|Regions with significant populations|
Notably: Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago
|English, French, Dutch, Caribbean Hindustani, Tamil|
|Related ethnic groups|
Dougla people (plural Douglas) are Caribbean people who are of mixed African and Indian descent. The word Dougla (also Dugla or Dogla) is used primarily in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Guyana, and Jamaica.
The word Dougla originated from doogala (दुगला), which is a Caribbean Hindustani word that may mean "many", "much" or "a mix". Some of the connotations of the word such as bastard, illegitimate and son of a whore are secondary and limited to sections of North India where the term may have originated. In the West Indies the word is used only for Afro-Indo mixed race, despite its origin as a word used to describe inter-caste mixing.
The biggest population of Dougla peoples, second (and if not on par), with those in Trinidad and Tobago are those in Guyana. Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese make up half of the Guyanese population, and Douglas number 15% of the country's demographics.
In the French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique), mixed Afro-Indian people used to be called Batazendien or Chapé-Coolie, those who have escaped the disagreeable Indian condition by becoming hybrid.
In the French West Indies they are now treated in a more positive way by other categories of the population and no longer face the cruel existential dilemma of post-slavery times. The uncommon phenomenon of mutual acceptance and cultural exchange now attained, called by some "the Guadeloupe Model", has widely contributed to the rare harmony of the multiracial French West Indian communities.
There are sporadic records of Indo-Euro interracial relationships, both forced and unforced, before any ethnic mixing of the African and Indian variety. Women were a minority among earlier Indian migrants. Many did not take the voyage across the Atlantic for several reasons, among them the fear of exploitation and the assumption that they were unfit for labour.
Socio-religious practice played a part as religious practices are paramount to the Hindu religion and preservation of the religion and culture was of extreme importance to the indentured labourers. Association with those outside the community who engaged in Adharmic practices was considered to compromise the purity of the race, religion and culture, seen as necessary for survival in the foreign land.
The second reason was socio-economic. The arrival of Indians to the British Caribbean was not meant to be permanent. For most of the Indian immigrants, the aim was to gain material wealth under contract, then return to their respective homelands. The Dougla represented the postponement and deferral of that goal if not rendering it completely impossible, being a living symbol of departure from cultural custom jatis.
The third reason was racism. Trinidad, as well as other territories in the Caribbean, had a dynamic of power based on the colour of one's skin. This reinforced the rules by which Indo society functioned in excluding the Dougla. Other Indo-based types of miscegenation (Indo-Chinese (Chindian), Indo-English (Anglo-Indians), Indo-Portuguese (Luso-Indians), Indo-Irish (Irish Indians), Indo-Scottish (Scottish-Indian), Indo-Dutch, Indo-Arabs, Indo-Latino, and Indo-Carib) tended to identify as one of the older, unmixed ethnic strains on the island: Afro, Indo, Amerindian, or Euro or passing as one of them.
In Trinidad culture
If they sending Indians to India
And Africans back to Africa
Well somebody please just tell me
Where they sending poor me?
I am neither one nor the other
Six of one, half a dozen of the other
So if they sending all these people back home for true
They got to split me in two
- Cletus Ali (fl. 1960s), Trinidadian musician, better known as Mighty Dougla
- Tatyana Ali (born 1979), Trinidadian American actress
- Melissa Bell (1964–2017), Jamaican British singer and mother of Alexandra Burke
- Alexandra Burke (born 1988), British Jamaican singer and daughter of Melissa Bell
- William Maragh (born 1963), Jamaican deejay, better known as Super Cat
- Mervyn Dymally (1926–2012), Trinidadian American politician
- Vashtie Kola (born 1981), Trinidadian American deejay
- Sonnet L'Abbé, Guyanese Canadian poet
- Sir Trevor McDonald (born 1939), Trinidadian British news anchor and journalist
- Rajee Narinesingh, LGBT activist (United States; Trinidadian and Tobagonian background)
- Furdjel Narsingh, footballer (Netherlands; Surinamese background)
- Luciano Narsingh, footballer (Netherlands; Surinamese background)
- Foxy Brown (Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand), rapper (United States; Trinidadian and Tobagonian background)
- Nicki Minaj, singer, rapper (United States; born in Trinidad and Tobago)
- Roxanne Persaud, Politician (United States; born in Guyana)
- Yendi Phillips, model (Jamaica)
- Gema Ramkeesoon, social worker and women’s rights activist (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Toni-Ann Singh, Miss World 2019 (Jamaica)
- Abrahim Simmonds, youth advocate (Jamaica)
- Joyce Vincent, woman whose death went unnoticed for more than two years as her corpse lay undiscovered in her London bedsit (United Kingdom; Grenadian background)
- Wilk, Richard; Barbosa, Livia (2013-05-09). Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places. Berg. ISBN 9781847889058.
- Sanksipt Hindu Shabdasagar
- Winer, Lise (2009). Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 311. ISBN 978-0-7735-3406-3.
- https://www.uohyd.ernet.in/sss/indian_diaspora/oc2.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Dougla dilemma". www.trinidadandtobagonews.com.
- Barrow, Steve & Dalton, Peter (2004) The Rough Guide to Reggae, Rough Guides, ISBN 1-84353-329-4, p. 286
- "The Honorable Mervyn M. Dymally's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
- Rajee Narinesingh
- Calloway, Sway (2001-05-29). "Foxy Brown – Outspoken (Part 4)". MTV News. Archived from the original on 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2006-05-09.
- "Gala 2016". Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Inc.
- "Guyanese-born New York Assemblywoman, Roxanne Persaud, was elected to the New York State Senate". November 4, 2015.
- "New York's immigrant lawmakers make their mark". Times Union. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
- Morley, Carol (October 8, 2011). "Joyce Carol Vincent: how could this young woman lie dead and undiscovered for almost three years?" – via www.theguardian.com.