Hinduism in Gibraltar

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Hinduism by country

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Most of the Hindus in Gibraltar are of Sindhi origin. According to 2000 census Hindus numbered 491 and made up 1.8% of the population of Gibraltar,1

History

Ram, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman at Gibraltar Hindu Temple

The first people in Gibraltar from 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 licenses to operate. By 1950 the number of licenses 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 licenses by 1970.2

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.2

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.

In 2004 Budhrani was elected the Speaker in the House of Assembly2 and he later became the first speaker of the Gibraltar Parliament.3

In 2012 the Mayor of Gibraltar made the news when he announced that he was inviting the Hindu community into Gibraltar City Hall to celebrate the Hindu festival of Divali.4

References

  1. ^ "Flag of Gibraltar". GeoNova Flags via HighBeam Research. 1 August 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2012. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Archer, Edward G. (2006). Gibraltar, Identity And Empire. Routledge. p. 233. 
  3. ^ Gibraltar Parliament (ed.). "Composition of Parliament". Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  4. ^ "Hindu laud Gibraltar Mayor". Bharat Press. November 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  • Haller, Dieter: Let it Flow – Economy, Spirituality and Gender in the Sindhi Network. Anthropological Theory 2005 5: 154-175
  • Haller, Dieter: Space and Ethnicity in Two Merchant Diasporas: a Comparison of the Sindhis and the Jews of Gibraltar, in: GLOBAL NETWORKS: a journal of transnational affairs 2003, Vol 3. No 1: 75-96







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