This article seeks to understand how Vietnamese in colonial Cochinchina engaged with Tamil migrants in their midst. By shedding light on little-known aspects of the Indian role in Cochinchina, it offers a new perspective on the complexities of the lived experience of colonialism for Vietnamese in the colony. It reveals the important role, until now unrecognized, of the Tamil presence in shaping Vietnamese calls for reform in the southern part of Vietnam. The rare glimpse offered of Indian migration under French (rather than British) imperial conditions is of important comparative relevance to scholars of Indian diasporas across the colonial world.

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