|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
|c. 65 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Gujarati, Hindi, English|
|Predominantly Hinduism, minorities of Jainism, Islam and Zoroastrianism|
Gujarati people or Gujaratis are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group of India that is traditionally Gujarati-speaking. Famous Gujaratis include Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dhirubhai Ambani, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Morarji Desai, Freddie Mercury, Jamsetji Tata, Narendra Modi and Vikram Sarabhai.
- 1 Geographical Locations
- 2 Genetics
- 3 Food
- 4 Literature
- 5 Mention in history
- 6 Social Stratification
- 7 Diaspora
- 8 Notable people
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
Most Gujaratis in India live in the state of Gujarat. Gujaratis also form a significant part of the populations in the small union territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra Nagar Haveli, both being former Portuguese colonies. There are significant Gujarati communities in other parts of India, most notably in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore and other metropolitan areas like Kollam and Kochi. All throughout history Gujaratis have earned the distinct reputation as India's greatest merchants, industrialists and business entrepreneurs, and have therefore been at forefront of migrations all over the world, particularly to regions that were part of the British empire such as Hong Kong, East Africa and countries in Southern Africa. Diasporas in many of these countries date back to more than a century. In recent decades, larger numbers of Gujaratis have migrated to English speaking countries such as United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and United States.
A 2004 Stanford study conducted with a wide sampling from India, found that over 33% of genetic markers in Gujarat were partially of West Eurasian origin, the second highest amongst the sampled group of South Asians with Punjabis at 42%, and Kashmiris at 30%.
mtDNA Haplogroup U7 is found in Iran, the rest of the Near East, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan; with extremely low frequencies in neighboring countries Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Iraq. Its frequency peaks at over 12% in Gujarat, 9% in Iran, 9% in Punjab, 6% in Pakistan and 6% in Afghanistan. Elsewhere in India, its frequency is very low (0.00% to 0.90%). Outside of the Near East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Northwestern Indian states, Haplogroup U7 is non-existent. Expansion times and haplotype diversities for the Indian and Near and Middle Eastern U7 mtDNAs are strikingly similar.
The possible homeland of this haplogroup likely spans the coverage of Iran to Western India. From there its frequency declines steeply both to the east and to the west. Its equally high frequency as well as diversity in Gujarat favors a scenario whereby U7 has been introduced by the coastal Gujarat to areas of Iran.
Some preliminary conclusions from these varying tests support some of the highest degrees of Indian mtDNAs found in Western Asia, with a particular close relationship between Iran and Gujarat, supporting a theory of trade contact and migrations out of Gujarat into West Asia.
Hindus and Jains are largely vegetarians, to a greater extent than Hindu communities elsewhere in India, however many Gujaratis eat a variety of meats and seafood. Gujarati cuisine follows the traditional Indian full meal structure of rice, cooked vegetables, lentil dal or curry and roti. The different types of rotli (breads) that a Gujarati cooks are rotli or chapati, bhakhri, thepla or dhebara, puri, maal purah, and puran-pohli. Khaman, Dhokla, Pani Puri, Dhokli, dal-dhokli, Undhiyu, Jalebi, fafda, chevdoh, Samosa, papri chaat, Muthia, Bhajia, Patra, bhusu, locho, sev usal, fafda gathiya, vanela gathiya and Sev mamra are traditional Gujarati dishes savoured by many communities across the world.
Khichdi and Kadhi – a mix of rice and toor dal, a type of lentil, cooked with spices in a pressure cooker – is a popular and nutritious Gujarati meal. It is found very satisfying by most Gujaratis, and cooked very regularly in most homes, typically on a busy day due to its ease of cooking. It can also become an elaborate meal when served with several side dishes such as a vegetable curry, yogurt, papad, mango pickle, and onions.
Spices are traditionally made on grinding stones, however, today people usually use a blender or grinder. There is no standard recipe. People from north Gujarat use dry red chili powder, whereas people from south Gujarat prefer using green chili and coriander in their cooking. Gujarati Jains abstain from root vegetables like potato, onion, garlic, radish, carrot, etc. Traditionally Gujaratis eat mukhwas at the end of a meal to enhance digestion. In many parts of Gujarat, drinking chhass (chilled buttermilk) or soda after lunch or dinner is quite common. Gujarati families celebrate Sharad Purnima by having dinner with doodh-pauva under moonlight.
The history of Gujarati literature may be traced to 1000 AD. Since then literature has flourished till date. Well known laureates of Gujarati literature are Jhaverchand Meghani, Avinash Vyas, Hemchandracharya, Narsinh Mehta, Gulabdas Broker, Akho, Premanand Bhatt, Shamal Bhatt, Dayaram, Dalpatram, Narmad, Govardhanram Tripathi, Mahatma Gandhi, K. M. Munshi, Umashankar Joshi, Suresh Joshi, Pannalal Patel, Imamuddin khanji Babi Saheb(Ruswa mazlumi) and Rajendra Keshavlal Shah.
Gujarat Vidhya Sabha, Gujarat Sahitya Sabha, and Gujarati Sahitya Parishad are Ahmedabad based literary institutions promoting the spread of Gujarati literature. Saraswatichandra is a novel by Govardhanram Tripathi. Writers like Harindra Dave, Suresh Dalal, Jyotindra Dave, Dinkar Joshi, Prahlad Brahmbhatt, Tarak Mehta, Harkisan Mehta, Chandrakant Bakshi, Vinod Bhatt, Kanti Bhatt, Makarand Dave, and Varsha Adalja have influenced Gujarati thinkers.
