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Notably, the transfer of Indians from the subcontinent to the Caribbean/British West Indies occurred pre-partition.
As a result, the Indo-Caribbean collectivity generally understands their history as deriving from a singular India regardless of whether their originating territories have been carved into Pakistan, Bangladesh, or some other national designation.
This unique cultural disposition is why the Indo-Caribbean are able to culturally identify with public figures ranging from Hasan Minhaj to Nicki Minaj.
It is why bursts of Caribbean intonation in Rihanna’s voice blanket me in the comfort of home, while the ballads of A. Rahman awaken pained demons within me, crying to connect with a history that was ripped from my hands long before I was born.
Despite having this rich, multicultural background, my Indian heritage has played the largest role in both my upbringing and my understanding of myself.
It is the heritage that governs the traditions that I’ve grown up with, and that inform my decisions with respect to who I identify as my cultural kin.
It is why my best friends in high school were also children of Caribbean immigrants, as we faced rejection from South Asians as “not real Indians,” and rejection from everyone else who didn’t know where to place us in their advanced system of cliques and social assignments.
My parents never wanted me to imitate this accent because, for many, it is regarded as a thing of shame., were recruited from the (modern) northern Madhya Pradesh and Bihar regions, many Indians also came from the Tamil and Telegu regions of South India.