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The Formation of the South Asian Community in Vancouver during the Early Twentieth Century

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  • 20世紀初頭バンクーバーに おけるインド系移民コミュニティの形成
  • 20セイキ ショトウ バンクーバー ニ オケル インドケイ イミン コミュニティ ノ ケイセイ

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Abstract

The South Asians who arrived on the Pacific Coast of North America in the early twentieth century are famous for their political activism in the Komagata Maru Incident and the Ghadr movement, among others. In conventional discussions, these movements have been argued chiefly through the perspective of some active political leaders, and the historical, economic, and social backgrounds of the South Asian immigrants on the Pacific Coast have often been overlooked. Moreover, the immigrants’participation in these political incidents has been argued to have connections with their political interests and religious organizations centering around Sikh Gurdwaras; however, the economic relationships among these immigrants has been under-explored. This paper examines the target population’s motives and methods of immigration, their living conditions in Vancouver around 1910, and their socio-economic relationships. Their most important reason for migrating to Canada was to earn a higher income. Through an analysis of The Census of Canada 1911, this paper shows that their wages in Canada were six to eleven times higher than in India. Most of them had not intended to settle there permanently, but it was a suitable place for them to earn more money in a shorter period. Irrespective of their mobility, through pursuing economic success, South Asian immigrants exerted themselves and strengthened their social ties by establishing mutual aid institutions and a company whose shareholders were immigrants to the Pacific Coast.

Journal

  • Minamiajiakenkyu

    Minamiajiakenkyu 2014 (26), 125-147, 2014

    JAPANESE ASSOCIATION FOR SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES

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