Research project: The second generation Malayalees in Germany  

at the University of Bergen, Norway
funded by the  DFG from April to October 2007

German version


In the 1960s and 70s Catholic hospitals in Germany recruited young Christian women from the South Indian state of Kerala as nurses. Many of these young women settled down in Germany, had arranged marriages and were joined by their husbands. As these were at the beginning not eligible for work permits, they brought up the children and established an ethnic and religious infrastructure for Malayalees (people from Kerala) in Germany.

In this research project it will be analysed within the framework of an ethnographic study, in which ways and to which extent Malayalees of the second generation in Germany are influenced in their identity constructions by the origin and religion of their parents. It will be discussed in particular which impact these influences have on the feelings of belonging to and othering in Germany and India. Doing this the role of the often very conservative ideas and practices of the parents concerning education, family and choice of partner will be investigated in particular .

This research project is based on interviews conducted in earlier field researches as well as the analysis of magazines and other documents. It follows the methods of the grounded theory developed by Strauss and Glaser. Theoretical it is based on the concept “Andere Deutsche” (Other Germans) developed by Paul Mecheril. The research project is continuing other studies on second generation South Asians pursued by the applicant.

© Urmila Goel, / forschung or english / Malayalees 2007