Gujarati theatre owes a lot to bhavai. Bhavai is a musical performance of stage plays. Ketan Mehta and Sanjay Leela Bhansali explored artistic use of bhavai in films such as Bhavni Bhavai, Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Dayro (gathering) involves singing and conversation reflecting on human nature.
Gujarati language is enriched by the Adhytmic Literature written by Srimad Rajchandra and Pandit Himmatlal Jethalal Shah. This literature is both in the form of Poetry and Prose.
Mention in history
Early European travelers like Ludovico di Varthema (15th century) traveled to Gujarat and wrote on the people of Gujarat. He noted that Jainism had a strong presence in Gujarat and opined that Gujaratis were deprived of their kingdom by Mughals because of their kind heartedness. His description of Gujaratis was:
|“||...a certain race which eats nothing that has blood, never kills any living things... and these people are neither moors nor heathens... if they were baptized, they would all be saved by the virtue of their works, for they never do to others what they would not do unto them.||”|
The Gujarati people usually consist of three religions or an amalgamation of these religions. Most of them are Hindu, Jain, and Muslim, however the others can be Christian or Jewish as well. Lastly, a small minority practice all the religions called Dawoodi Bohra. There are only about 70,000 Dawoodi Bohra's in the world and they are a sect of Islam.
Caste, Tribes, Quom and Communities
Gujaratis have a long tradition of seafaring and a history of overseas migration to foreign lands, to Yemen Oman Bahrain, Kuwait, Zanzibar and other countries in the Persian Gulf since local mercantile culture resulted naturally from the state's proximity to the Arabian Sea. Today, Gujaratis can be found in all inhabited continents of the world. The countries with the largest Gujarati populations are Pakistan, United Kingdom, United States, Canada and many countries in Southern and East Africa.
The second largest overseas diaspora of Gujaratis, after Pakistan, is in the UK. At a population of around 615,000 Gujaratis form almost half of the Indian community who live in the UK (1.2 million). Gujaratis first went to the UK in the 19th century with the establishment of the British Raj in India. Prominent members of this community such as Dadabhai Navroji played a vital role in exerting political pressure upon the colonial power during struggle for Indian Independence. Now this community is mostly the second and third generation descendants of "twice-over" immigrants from the former British colonies of East Africa, Portugal, and Indian Ocean Islands. Most of them despite being British Subjects had restricted access to Britain after successive Immigration acts of 1962, 1968 and 1971. Most were, however, eventually admitted on the basis of a Quota voucher system or, in case of Uganda, as refugees after the expulsion order by the Ugandan ruler, Idi Amin in August 1972.
Gujaratis in Britain are regarded as affluent, middle-upper class peoples who have largely assimilated into the milieu of British society. They are celebrated for revolutionizing the corner shop, and energising the British economy which changed Britain’s antiquated retail laws forever. Demographically, Hindus form a majority along with a significant number of Jains and Muslims, and smaller numbers of Gujarati Christians. They are predominantly settled in metropolitan areas like Greater London, East Midlands, West Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire. Cities with significant Gujarati populations include Leicester and London boroughs of Brent, Barnet, Harrow and Wembley. There is also a small, but vibrant Parsi community of Zoroastrians present in the country, dating back to the era of Dadabhai Naoroji and Pherozeshah Mehta. Both Hindus and Muslims have established caste or community associations, temples, and mosques to cater for the needs of their respective communities. A well known temple popular with Gujaratis is the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Neasdon, London. A popular mosque that caters for the Gujarati Muslim community in Leicester is the Masjid Umar. Leicester has a Jain Temple that is also the headquarters of Jain Samaj Europe.
Gujarati Hindus in the UK have maintained many traditions from their homeland. The community remains religious with more than 100 temples catering for their religious needs. All major Hindu festivals such as Navratri, Dassara, and Diwali are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm even from the generations brought up in UK. Gujarati Hindus also maintain their caste affiliation to some extent with most major castes having their own community association in each population center with significant Gujarati population such as Leicester and London suburbs. Patidars form the largest community in the diaspora including Kutch Leva Patels, followed closely by Lohanas of Saurashtra origin. Gujarati Rajputs from various regional backgrounds are affiliated with several independent British organizations depending on caste such as Shree Maher Samaj UK, and the Gujarati Arya Kshatriya Mahasabha-UK.
Endogamy remains important to Gujarati Muslims in UK with the existence of matrimonial services specifically dedicated to their community. Gujarati Muslim society in the UK have kept the custom of Jamat Bandi, literally meaning communal solidarity. This system is the traditional expression of communal solidarity. It is designed to regulate the affairs of the community and apply sanctions against infractions of the communal code. Gujarati Muslim communities, such as the Ismāʿīlī, Khoja, Dawoodi Bohra, Sunni Bohra, and Memon have caste associations, known as jamats that run mosques and community centers for their respective communities.
Gujaratis have had a long involvement with the British. The original East India Company set up a factory in the port city of Surat in Gujarat in 1615. These were the beginnings of first real British involvement with India that eventually led to the formation of the British Raj. India becoming the predominant IT powerhouse in the 1990s has led to waves of new immigration by Gujaratis, and other Indians with software skills to the UK.
