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This Day in SA History: “Coolie No. 1″ Steps Off the Truro on to South African Soil

Inside Indian IndentureGender, Modernity and Indian DelightsIt’s well-known, by now, that 2010 marks the 150th year of the mass arrival of Indian indentured laborers in South Africa – but did you know that today, 16 Nov, is the exact anniversary of when it all began? Read all about it in the Daily Dispatch – and then read Inside Indian Indenture and Gender, Modernity and Indian Delights for more insight on the experience of South Africa’s Indians, then and now:

DAVARUM , aka Coolie Number One, set foot on South African soil on November 16, 1860.

Leaving his home in Madras, Davarum, like hundreds of Indian indentured labourers, wished for a better life in Africa and hoped their work in the cane fields of Natal would offer them financial freedom from their British colonisers.

Now, 150 years later, South Africans of Indian origin have woven themselves into South African culture, becoming an integral part of the diversity that makes this country unique.

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