It is disappointing when someone of Indian descent calls himself or the community coolie. For us it has a negative charge, because historically creoles and white people have bullied the Hindustani. It is true that our ancestors were often unskilled workers and that people called them coolie. But we are not, we are educated and skilled!
Why people say coolie people?
The word coolie, meaning a labourer, has a variety of other implications and is sometimes regarded as offensive or a pejorative, depending upon the historical and geographical context; in India, its country of origin, it is still considered a derogatory slur. In the Netherlands and Suriname we hate it if people say coolie.
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