The Eurasian Question
- 30 May 2018
- Academy Building
2311 GJ Leiden
'The Eurasian Question' The colonial position and postcolonial options of colonial mixed ancestry groups from British India, Dutch East Indies and French Indochina compared.
Eurasians were privileged groups of mixed ancestry in Asian colonial societies. They were the result of unions between European males and indigenous women. They neither belonged to the colonizers, nor to the colonized. When colonization came to an end, the Eurasians found themselves in a difficult position. The European rulers, on which their status was based, were gone. The new indigenous rulers usually perceived them suspiciously as colonial remnants and sometimes even as traitors. In this chaotic, sometimes violent situation, they had to decide where they belonged: in the country of their European fathers or the former colony, the country of their Asian mothers. This was a serious dilemma since they only knew the mother country from stories and lessons at school. In this project I have compared the position and options of the Indo-Europeans with those of similar groups from two other former Asian co lonies, the Anglo-Indians from British India and the Métis people from French Indochina. This study of Eurasians from three former colonies showed that an emancipation paradox of acquiring more rights while discriminated against more at the same time was instrumental in creating the framework in which Eurasians had to make their choices.
- Prof. M.L.J.C. Schrover
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