The United States has the third-largest Gujarati population after the United Kingdom. The highest concentration of the population of over 100,000 is in the New York City Metropolitan Area alone, notably in the growing Gujarati diasporic center of India Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Edison in Middlesex County in Central New Jersey. Significant immigration from India to the United States started after the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Early immigrants after 1965 were highly educated professionals. Since US immigration laws allow sponsoring immigration of parents, children and particularly siblings on the basis of family reunion, the numbers rapidly swelled in a phenomenon known as "chain migration". Given the Gujarati propensity for business enterprise, a number of them opened shops and motels. Now in the 21st century over 40% of the hospitality industry in the United States is controlled by Gujaratis. Gujaratis, especially the Patidar samaj, also dominate as franchisees of fast food restaurant chains such as Subway and Dunkin' Donuts. The descendants of the Gujarati immigrant generation have also made high levels[clarification needed] of advancement into professional fields, including as physicians, engineers and politicians. Famous Gujarati Americans include Reshma Saujani (Indian-American politician), Sonal Shah (economist to Whitehouse), Ami Bera (United States Congress), Bharat Desai (CEO of Syntel), Romesh Wadhwani (Forbes), Vyomesh Joshi (Forbes) Raj Bhavsar (sports) and Hollywood actresses, Sheetal Sheth and Noureen DeWulf.
Canada, just like its southern neighbour, is home to a large Gujarati community. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, there are 118,950 Gujaratis of various religious backgrounds living in Canada. The majority of them live in Toronto and its suburbs - home to the second largest Gujarati community in North America after the New York Metropolitan Area. Gujarati Hindus are the second largest linguistic/religious group in Canada's Indian community after Punjabi Sikhs. The Ismaili Khoja form a significant part of the Canadian diaspora estimated to be about 80,000 in numbers overall. Most of them arrived in Canada in the 1970s as refugees from Uganda and other countries of East Africa.
Former British colonies in East Africa had many residents of South Asian descent. The primary immigration was mainly from Gujarat and to a lesser extent from Punjab They were brought there by the British Empire from India to do clerical work in Imperial service, or unskilled/semi-skilled manual labour such as construction or farm work. In the 1890s, 32,000 labourers from British India were East Africa under indentured labour contracts to work on the construction of the Uganda Railway that started in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa and ended in Kisumu on Kenyan side of Lake Victoria. Most of the surviving Indians returned home, but 6,724 individuals decided to remain in the African Great Lakes after the line's completion.
Many Asians, particularly the Gujarati, in these regions were in the trading businesses. They included Gujaratis of all religions as well many of the castes and Quoms. Since the representation of Indians in these occupations was high, stereotyping of Indians in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyka as shopkeepers was common.A number of people worked for the British run banks. They also worked in skilled labor occupations, as managers, teachers and administrators. Gujarati and other South Asians had significant influence on the economy, constituting 1% of the population while receiving a fifth of the national income. For example, in Uganda, the Mehta and Madhvani families controlled the bulk of the manufacturing businesses. Gated ethnic communities served elite healthcare and schooling services. Additionally, the tariff system in Uganda had historically been oriented toward the economic interests of South Asian traders. The countries of East Africa gained independence from Britain in the early 1960s. At that time most Gujarati and other Asians opted to remain as British Subjects. The African politicians at that time accused Asians of economic exploitation and introduced a policy of Africanization. The 1968 Committee on "Africanisation in Commerce and Industry" in Uganda made far-reaching Indophobic proposals. A system of work permits and trade licenses was introduced in 1969 to restrict the role of Indians in economic and professional activities. Indians were segregated and discriminated against in all walks of life. During the middle of the 1960s many Asians saw the writing on the wall and started moving either to UK or India. However, restrictive British immigration policies stopped a mass exodus of East African Asians until Idi Amin came to power in 1971. He exploited pre-existing Indophobia and spread propaganda against Indians involving stereotyping and scapegoating the Indian minority. Indians were stereotyped as "only traders" and "inbred" to their profession. Indians were labelled as "dukawallas" (an occupational term that degenerated into an anti-Indian slur during Amin's time), and stereotyped as "greedy, conniving", without any racial identity or loyalty but "always cheating, conspiring and plotting" to subvert Uganda. Amin used this propaganda to justify a campaign of "de-Indianization", eventually resulting in the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Uganda's Indian minority.
Gujarati and other Indians starting moving to the Kenya colony at the end of the 19th century when the British colonial authorities started opening up the country with the laying down of the Railways. A small colony of merchants, however, had existed on the port cities such Mombasa on the Kenyan coast for hundreds of years prior to that. The immigrants who arrived with the British were the first ones to open up businesses in rural Kenya a century ago. These Dukawalas or shopkeepers were mainly Gujarati. Over the following decades the population, mainly Gujarati but also a sizable Punjabi too, increased in size. The population started declining after the independence of Kenya in the 1960s. At that time the majority of Gujaratis opted for British citizenship and eventually moved there, especially to cities like Leicester or London suburbs. Famous Kenyans of Gujarati heritage who contributed greatly in the development of East Africa include Thakkar Bapa, Manu Chandaria, Atul Shah, Baloobhai Patel, Bhimji Depar Shah (Forbes), Naushad Merali (Forbes), and Indian merchant, politician and philanthropist Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee, who went on to play a large role in the development of modern day Kenya during colonial rule.
Indian diaspora in South Africa is more than a century old and it is centered around the city of Durban. The vast majority of immigrant pioneer Gujaratis who came in the latter half of the 19th century were passenger Indians who paid for their own travel fare and means of transport to arrive and settle South Africa, in pursuit of fresh trade and career opportunities and as such were treated as British Subjects, unlike the fate of a bigger class of Indian indentured laborours who were transported to work on the sugarcane plantations of Natal Colony in often miserable conditions. Passenger Indians, who initially operated in Durban, expanded inland, to the South African Republic (Transvaal), establishing communities in settlements on the main road between Johannesburg and Durban. After Gujarati Muslim merchants began experiencing discrimination from repressive colonial legislation in Natal, they sought the help of one young lawyer, Mahatma Gandhi to represent the case of a Memon businessman. The Natal Indian Congress was formed shortly after.
