Cheryl Perreira, Claire Clarke 700 Starview Court, Anaheim Hills, California 92808 Tel: [714] 974 3227 Fax [714] 533 0700

By Cheryl Perreira and Claire Clarke

The purpose of the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project is to preserve the recollections and anecdotal evidence of the history, culture and traditions of this small, unique ethnic group. Individuals who identify themselves as Anglo-Indians are declining in number as members of the community become scattered throughout the world and rapidly assimilate into new cultures. This rich source of Anglo-Indian folklore and history will soon be lost. Hence, the urgency and timeliness of this oral history project.

The subjects of the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project will be members of the intemational Anglo-Indian community, defined for this purpose as individuals of mixed heritage, born in India, and descended from persons of British, European or other non-Indian origin. It is expected that most of the subjects of this oral history now live outside India (United States, Canada. Australia, England).

Responses to the following questionnaire and any other information provided by the subjects will be audio-taped by an interviewer and subsequently maintained on audio-tape in an oral history collection to be located in a university archive. Transcripts of the audio-tapes will be made and stored with the tapes. Other documentation such as photographs, letters, etc. that are referred to in the audio-tapes will remain the property of the subject and in his/her possession unless donated to the Project. Such documentation will be noted in the cross- referenced bibliography that will be created for the Project.

All responses will remain anonymous and confidential unless the subject indicates in writing that his/her name may be used in connection with the material. Demographic information conceming an individual who does not wish his/her identity to be revealed may be used in such a manner as not to identify the individual. The material contained in the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project will be made available to scholarst researchers and members of the public who will be granted access only upon agreement that identifwation of specific individuals by name and demographic information is prohibited unless written pemlission exists. Users of the material will be required to cite the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project as its source.

Who are the Anglo-Indians? continued


Biographical Information: (Responses to this section will remain anonymous and confidential and will be used only for demographic purposes unless the interviewee specifically grants permission for use of his/her name.)

1. What is your full name? Maiden name? Married name(s)?

2. When were you born? Please include the date and the year.

3. Were you born in India? If so, in which city and state?

4. In which country do you currently live? How long have you lived in this country?

5. What were your parents' names? When and where were they born and (if deceased) when and where did they die?

6. Do you have any brothers or sisters? What are their names, dates and places of birth, and places of current residence(s)?

7. How far back can you name your relatives? Grandparents? Great-grandparents? Please include names, dates and places of birth/death and places of current residences.

8. Do you know which ancestor (on either your mother or father's side or both) was of non-Indian heritage?

9. Could you tell us about your family's history?

10. How many of your relatives are still in India? What are their social and economic circumstances? Has there been any change in their standard of living?


1. Do you consider yourself an Anglo-Indian?

2. If yes, could you describe what you mean by that term?

3. Have you always identified with this ethnic group? If not, when did you first begin to do so?

4. How were you, as an Anglo-Indian, treated in India?

5. How were you, as an Anglo-Indian, referred to by non-Anglo-Indians?

6. Did you personally experience any discrimination in India because of your ethnicity? If so, could you describe how and when this occurred?

7. Are you aware of any discriminatin experienced by any other members of the Anglo Indian community in India because of their ethnicity?

8. How did the Indian caste system affect you as an Anglo-Indian living in India?

9. Would you say that a caste system existed within the Anglo-Indian community in India? If so, upon what factors was it based (e.g., British or Portuguese last names? Physical characteristics such as skin/eye/hair color Or?) Please describe what you recollect of such a caste system and how it affected your family.

10. -What do you feel were the defining traits or characteristcs of Anglo-Indians in India, as perceived by Indians? As perceived by Anglo-Indians? As perceived by the British?

11. Did it help or hurt to be identified as an Anglo-Indian in India?

12. Does it help or hurt to be identified as an Anglo-Indian where you now live?

13. Is your spouse an Anglo-Indian? Did your siblings marry Anglo-Indians?

14. Do your children consider themselves Anglo-Indians? If not, how do they define their ethnicity?

15. Have you ever attended any of the Anglo-Indian Reunions?

16. If so, could you tell us about your experiences at the Reunion(s)?

Who are the Anglo-Indians? continued

Family Culture:

1. What recollections do you have as an Anglo-Indian child growing up in India?

2. Were both your parents Anglo-Indian? If not, which parent was Anglo-Indian?

3. Were there any special traditions that your family used to celebrate Christmas and other holidays in India?

4. How did your family celebrate birthdays in India?

5. . Do you recollect any family crises and how they were handled?

6. How was discipline administered in your family?

7. Was your family's Anglo-Indian ethnicity discussed among family members?

8. How did your family view Indians?

9. What information did your parents give you about your Anglo-Indian heritage/ancestry or about your family history?

10. How did your parents meet? How did you and your spouse meet?

11. Under what circumstances did you leave India? Did your whole family leave at the same time?

12. Did you find it hard adjusting to living in another country after living in India? Could you describe what adjustments you have had to make?

13. When you lived in India, where did you consider "home"? How about now?

14. When you lived in India, what types of food were prepared in your home? Do you prepare the same kind of food now?


1. What was your parents' religion? Were both your parents of the same religion?

2. Did your family belong to and attend a church in India? If so, which one?

3. Did you ever study Christianity or any other religion?

4. How familiar were you with the religious beliefs and rituals of other ethnic groups in India?

5. How did your parents feel about religion? How do you feel now? About God? About the after life? How important was religion in your childhood?

6. Do you practice any religion now?

7. Do you attend church now? If so, where?

8. Are you and your spouse of the same religion? If not, what religion is your spouse?

9. If you and your spouse are of different religions, in which, if any, were/are your children raised?

10. How tied to religion was the Anglo-Indian identity in India? How about now?


1. -How much formal schooling have you received? (High School, College, Post graduate). Which occurred in India and which abroad?

