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Kaur A. Chettiars (Chettyars). 2004.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/2624
The Chettiars were a South Indian money lending caste and played a decisive role in the expansion of Lower Burma's rice industry in the late nineteenth century. The Chettiars were ubiquitous and found in virtually every region of economic importance during the colonial period (ca. 1800–ca. 19605) in Southeast Asia. Chettiar firms in Malaya and Burma borrowed from European banks in the region to relend, at a higher rate of interest, either to local cultivators or to indigenous moneylenders. Each Chettiar business concern, sustained by caste and kinship ties, was part of a network with links across the Southeast Asian region and India. Like the Chinese financial and commercial intermediaries, the Chettiars linked the rural Southeast Asian communities to the expanding Western economy.