Indians have played an important role in the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa. Many were incarcerated alongside with Nelson Mandela following the Rivonia Trial, and many have become martyred fighting to end racial discrimination there. Famous South African Indians of Gujarati heritage include, Ahmed Timol (activist), Yusuf Dadoo (activist), Ahmed Kathrada (activist), Amina Cachalia (activist), Dullah Omar (activist), Ahmed Deedat (missionary), Imran Garda (Al Jazeera English) and Hashim Amla (cricketer).
Sultanate of Oman
Oman, holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, has been the primary focus of trade and commerce for medieval Gujarati merchants for much of its glorious history and Gujaratis, along with Baloch and Persian seafarers coming from Strait of Hormuz, contributed to the rich dynamic culture, founding and settlement of its capital port city, Muscat. Some of the earliest Indian immigrants to settle in Oman were the Bhatias of Kutch, who have had a powerful presence in Oman dating back to the 16th century. At the turn of the 19th century, Gujaratis wielded such immense political clout that Faisal bin Turki, the great-grandfather of the current ruler, spoke Gujarati and Swahili far better than he spoke Arabic and Oman's sultan Syed Said (1791-1856) was persuaded to shift his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, more than two thousand miles from the Arabian mainland, on the recommendation of Shivji Topan and Bhimji families who used to lend money to the Sultan. In modern times, business tycoon Kanaksi Khimji, from the famous Khimji family of Gujarat was conferred title of Sheikh by the Sultan, the first ever use of the title for a member of the Hindu community. The Muscati Mahajan is one of the oldest merchants associations founded more than a century ago.
There is a community of Gujarati Muslims in neighbouring areas of the nation of Pakistan, mainly settled in the province of Sindh for generations. A sizable number migrated after the Partition of India and subsequent creation of independent Pakistan in 1947. These Pakistani Gujaratis belong mainly to the Ismāʿīlī, Khoja, Dawoodi Bohra, Chundrigar, Charotar Sunni Vohra, Muslim Ghanchi and Memon groups; however, many Gujaratis are also a part of Pakistan's small but vibrant Hindu community. Famous Gujaratis of Pakistan include Muhammed Ali Jinnah, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Javed Miandad, Pervez Hoodbhoy, and Ardeshir Cowasjee.
Arts and entertainment
Famous Bollywood veteran stars of Gujarati heritage include Sohrab Modi, Asha Parekh, Sanjeev Kumar, Jackie Shroff, Aditya Pancholi, Parveen Babi, Dimple Kapadia, Tina Ambani, Farooq Sheikh and Mehtab. Mehboob Khan was a pioneer, producer-director of Hindi cinema, best known for directing the social epic Mother India (1957). As well as film directors such as Mehul Kumar, Mahesh Bhatt and Shreedatt Vyas Indian theatre personalities include Boman Irani, and Alyque Padamsee. Award-winning producer Ismail Merchant, won six Academy Awards in collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, while veteran playback singer Jaykar Bhojak has been performing in the industry for over two decades now. Popular Bollywood actresses Prachi Desai and Ameesha Patel have found fame in recent times.
Gujarati films have made artists like Naresh Kanodia, Upendra Trivedi, Snehlata, Raajeev, Roma Maneck, Aruna Irani and Asrani popular in the entertainment industry. Among these dynamic actors, the late Upendra Trivedi who was a leading veteran of Gujarati cinema, made a popular pair with the heroine Snehlata and together they co-acted in more than 70 Gujarati films. Arvind Trivedi by whom the famous character of Ravana was played in Ramanad Sagar's popular TV serial Ramayana is his brother.
Gujarati TV serials which showcase traditional Gujarati culture and lifestyle have made a prominent place in India. Actors such as Paresh Rawal, Urvashi Dholakia, Sarita Joshi, Ketki Dave, Purbi Joshi, Disha Vakani, Dilip Joshi, Deven Bhojani, Rashmi Desai, Satish Shah, Dina Pathak, Ratna Pathak Shah and Supriya Pathak have found a place in audience hearts and are presently the top actors on Indian television. Modern actors of Gujarati heritage who are more versatile include Darshan Pandya, Vatsal Seth, Avinash Sachdev, Esha Kansara, Shrenu Parikh, Amar Upadhyay, Viraf Patel, Ajaz Khan, Sameer Dattani, Karishma Tanna, Drashti Dhami, Disha Savla, Komal Thacker, Vasim Bloch, Parth Oza, Tanvi Vyas, Nisha Rawal, Karan Suchak, Jugal Jethi, Isha Sharvani, Pia Trivedi, Sanjeeda Sheikh and Shenaz Treasurywala.
There are dedicated television channels airing Gujarati programs.
Prominent musicians include Alisha Chinai, Darshan Raval, Shekhar Ravjiani, Salim–Sulaiman, sons of Sadruddin Merchant, composer and veteran of the film industry, and great ghazal singer, Pankaj Udhas, who is recipient of the Padma Shri. Famous sports icons of Gujarati descent include Rajesh Chauhan, Parthiv Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Manpreet Juneja, Ajay Jadeja, Ravindra Jadeja, Chirag Jani, Munaf Patel, Axar Patel and Sheldon Jackson.
