Memons in South Africa
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Memons in South Africa form a prosperous Muslim subgroup in that country's Indian community, and are largely descended from Memons from Kathiawar who immigrated from India in the late 19th century/early 20th century Villages and towns that South African Memons originated from include Porbander, Bhanvad, Ranavav and Jodiya.
Memons played a major role in the promotion of Islam in South Africa, and there have been rivalries for the management of local mosques between Memons and Surtis, who are Gujarati-speaking Sunni Muslims. This is primarily due to the different 'Maslak' (path) Deobandi mainly Surti, and Barelvi mainly Memon, although these are far less prominent than they were in the past.
Although the Memoni language is not widely spoken by younger Memons in South Africa, South African Memons continue to maintain a strong (although slowly eroding) Memon identity. Already, few younger Memons are even aware of the different towns from which their ancestors came. Although the early Memons practiced endogamy (marrying within their social group, including ancestral village), intermarriage between different Memon groups and other Sunni Muslims is now widely accepted, mirroring a similar integration among Gujarati Hindu groups from Surat and Shauarashtra.
Memon organisations in South Africa include the Memon Association of South Africa (formerly the Memon Association of the Transvaal), The Southern African Memon Foundation (www.samemonfoundation.org) and the Natal Memon Jamaat.