The ‘Politics’ of South African Indian Identity: Real or Imagined

Main Article Content

Nirmala Gopal
Bonita Marimuthu


Bhana (2001) and Landy, Maharaj and Mainet-Valleix (2004) argue that people of Indian origin have lost much of their ancestral legacy as they became South Africans over the last 140 years. Using a largely qualitative lens this paper explores whether Indian cultural identifiers influence South African Indian identity and concludes with the voices of respondents showing a hybrid cultural model instead of an exclusively Indian identity model. The hybrid model is informed by especially second and third generation respondents’ exposure to Western and African influences. Data for this paper were produced from 21 face to face interviews with three generations of South African Indians in the Metropolitan Area of Durban.

Article Details

How to Cite
Gopal, N., & Marimuthu, B. (2017). The ‘Politics’ of South African Indian Identity: Real or Imagined. Alternation Journal, 24(1), 76-106. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Nirmala Gopal, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Bonita Marimuthu, University of KwaZulu-Natal