Hinduism in Gibraltar
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The first people in Gibraltar from British India are thought to have arrived in 1870 from the area around Hyderabad taking advantage of the new Suez Canal. The new Sindhi merchants were able to establish businesses with local managers that they could manage remotely. Indians faced some resistance from Gibraltarians and in 1921 the seven Hindu traders required licences to operate. By 1950 the number of licences had tripled but the real demand for assistance was when the border was closed by the Spanish and there were no Spanish shop assistants. There were nearly 300 trading licences by 1970.
There was resistance to the Hindu community but arranged marriages were reducing and the community shared common schools with the other groups in Gibraltar. It was said that the date for deciding whether a person was a true Gibraltarian was designed to exclude as many Indians as possible but by 1973 the local Hindu lawyer Haresh Budhrani assessed that Hindus were able to fully join in with the community.
On the day of Divali in 1993 the community started using the Gibraltar Hindu Temple. By 1999 the decoration was complete and the Prana pratishta ceremony was formally performed by a priest from India. The wider community celebrated the new temple when the Governor of Gibraltar Richard Luce formally opened the temple on 1 March 2000.
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