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Cambridge Reproduction


My research focuses on gender and race in Bengali migration to Burma from 1880 to 1960. The immigrant group which travelled from Bengal to Burma during this period was a male-dominated gendered labour force.  However, the consequences of this gendered labour force extended beyond Burma, impacting both the migrant community and Bengal itself. Many of them took Burmese wives and raised a family there. With the consolidation of Burmese nationalist imagination, this mixed marriage issue became very serious. In particular, Burmese nationalists were worried about the fast-growing rate of the Zerbadis, offspring born from Indian Muslim-Burmese Buddhist unions. The complexities of mixed marriages and the issue of reproduction in colonial Burma reflect the intersection of religious, cultural, and racial dynamics, highlighting the challenges faced by individuals navigating diverse identities and communities during this historical period.