2. Which schoo/college did you attend in India? During what approximate time period was that?

3. What are your recollections as an Anglo-Indian child in school in India?

4. Did you receive Catholic or Christian instruction in school in India? Could you describe what you remember of these lessons?

5. Did your Anglo-Indian ethnicity impact your education in any way?

6. How did your parents feel towards education? How do you feel about it?

Who are the Anglo-Indians? continued

Economic Status and Work:

1. Was your family considered poor, middle class, or rich in India? How do you feel these classifications were defined?

2. What occupation did your father have in India? Was he successful?

3. Did your mother work? If so, what did she do and did she do so by choice?

4. Did your family's economic status change during your residence in India? If so, under what circumstances did this change occur and how did the change affect you?

5. Did you work as an adult in India? If so, at what occupation? Were you successful?

6. How did your Anglo-Indian ethnicity impact your working life? (e.g., type of occupation, status, employment opportunities)

7. Did you have to make any concessions as an Anglo-Indian working in India? (e.g,, change your normal attire, habits, language) If so, why did you have to do so, and what was the result?

8. Have you worked since you left India? If so, in what occupation and for how long?

9. Would you say that you have achieved success in your occupation since leaving India? How would you measure success in your occupation?

10. Have you encountered any difficulties in achieving success in your occupation since you left India? If so, what do you feel were the reasons for your difficulties.

11. Do you consider yourself ambitious? What does ambition mean to you?

12. Would you say that your economic condition has changed since you left India? Could you describe any such changes in detail.


1. What languages do you speak, other than English?

2. What was your primary language growing up as a child in India?

3. Were you taught Indian languages in school in India? If so, which languages did you leam?

4. Do you recollect any terms or phrases commonly used in the Anglo-Indian community in India that were a combinabon of English and an Indian language?

5. Do you recollect any terms or phrases that were peculiarly Anglo-Indian? What made them so?

6. When you lived in India, what was your attitude toward Indian languages?

Political Influences:

1. Do you recollect any specific political events that occurred when you lived in India? Could you describe them and any specific incidents you personally witnessed or heard :- about.

2. Did these events happen in India? Did they happen outside India?

3. What impact, if any, did these events have on your life?

4. Were Anglo-Indians involved in Indian politics? If so, why did they do so and what did they achieve?

5. What do you know about Anglo-Indian politics in India?

6. Have you had any political involvement, either in India or abroad? If so, what form did it take? (e.g., local commissions/boards, working on political campaigns, organizing or participating in ballot issues, etc.)

Who are the Anglo-Indians? continued

Social Interaction:

1. Describe the social activities of the Anglo-Indian community in India.

2. How often did you or your family interact socially with other Anglo-Indians? What form did this interaction take? Could you name individuals or families that you socialized with in India?

3. - How often did you or your family interact socially with Indians or other ethnic groups?

4. What form did this interaction take? Could you name individuals and families?

5. Did your family have any interaction with British families? If so, what form did this interaction take? Could you name individuals and families?

6. How did your family spend leisure time when not socializing with other families? 7. What sports did you play in India? How about now?

8. Did you belong to any clubs or groups in India? How about now?

9. As a child growing up in India, were your friends primarily schoolmates or children of your parents' Mends?

Please provide specific instances/events and as much detail as possible for questions 10 through 17:

10. How were Anglo-Indian women regarded within the Anglo-Indian community?

11. How were Anglo-Indian men regarded within the Anglo-Indian community?

12. How were Anglo-Indian women perceived in the Indian community?

13. How were Anglo-Indian men perceived by Indians?

14. How were Anglo-Indian men and women perceived/treated by the British?

15. How were Anglo-Indian behaviors perceived by non-Anglo-Indians (especially with regard to morality, sexuality, education and lifestyle)?

16. Were there any social behaviors that were discouraged by the Anglo-Indian community? How were these behaviors discouraged?

17. Were you prohibited from any behaviors because of your Anglo-Indian ethnicity?

18. Do you socialize with other Anglo-Indians in the country where you now live?

19. Would you say that the majority of your current friends/acquaintances are Anglo-Indian? If not, what ethnicity would you say they are?

20. Have you stayed in touch with Anglo-Indians you knew in India who now live in your country or in countries other than the one in which you now live?

21. Do you know of Anglo-Indians, either in India or abroad, who have gained fame for their accomplishments? If so, could you name them and describe why they are famous.

22. What do you think is the Anglo-Indian legacy?


Interviewer: Please ensure that the interviewee has read and signed this form prior to the start of the interview. This completed and signed form must accompany the audio-taped interview in order to be included in the AngloQndian Oral History Project.



PHONE(S): LOG # (to be filled in by Project Manager)

I hereby grant perrnission to the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project to record my interviews on (dates) and include the audio-tape(s) and transcription in the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project.

I hereby grant the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project the exclusive rights of reproduction, distribution, preparation of derivative works, public performance and display of said interview and transcription.

I hereby grant pemmission for users of to remain material contained in the Anglo-Indian Oral History Project to use my name in without connection with information contained in my oral interview.


I wish my responses to remain confidential. The material in my interview may be used without identifying me by name until the year 2010.


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_________________________________________________________ INTERVIEWER: Please fill in and sign this section:

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hereby attest that the interview contained on the accompanying audio-tape(s) is that of the individual listed above and that the interview occurred on:


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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED If you wish to help with the Anglo-Indian History Project then please get in touch with the organisor Cheryl Perreira [714] 974-3227 or email

Mail to: Cheryl Perreira