Anglo-Indian Stereotype and the Communities in New Zealand By Dorothy Mc Menamin University of Canterbury Christchurch NZ.


Recent scholarly interest in post-colonial societies has evoked an upsurge of research into the 'Anglo-Indian community'. Findings from anthropologists, sociologists, historians, genealogists and migrant Anglo-Indian communities have revealed a wealth of detail on relatively unknown contemporary Anglo-Indian communities in India, England, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. These works perpetuate an underlying assumption, namely, that Anglo-Indians are a readily identifiable homogeneous community. My paper refutes this inference arguing that it creates a stereotype which veils the diversity that exists within the category 'Anglo-Indian'.

Evidence collected from oral histories recorded with individuals, aged from 65 to 94 years, originally from British India who migrated to New Zealand, supports my claim that identity is moulded by specific colonial communities and/or regions. This research focuses on colonial society within British India during the first half of twentieth century. My paper will discuss the socio-economic status of the New Zealand interviewees, together with the perception of their own identity as either British, Eurasian, Domiciled European, Goanese or Anglo-Burmese, rather than simply Anglo-Indian.