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The religious practice of Purattasi as a means to social identity formation in South Africa.

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The Indian diaspora has now more than ever before exported the inhabitants of the sub-continent to very many countries in the world. They are presently to be found settled in far-off places like Alaska, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, the Unites States of America, England, Canada and elsewhere. By far the largest group that had emigrated under the tri-partite patronage of South Africa, India and Britain between 1860 and 1911 to South Africa were a mixture of Hindus, Christians and Muslims representing the four major Indian language groups of Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Gujarati. The indentured, in no small measure, played a significant part in drastically uplifting the economy of Natal as efficient and hardworking labourers in the sugarcane farms, the coalfields of Northern Natal and in the wattle farms of the mist belt of the Midlands of Natal. No doubt in some cases their working conditions were extremely trying and painfully difficult; but they triumphed. They were not willing to remain in their immigrant servitude. After their contract, as is now, patently well known that in about 140 years they have reached against all odds. They are world recognized in nearly all fields where human endeavour calls for the best. They have produced renounced academics and artisans and are visible wherever excellence is the benchmark. After 1994 they have integrated with ease within the South African plural society without abandoning their language, culture, traditions, belief systems, dietary habits and the distinct dress of the women in particular and the men in general. Undoubtedly their inborn patience and tolerance and the ability to change and adapt within a multi-religious and multi-ethical milieu is a humble credit to their forbearance.


Thesis (M. A.)-University of Durban-Westville, 2003.


Hinduism--Rites and rituals., Religious life (Hinduism), Tamil--Religion., Theses--Religion.