Science and technology
World renowned computer scientist and inventor of SixthSense, Pranav Mistry (Vice President of Research at Samsung), Sam Pitroda (Communication Revolution), and Indian physicist Vikram Sarabhai are Gujarati. Vikram Sarabhai is considered the father of India's space programme, while Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha who is related to the Tata industrial family is the father of India's nuclear science programme. Pioneer Jamsetji Tata who founded Tata Group, India's biggest conglomerate company and devoted his life to four goals: setting up an iron and steel company, a world-class learning institution, a unique hotel and a hydro-electric plant, is the undisputed "Father of Indian Industry".
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The famous Gujarati poet Ardeshir F Khabardar wrote, 'Jya vase ek Gujarati tyan sada kal Gujarat' (Where there is even one Gujarati, there is a Gujarat forever)..... Census data released earlier this year by the US vindicates the aphorism. The census reveals that the number of Gujarati-speaking people in the US is steadily rising, and the figure now stands at 287,367.
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Temple building is a sign of the growth in numbers and the increased prosperity of the Gujarati immigrants...The two decades between 1950 and 1969 were a heady period of success for the Gujaratis of East Africa... Michael Lyon observed that the Gujaratis acquired a new role in the colonial economics of East Africa, and ultimately a tragic one. They became a privileged racial estate under British protection. The Indian population in Kenya increased from 43,625 in 1931 to 176,613 in 1962... More than 80 percent were Gujaratis.
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The Hindus in Great Lisbon have similarities with Hindus in the United Kingdom: they are mostly from a Gujarati background and migrated from ex-colonial countries. Yet the colonial system they came from was mostly Portuguese, both in India and in East Africa... Nevertheless, a realistic estimate is that there are about 30,000 Hindus in Portugal. That includes Hindu-Gujaratis, who migrated in the early 1980s, as well as Hindu migrants from all parts of India and Bangladesh, who migrated in the late 1990s.
- Bharat Yagnik. "Oman was Gujaratis’ first stop in their world sweep". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
Oman's capital Muscat was the first home for Gujarati traders away from the subcontinent. The Bhatia community from Kutch was the first among all Gujaratis to settle overseas — relocating to Muscat as early as 1507! The Bhatias' settlement in the Gulf is emphasized by Hindu places of worship, seen there since the 16th century. As historian Makrand Mehta asserts, "Business and culture go together."
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Modern-day Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, but until the creation of this state in 1960 the city has always been as closely linked to Gujarati culture as it has been to Marathi culture. During most of the colonial period, Gujaratis held the preponderance of economic and political power.
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In the early 1660s, Surat merchants had 50 ships trading overseas, and the wealthiest of these, Virji Vora had an estate valued at perhaps 8 million rupees...
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Of the Asian trading communities the most successful were the Gujaratis, as witnessed not only by Pires and Barbosa but by a variety of other sources. All confirm that merchants from the Gujarati community routinely held the most senior post open to an expatriate trader, that of shah-bandar (controller of maritime trade).
- Farhat Hasan (2004). State and Locality in Mughal India: Power Relations in Western India, C.1572 - 1730. University Press, Cambridge. p. 42. ISBN 0-521-841 19-4. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
Mulla Abdul Ghafur, one of the richest merchants in Surat, his son, Mulla Abdul Hai, was awarded the title of 'umdat-tud-tujjar' (lit. the most eminent merchant) by the imperial court. Shantidas Shahu, a powerful merchant of Surat, was gifted an elephant and robe by the emperor, both things being emblems of imperial sovereignty, that 'symbolized the incorporation of the recipient into his [King's] person as his subordinate, to act in future as an extension of himself.
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Hindu Vaniya networks from Kathiawar, in particular, operated prominently in the region, and directed their trade primarily to Yemen, and Hadramawt. They were also active in the early eighteenth century in the southern Red Sea, where Mocha and other ports such as Aden provided them with their principal markets
- Cordell Crownover. Ultimate Handbook Guide to Muscat : (Oman) Travel Guide. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
As an important port-town in the Gulf of Oman, Muscat attracted foreign tradesman and settlers, such as the Persians, the Balochs and Gujaratis.
- Andrew Gardner (1969). City of Strangers: Gulf Migration and the Indian Community in Bahrain. Cornell University Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8014-7602-0. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
Other Indian groups with a long-standing presence in Bahrain include the Gujarati businessmen whose enterprises historically centered on the trade of gold; the Bohra community, an Indian Muslim sect with a belief system particularly configured around business...
- Ababu Minda Yimene (2004). An African Indian Community in Hyderabad: Siddi Identity, Its Maintenance and Change. pp. 66, 67. ISBN 3-86537-206-6. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
Some centuries later, the Gujarati merchants established permanent trading posts in Zanzibar, consolidating their influence in the Indian Ocean... Gujarati Muslims, and their Omani partners, engaged in a network of mercantile activities among Oman, Zanzibar and Bombay. Thanks to those mercantile Gujarati, India remained by far the principal trading partner of Zanzibar.
- Irfan Habib. Economic History of Medieval India, 1200-1500. p. 166. ISBN 978-81-317-2791-1. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
In the Persian Gulf, Hurmuz (Hormuz), was the most important entrepot for the international exchange for goods which were either bartered or purchased with money. The rise of Hurmuz in the thirteenth century followed the decline of the neighbouring entrepot of Qays, where there was a community of Gujarati Bohra merchants
- Paul R. Magocsi. Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples. University of Toronto Press. p. 631. ISBN 0-8020-2938-8. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
Gujarat's proximity to the Arabian Sea has been responsible for the ceaseless mercantile and maritime activities of its people. Through the ports of Gujarat, some of which date back to the dawn of history, trade and commerce flourished, and colonizers left for distant lands.
