I’ve always been fascinated by the Sikh community in Hong Kong.
In this old postcard (and by old, I’m talking 100 years), these Sikh policemen are standing over a couple of criminals who look like they’ve seen better days.
A long time ago I read how the British employed Sikh police officers across their colonies and instructed them to carry out their dirty work. So if the locals grew resentful of police treatment, they could blame the aggressors–the Sikhs–and not the people directing the show.
And then in the early 1950s that all changed. The Sikhs were kicked off the Royal Hong Kong Police Force when the British feared they would turn against the colonial government in light of the growing tensions on the Subcontinent several years after Partition. The thing about the Hong Kong Sikhs is that most of them hadn’t even set food in India. They were born either in Hong Kong or in another British colony.
So after they were forced to leave the police, many found work as security guards in banks or gold shops and still work there today.