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West, Hinduism in the

Subject Indian Traditions » Hinduism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xvii ] Indian Hindus and Indians of other religions migrated to Western countries from the mid-19th century in response to colonial labour requirements [125; 130]. They went first to Mauritius, British Guiana (Guyana), Trinidad, Natal (South Africa) and Dutch Guiana (Surinam) as indentured labourers, then to east Africa to work in British administration and as construction workers [30; 125; 130; 15]. After the Second World War, a small number of semiskilled Hindus went to Britain, and these were followed in the 1960s and early 1970s by migrants direct from Asia and Asian refugees from the newly independent countries of Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya and Uganda [27; 71]. Surinamese Hindus moved in the same period to the Netherlands [128; 127], and Indian professionals emigrated to the USA and Canada [134; 136]. In the 1980s groups settled also in Australia and New Zealand. There are about 4 million people of Indian origin now living in these countries [30; 130; 27; 136], including Hindus, S ikhs , J ains and a small number of people of other religions. Their ethnic and linguistic backgrounds differ according to their region of origin, though English is now widely spoken. Hindus who settled outside India crossed kala pani , the ‘black waters’, transgressing Hindu teachings on ritual purity and leaving the sacred land of Bharat , India. Most Hindus responded to this separation from home ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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