- "Gujaratis in Britain: Profile of a Dynamic Community". NATIONAL CONGRESS OF GUJARATI ORGANISATIONS (UK). Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- Derek Laud (2015). The Problem With Immigrants. Biteback Publishing. ISBN 1849548773. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- Chitra Unnithan (May 23, 2012). "Family is key to success of Gujarati businessmen in Britain". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
British Gujaratis were also more successful than other minority communities in Britain because they had already tasted success in Africa. The book also says that Gujarati Hindus have become notably successful public citizens of contemporary, capitalistic Britain; on the other hand, they maintain close family links with India. "British Gujaratis have been successful in a great variety of fields. Many younger Gujaratis took to professions rather than stay behind the counter of their parents' corner shops, or they entered public life, while those who went into business have not remained in some narrow commercial niche," says the book.
- Sudeshna Sen (January 8, 2013). "How Gujaratis changed corner shop biz in UK". The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
“What most people don’t get is that those who took the Arab dhows in the 17th and 18th century to leave their villages and set up life in an alien land were already an entrepreneurial and driven minority, in search of a better life. They communicated that hunger to their children,” says Raxa Mehta, director at Nomura, based in Tokyo and first generation child of Kenyan Indian parents. So it doesn’t surprise the Gujaratis that they did well in Britain – it only surprises the Brits and Indians. The Gujaratis are a trader community. As Manubhai says, they always left the fighting to the others. If there’s one diaspora community that East African Asians model themselves on, it’s the Jews. Except of course, the Jews get more publicity than they do.
- Rodger, R; Herbert, J (2008). "'Narratives of South Asian women in Leicester 1964 - 2004' , no. 2, pp.." (PDF). Oral History 36 (2): 554–563.
- "London's Gujarati Christians celebrate milestone birthday". www.eauk.org.
- Malik, edited by K.N.; Robb, Peter (1994). India and Britain : recent past and present challenges. New Delhi: Allied Publishers. ISBN 9788170233503. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- "Jain Samaj Europe".
- "Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community (UK)". http://www.sklpc.com/.
- Eliezer Ben Rafael, Yitzhak Sternberg. Transnationalism: Diasporas and the Advent of a New (Dis)order. p. 531. ISBN 978-90-04-17470-2. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "Shree Maher Samaj UK". http://www.maheronline.org/. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "Gujarati Arya Kshatriya Mahasabha-UK". http://www.gakm.co.uk/?p=about. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- Gujarati Muslim Marriage, a dedicated service to assist Gujarati Muslims to marry within the community.
- Keely, Charles B. (May 1971). "Effects of the immigration act of 1965 on selected population characteristics of immigrants to the United States". Demography 8, (2): 157–169.
- Khandelwal, MS (1995). The politics of space in South asian Diaspora , Chapter 7 Indian immigrants in Queens, New York City: patterns of spatial concentration and distribution, 1965–1990 - Nation and migration: - books.google.com. Philadelphia, USA: University of Pennsylvania. p. 179. ISBN 0-8122-3259-3. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- Virani, Aarti. "http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2012/06/11/why-indian-americans-dominate-the-u-s-motel-industry/". http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- HIRAL DHOLAKIA-DAVE (Oct 18, 2006). "42% of US hotel business is Gujarati". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
Gujaratis, mainly Patels, now own 21,000 of the 53,000 hotels and motels in the US. It makes for a staggering 42% of the US hospitality market, with a combined worth of $40 billion.
- Rangaswami, Padma (2000). Namaste America: Indian Immigrants in an American Metropolis. University park, PA, USA: Pennsylvania State University press. p. 285. ISBN 0271--01980-8.
- "Gujarati Woman Aims for House", The Times of India, January 1, 2010.
- "Gujarati NRI Sonal Shah appointed Obama’s adviser". DeshGujarat. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
NRI Gujarati Sonal Shah, an eminent economist who heads Google’s philanthropic arm, has been appointed an advisory board member by US President-elect Barack Obama to assist his team in smooth transition of power.
- Drew Joseph (2010-08-14). "Bera Hopes to Wipe Out Lungren Despite GOP Wave". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "2 Gujarati-origin among America’s super-rich". dna india. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "FIVE INDIAN AMERICANS AMONG FORBES 400 RICHEST". global gujarat news. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Next comes Romesh T. Wadhwani (No. 250), Founder and Chairman, Symphony Technology Group, with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Landing in the US with only a few dollars in his pocket, he developed business software firm Aspect Development. Today his portfolio includes more than 10 different enterprise software companies.
- Raheel Dhattiwala. "The million dollar man from Gujarat". The Economic Times. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
AT was lucky to meet the Ahmedabad-born, 50-year-old business honcho in person.
- "IG Online Interview: Raj Bhavsar (USA)". intlgymnast. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Born in Houston, Bhavsar is 100 percent Gujarati; his father hails from Vadadora (Baroda), a city in the small Indian state of Gujarat, near Mumbai. His mother was born in Kampala, Uganda, but was educated in Gujurat. Most of Bhavsar's relatives are Gujarati.
- "Movers and shakers". india today. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
"We are close to our extended families in Ahmedabad and Mumbai and grew up with Gujarati culture as a predominant influence in our lives.... The Gujarati community has done it all in the US — from doctors to entrepreneurs, from retail to the hospitality industry.
- "Stereotypes are very hard to escape: Noureen DeWulf". Zee News India. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
DeWulf, a Gujarati Muslim by origin, has carved out a successful career for herself in Hollywood and her repertoire includes Hollywood films like `West Bank Story` and `Ghosts of Girlfriends Past` besides TV shows `Maneater`, `90210` and `Girlfriends`.
