Indians in Venezuela
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|Regions with significant populations|
|Venezuelan Spanish · English · Indian languages|
|Hinduism · Catholicism|
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Indians in Venezuela form one of the smaller populations of the Indian diaspora. According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (IMEA), among the approximately 690 East Indians living in Venezuela, 400 were Venezuelans of East Indian origin, 280 were Indian citizens, and 10 were stateless residents.
During the oil-related high-income years of the 1970s, there were around 400 NRIs in Venezuela. The Indian community consisted of personnel from the petroleum and petrochemical sectors, as well as a large number of traders. Many of them had taken their families with them to Venezuela, whether from India or elsewhere such as Venezuela's neighboring countries like Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Most of the traders belonged to the Sindhi community but there were also some persons from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Punjab.
When the oil boom ended in 1982, followed by devaluation of the local currency, many of the NRIs decided to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Currently, the diaspora has been whittled down to half its former size.
The Indian community of Venezuela are highly educated and most of them are currently professors, businessmen, IT professionals and retailers and they earn higher per capita income than the national average. A majority of them live in the Greater Caracas Municipality.
The community have adapted themselves very well to their country of residence and are generally held in high regard by the local people on account of their hard work, expertise and non-political nature. However, given their small numbers, they have not formed themselves into an active representative body. But they remain in touch with one another and with the Indian Embassy in Caracas. Even though they have little time to engage in numerous cultural activities, they do get together to celebrate Indian festivals like Diwali. Furthermore, there is a growing interest among non-East Indian Venezuelans in Indian spirituality, with several Sai Baba, Radha Soami and Hare Krishna centers as well as Ramakrishna Missions throughout the country.
- Kamala Lopez - American actress, director, and political activist (born in New York City but was raised in Venezuela)
- "Venezuela: Treatment of citizens of East Indian descent by the police and general population". Refworld. Retrieved 2004-06-28.