East Indians and Chinese

East Indians and Chinese

The East Indians and Chinese came to Jamaica in the post Emancipation period to work on the sugar plantations as indentured labourers. The first group of East Indian indentured labourers arrived in 1845, their ships docked in Old Harbour, St. Catherine and the first group of Chinese arrived in 1854 from Hong Kong. Both groups came to Jamaica to escape poverty, famine and diseases and they believed Jamaica was their golden ticket to a better life. Many of them left the sugar plantations as soon as they landed in Jamaica and became farmers and shopkeepers and they have contributed significantly to the beautiful tapestry that is the Jamaican way of life.

Chinese Immigrants. Courtesy of the National Library
Photograph of Chinese indentured labourers at rest on the side of a road, circa 1900. Courtesy of Adrienne Duperly

Indians preparing rice, circa 1900. The cultivation of rice started in Asia and was brought to Jamaica by East Indian indentured labourers


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