- Al Noor Kassum (2007). Africa's winds of change : memoirs of an international Tanzanian. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-583-8. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- Versi, Salima. "Make This Your Home: The Impact of Religion on Acculturation: The Case of Canadian Khoja Nizari Isma'ilis from East Africa". Queens University. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- JSTOR.<Expulsion of a minority: essays on Ugandan Asians.>
- Patel, Hasu H. (1972). "General Amin and the Indian Exodus from Uganda". Issue: A Journal of Opinion 2 (4): 12–22. doi:10.2307/1166488.
- "Forbes India Magazine – Experiences of the Indian Diaspora in Africa". 26 August 2009.
- "The rise and rise of Kenya’s silent billionaires at NSE". Business daily Africa. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
Baloobhai Patel, a director of Pan Africa Insurance, is invariably listed as one of the largest individual shareholders of more than 10 companies on the Nairobi bourse. The 75-year-old has major interests in Pan Africa Insurance, Barclays, Bamburi, DTB, Mumias Sugar, and Safaricom currently valued at Sh2.4 billion.
- "Vimal replaced on Forbes list of Africa’s 50 richest people". Business daily Africa. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Maybe he is a Patel, I hear Indian … at Kenyan Entrepreneur
- Saeed Khan. "Gujaratis brought glory to East Africa". Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
Historian Makrand Mehta credits Gujaratis' contribution for the success of this project. He describes how A M Jeevanji, a Dawoodi Bohra from Kutch, got labour contract for the project.
- Robin David (July 4, 2010). "Rainbow Nation’s colourful Indians". Times of India. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
Gujaratis of Durban, who came to South Africa mainly from Surat and Saurashtra, have gone a step further and are keeping their unique Gujarati identity alive as well. Most of them arrived as traders soon after the first Indian labourers were brought in to work on sugarcane fields in the 1860s and have carved out a unique niche for themselves.
- "Timeline". Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
- "Ahmed Timol | South African History Online". Sahistory.org.za. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- "Yusuf Dadoo: A Biography". sahistory.org.za. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- "Indian-origin anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada pays tribute to Nelson Mandela". The Economic Times. Dec 6, 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- "South African leader of Indian origin dead". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- MARK HAYES. "The many faces of top South African batsman Hashim Amla". Retrieved 5 February 2015.
His parents are South African-born, but his grandparents were indentured workers from Surat -- and the family still occasionally speaks Gujarati from that western Indian region.
- Willem Floor. "The Persian Gulf: Muscat – City, Society and Trade". Mage Publishers. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
Muscat, the capital city of present day Oman, has had a long, and colorful history as a typical Indian Ocean port at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. International trade brought about a rich mix of various ethnic and religious groups including, besides Arabs, Africans, Baluchis, Mekranis, Sindis, Gujaratis, Persians and many others. At the turn of the twentieth century fourteen languages could be heard spoken in the city.
- Khalid M. Al-Azri (2013). Social and Gender Inequality in Oman: The Power of Religious and Political Tradition. Routledge. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-415-67241-2. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
Hindus had settled in Oman by the sixteenth century, and from at least the early nineteenth century Omani commerce and trade has been conducted by Hindu Banyans of Bhatia caste deriving from Kutch in Gujarat.
- Hugh Eakin (August 14, 2014). "In the Heart of Mysterious Oman". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- Bharat Yagnik (Jan 3, 2015). "Oman was Gujaratis’ first stop in their world sweep". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- Marc Valeri (2009). Oman : politics and society in the Qaboos state. London: C. Hurst. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-85065-933-4. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
One of these families is another Banyan one, known today as Khimji, whose ancestor came to Oman around 1870 from Gujarat. The family business grew during the Second World War, when it became the Sultan's most important contractor: the Khimji group was the exclusive supplier of the royal palace, and was granted the monopoly and distribution of food products in the Dhofar region.
- Runa Mukherjee Parikh (May 11, 2013). "World's only Hindu Sheikh traces his roots to Gujarat". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
"We see achievements as milestones in the quest for excellence. We just want to be the best," says the 77-year-old tycoon, Kanaksi Khimji. Not sales and volumes, Khimji believes that the most important measure of success for his family's business is how far it has helped advance the national development plans laid out by Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said. In fact, Khimji with his Indian roots was one of the first to embrace Omanisation, a directive to train and empower Omani professionals. Such a rare honour makes Khimji the most distinguished Indian in this Middle Eastern country.
- "Muscat Early History". bhatia mahajan. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- The Gujaratis of Pakistan[dead link]
- "JAVED MIANDAD: profile". karismatickarachi. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- Khaled Ahmed (February 23, 2012). "Gujarat’s gifts to India and Pakistan". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- "The Gujaratis of Pakistan – By Aakar Patel". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "Sohrab Modi (1897–1984)". IMDb. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Asha Parekh – Memories". Cineplot.com. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "'Sanjeev Kumar had no ego, Ashok Kumar had a feminine voice'". rediff.com. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
People think from my surname Varma that I am Punjabi. But I belong to Kutch so I speak Gujarati and Kutchi. Sanju and I got along well. We spoke in Gujarati on the sets and we ate the same kind of food.
