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Global Urban History Project

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Darinee Alagirisamy
Basic Information
Hong Kong University
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Unit 20D, Tower 4, 4 South Horizons Drive,

Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong

Hong Kong,   

Additional Information
About My Work
I'm interested in alcohol and drug history, which I currently approach from the perspective of urban elite engagements with social reform in British Malaya and India.
What emerges from these commentaries is marked anxiety that alcohol consumption was part of a broader social trend in which misplaced notions of Westernisation-as-modernity were eroding traditional Indian values and beliefs. At any rate, alcoholic beverages could no longer be ‘openly indulged’ in the city of Madura by 1907, where the social stigma that attached to drinking forced drinkers to resort to spaces where they could drink discreetly, and hence, ‘respectably’. As a result of the increased demand for their services, railway refreshment rooms and English public houses greatly increased in popularity. Just as the ideas that promoted the prohibition of drink were forged in an urban milieu, the province’s towns and cities abounded with drinking establishments which guaranteed a degree of privacy for the urban rich to socialize over their gin and tonic.