Thursday, May 26, 2005


Layman's term - Hybrid - British mixed with Asian Indian. Here is an official explanation.

My primary school teachers ( Christ King Convent, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu, India) were mostly Anglo-Indians.

High school was different. No Anglo-indian teachers. But a couple of good Anglo-Indian friends. Same thing in college as well.

I've noticed that they were fun loving, hard working people with the added advantage of some British skin tone and better English than most of us those days.

Some websites talk about the vanishing Anglo-Indian community. Looks like they have migrated to Canada /Australia.

Those days, I used to see a lot of them as Guards in the Express trains. In Madras, I've noticed that most of the Anglo-Indian community is around Perambur or St.Thomas Mount.

I found this Anglo-Indian history website very interesting. I didn't know that these POP singers where born in India, until now.

1. Tony Brent (real name Reginald Brentagne) was born in Bombay
2. Cliff Richards (real name Harry Roger Webb) was born in Lucknow
3. Engelbert Humperdinck (real name Arnold George Dorsey) was born in Madras

I remember a joke on Anglo-Indians who live in Madras. It is centered around how they mix Tamil and English when they speak:

Mom - Son, Don't play in the வெய்யில் Son.
Son - No Mom, I am not, I am playing in the புளியா மரத்து நெழல்.

One of my best friends in Madras, Dev Anand Williams is married to a Anglo-Indian Girl, Sharon. I've met her and her family. Very nice people indeed. We used to make fun of Anand, calling him ' புளியா மரத்து நெழல்'.


virumandi said...

yep..they are very good in of my close an anglo Indian..she fits ur definition loving and hard working...on seeing ur blog..i started to miss her!!!

'puliya marathu nezhal' too good!!!

kkirukan said...

I too had few, but as you said they migrated to canada, but some of them are still in Madras.

G3 said...

The POP singers part of it, pretty cool!

I knew only one Anglo-Indian ... she was my Kindergarden teacher. My first ever teacher ... I was scared of her until I left that school.

REFLEX said...

I know few and as you said, they have migrated to Canada recently. He has his own music troop.

Narayanan Venkitu said...

I am sure she will be in your dreams today.

I agree.

So..these days when you see her do you shhiiivvveeer!

The people I know are also mostly into Music, some of them perform in 5 star hotels and clubs. Thanks to their English.

saranyan said...

narayanan, this is in response to ur earlier post on Pallava kings and their palaces.

They disappeared coz they were not made out of stone, as was the case with the temples. we even have references of it in Ponniyin Selvan. Uttama Chozha's mom would be doing "karungal thiruppani" of all the temples. so that answers ur question I guess.

and also most of them were destroyed by rival kings and even the britishers. many were deserted and none cared to look after them.

Kaps said...

Do you know that Anglo Indians have a representation in the State Assembly. They are nominated as MLA by the governor.

ada-paavi!!!! said...

ur correct they are a vanishing tribe, in modern day tamilnadu any1 who is well to do is persecuted, not literally i mean through the reservation system and the works. they have been pushed out of government service, as a community they didnt try to preserve their heritage. secondly i think the lack of fresh british blood also played a part, they married into indian families and slowly may have disappeared

IBH said...

Pulya marathu nizhal ...hahaha cute one....I have a very very close Anglo Indian...she is doing her fashion designing...she is so attracted to this word called "appale" she always ends her scentence with this word..:) with that cute accent..:)

AF said...

Nice note about the Ango-Indian community. Apart from Perambur and St.Thomas Mount. Pallavaram veteran lines has quiet a number of Ango-Indians too. Most of them migrated to Britain/Australia.
Usually you would find most of the primary sections in the school would prefer to have Ango-Indian teachers since they can coach the kids well.

BTW: Mr.Narayanan, my MIL used to teach in Christ King TBM. May be you know her. Her name is Mrs. Fabiola Franklin.
Also my husband is a MCC bread, your brother might know him.


Adaengappa !! said...

Thats a well written note on anglo Indian community..
I remember my early days.....probably when i did my 1st std. My English teacher was Ms.Bridget and Ms.Pinto Juliet..Years rolled past fast and we are still in touch with them..
Infact, i plan to visit them now during my stay here at chennai..

AI's are seen more around
chetput area..

Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Nari, I studied in an anglo-indian school till the 12th so I share your sentiments; St.Bede's AI Hr Sec School in Santhome. They are very good people to know in life.

Kaps -- AI have a representation in the Parliament too.

One of our school teachers Oscar Nigli was AI representative in the assemebly for a long time. He is a prof of economics in Loyola College.

Amrita said...

Hmm..pretty interesting article on anglo-indians! i agree with u, they seem to be a vanishing community...i have never had one as a friend...but are they very different from the Indian christians? byways, pardon my g.k aren't most of the Indian christians anglo-indians? i am not talking about converts. I wanted to enjoy the joke but i guess the butt of the joke is that single tamil word in there...right?

Anonymous said...

Hullo all, as an AI living in Australia for some 36 year now, I was very sad to leave India - and I still miss the people and my dear friends, most of whome were Hindus and Muslims etc.. yes, our community left India for everywhere else in the world and as a community they are doing well because as you say they are hardworking, industrious and talented. I lived in Madras for around three to four years prior to Australia and absolutely loved it - I shall be returning briefly in November 05 t see some dear friends of mine. We lived in Nungumbakam and I remember the boat races and Woodlands, Buharis, Gaylords, Spencers, Abbotsbury etc.etc.... those were the days and I guess I won't recognise it any more - however, I mean to enjoy my visit. Take care now and God Bless!! Coco

Anonymous said...

Aloha, apart from the pop singers many film stars were AIs - like Vivien Leigh, Merle Oberon, Juliet Prowse, Colin Friels, Jennifer and Felicity Kendall and also others who were very highly involved in British politics. I am an Indian belonging to the AI community and no - Indian Christians are not Anglo Indians. However, you are right, as a community in India and elsewhere it is very watered down and I imagine will continue to become that way - as with most communities in minority. Let us hope the history of the AIs is well documented and archived for posterity. I have my albums of my 24 years in India and apart from the photos of my beloved children, they are my most treasured pictures. "For all the years I've been away and many more to be, India will always remain my beloved country" Part of a poem I wrote many years ago. I guess there will always be a part of some foreign country that will be forever India!!

Anonymous said...

All quiet on the Western Front - come on guys - where are you all

Anonymous said...

Anglo-Indians are most definitely not Indian Christians. The lingua franca is English. Their culture & dress reflects the culture & dress of their forefathers, be they British, French, Dutch, German, Armenian etc; Indian Christians have decended from Indians who were either born into Indian families who were already Christians or were converted at some point in time. The two communities should not be confused.

Anonymous said...

I still miss India - I have been away for 40 years now and if I close my eyes I can be transported to the serendipity that is India - and I see so much of what I left behind a lifetime ago - I am an Anglo Indian living in Australia - but my heart is forever in India,

Anonymous said...

Nicely said, friendly and hardworking people, happy living people with what ever they have, the good part is, in spite of Indians teasing them they dont bother and disturb anyone. no one can beat them in Hospitality, a cup of wine and dance, love those days with my Anglo Indians friends, Cheers !

Anonymous said...

added advantage of British skin tone??? what is that about?