The Deep Legacy of Indian Immigration to the Malay Peninsula

By Preveena Balakrishnan

August 2019 LEST WE FORGET
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Indian rubber estate workers.
The ties between India and Malaya go back millennia. Silappadikaram, 1 a second-century Tamil epic, highlighted that Tamil merchants were operating from a Malay Peninsula port called Tondi, and they used to barter Indian textiles with spices and jungle products. Pattinappalai, 2 another important work of Tamil literature, also mentions the regular travels of Tamil merchants to the peninsula.In the pre-modern period, there was brisk trade as well as religious travel in the region. Ancient ports such as Kaveripoompattinam, Mahabalipuram,...

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Preveena Balakrishnan

is based in Penang. She runs her own research studio, Vamssa Research Studio, which researches and documents the heritage of the Indian community in Malaysia.