiers in Singapore, circa 1920
Total population
362,274
Singapore Resident population (2020)[1]
707,420
9.0% of the Singapore population (2018)[2]
Languages
Religion
Related ethnic groups

Indian Singaporeans (Tamil: இந்திய சிங்கப்பூரர்கள் Intiya ciṅkappūrarkaḷ) are Singaporeans of Indian or South Asian ancestry, who constitute 9.0% of the country's citizens,[2] making them the third largest ancestry and ethnic group in Singapore.

While contact with ancient India left a deep impact on Singapore's indigenous Malay culture, the mass settlement of Indians on the island only began with the founding of modern Singapore by the British in 1819. Initially, the Indian population was transient, mainly comprising young men who came as workers, soldiers and convicts. By the mid-20th century, a settled community had emerged, with a more balanced gender ratio and a better spread of age groups.

Indian Singaporeans are linguistically and religiously diverse, with ethnic Tamils and Hindus forming majorities. The Indo-Singaporean culture has endured and evolved over almost 200 years. By the 1990s, it had grown somewhat distinct from contemporary South Asian cultures, even as Indian elements became diffused within a broader Singaporean culture. Since then, new immigrants have increased the size and complexity of the local Indian population. Low-cost carriers, cable television and the Internet now connect the Indian Singaporean community with the culture of India and the Indian diaspora.

Several in-depth studies have been conducted and published in the recent years on the Indian communities in Singapore such as Rajesh Rai's, Indians in Singapore, 1819 -1945: Diaspora in the Colonial Port City, Anitha Devi Pillai's, From Kerala to Singapore: Voices from the Singapore Malayalee Community,[3] Mathew Mathews, The Singapore Ethnic Mosaic,[4] S A Nathanji's Singapore: Nation Building and Indians' Legacy amongst others.[4]

Prominent individuals of South Asian descent have long made a mark in Singapore as leaders of various fields in national life. Indian Singaporeans are also collectively well represented, in areas such as politics, education, diplomacy and the law.

  1. ^ "Singapore Census 2020" (PDF). Singapore Government. p. 43.
  2. ^ a b "Singapore in Figures 2018" (PDF). Singapore Government. January 2018. pp. 16–17. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  3. ^ Pillai, Anitha Devi (2017). From Kerala to Singapore : voices from the Singapore Malayalee community. Puva Arumugam. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 9789814721837. OCLC 962741080.
  4. ^ a b The Singapore ethnic mosaic : many cultures, one people. Mathews, Mathew, 1974-. Singapore. 2017. ISBN 9789813234734. OCLC 1012427552.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

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