- Priya Gupta. "I am reckless: Jackie Shroff". Times of India. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
My father Kakabhai Haribhai Shroff was an astrologer. My father was a Gujarati and my mom Turkish. My mom came from Kazakhstan, where there was a coup and she, along with six sisters and my nani, came down all the way down to Ladakh where they slept on a chatai on ice, down to Delhi and then Mumbai where she met my dad and they got married. My dad was from a wealthy pearl trader's family
- "Parveen Babi Biography". iloveindia.com. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Parveen Babi was born as Parveen Wali Mohammad Khan Babi to Gujarati Muslim family on April 4, 1949 in the Junagadh district
- Film World. T.M. Ramachandran. 1973. p. 11. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
- "Vadodara born actor Farooq Sheikh dies of heart attack". Desh Gujarat. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Mehtab-biography". cinegems.in. Cinegems.in. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- "Shreedatt Vyas: profile". facebook. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "The Alyque Padamsee brand of life". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
I was born into riches: Ours was a Kutchi business family. My father, Jafferseth, owned 10 buildings and also ran a glassware business. My mother, Kulsumbai Padamsee, ran a furniture business. Anything I wanted was there for the asking. We were eight children in all but I, being born after three daughters, was pampered most. Among Gujarati families, it was only the Padamsees and the royal house of Rajpipla. At school, I learnt to speak in English. Later, our parents learnt the language from us. All that I am today is because of what I learnt at school. Miss Murphy, who ran the school, was an inspirational figure for me.
- "ISMAIL MERCHANT: IN MEMORY". roger ebert. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Gujarati music needs to get globalized: Jaykar Bhojak". Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Amrita Mulchandani. "Looks matter the most in TV: Darshan Pandya". the times of india. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
Looking dapper in the cool denims and hooded jacket, actor Darshan Pandya managed to turn quite a few heads as he struck poses at the River Front during his recent trip to Ahmedabad. The actor, who came into the limelight for his impressive performance in his debut TV show 'Aapki Antara' has been in the news for his recent endeavour in 'Kya Huaa Tera Vaada' where he played Vineet until recently. In town for a personal visit, Darshan says, "I have come here for few days as my parents and sister live here. I watched a film and enjoyed some lovely food in various restaurants in the city."
- "Huma Qureshi tweets for Vatsal Sheth". Times of India. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Gujarati actor Vatsal Sheth is back on the small screen with a bang!
- "TV stars' Navratri musings". Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
ESHA KANSARA: Being a Gujarati, Navratri is a festival that’s very close to my heart. I simply love the vibrancy this festival brings with it.
- Baker, Steven. ""My work has gone to another level" – Sammir Dattani". Bollyspice.com. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
Your family is Gujarati, you were born and brought up in Bombay, and you have worked in Hindi, Kannada and Tamil cinema, so what languages do you speak? Well I speak Kannada. I speak Gujarati, Hindi of course, English of course, and a bit of Marathi and Telugu.
- "Upen Patel proposes Karishma Tanna inside Bigg Boss, her craze is rising outside!". Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- Amrita Mulchandani. "Link-up rumours don’t really bother me: Drashti Dhami". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
Chirpy, Dhrasti Dhami exudes great energy not just on the small screen, but insists she is the same in real life too. Dhrasti has a strong Gujarat connect and is proud of her roots. "I am a very proud Gujarati. I have lots of relatives in Surat, but it's been quite some time since I have been there. I came to Ahmedabad as a child, but haven't visited the city for some time," she says.
- Ano Patel. "Gujaratis take the lead on prime time TV". Times of India. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Hometown: Kutch. As the nagging wife Bobby in Neeli Chhatri Wale, Disha Savla has made quite an impression, and shares screen space with Yashpal Sharma. The actress who hails from Kutch has been part of a number of plays in Mumbai and has also done a Gujarati show on TV. Making her debut on Hindi TV, she says, "The Gujarati show has prepared me for taking this next step. It is a very different concept so I hope this show clicks with the audience."
- "Komal Thacker: profile". Facebook. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "Vasim Bloch: profile". facebook. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- "Parth Oza: Artography". parthoza.com. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- Ano Patel. "Gujaratis take the lead on prime time TV". Times of India. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Karan Suchak Hometown: Ahmedabad. After playing character roles in Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai, Savitri and Pavitra Rishta, Karan shot to fame as Dhrishtadyumna in Mahabharat. Now playing Raja Vikramaditya in Singhasan Battisi, Karan says, "I was born in Ahmedabad and I am a Gujarati. It's only been a few months for me in this industry and it has been a busy journey, I hope it remains that way."
- "Jugal Jethi". Facebook. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- "Isha Sharvani: I call myself a global Gujarati". Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
Actress-danseuse Isha Sharvani who was in Vadodara to perform at a mega art and culture festival, says, "My mother is a Gujarati and I have very fond memories of Gujarat.
- "New kid on the block: Pia Trivedi". stargold.in. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Anil Mulchandani. "Shining stars". india today. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Shenaz Treasurywala". kaneesha.com. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Shenaz Treasurywala is a famed Indian model, actress, VJ and a Travel writer. Born on 29th June, 1981 in Mumbai, Shenaz Treasurywala belongs to a middle class Gujarati speaking Parsi family.
- Abhimanyu Mishra. "Darshan Rawal enters the final four on reality show". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
Darshan Rawal has been quite a sensation with his signature style singing and an adorable personality which has won him many fans.
- "Not thought of acting as of now: Shekhar". Times of India. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
I belong to Jamnagar but my mother has many friends in Ahmedabad. I miss eating ice-candies and listening to Gujarati folk music during Navratri. I want to travel to the interiors of Gujarat and some places in Kutch, and interact with the local musicians who compose on those rare musical instruments. What attracts me is the strong folk music heritage that Gujarat has kept alive after so many years.
- "India / Players / Sheldon Jackson". espncricinfo.com. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- JAMSHEDJI TATA Founder of TATA Industries
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gujarati people.|
- Jhaveri, Krishanlal Mohanlal (ed.) (2003). The Gujaratis: The People, Their History, and Culture. New Delhi: Cosmo Publications..