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Who is my relative? South African Indian

Discussion in 'Indians in Africa' started by Neesha, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. sujathae

    sujathae Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Neesha, Our Indians have migrated to various parts of the world and have settled down there. They are the ones who remember their roots and let their culture thrive and grow even better than the Indian residents. The Indian residents donot follow any culture nowadays and live as they like. We people who r outside the country love our culture and nurture it for the fear of losing it. Good to know more abt South African Indians through your thread.
     
  2. sslkumar

    sslkumar New IL'ite

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    I find people who stay out of india out for a long period of time become more Indians than those living within India and living with strong contact with fellow indians when living abroad.

    With so much of growing up and catching up to do india's inability clearly shows when it can't help people in Fiji, Guyana, Trinidad, Sri Lanka, Suriname and South Africa(the pretext of cutting relation due to apartheid).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2008
  3. Neesha

    Neesha Senior IL'ite

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    Hi all

    sslkumar - I never really thought about it before but you are right why didn't India keep more contact with us! There were a few scholars that contributed to the Hindi languages being taught. I stand to be corrected but they came from cultural/ religious organisations rather than officially from government.

    Lotus FM is a national radio station catering for Hindi/ Tamil/Telegu and Urdu programmes and music. More and more people of other races are listening in now and Bollywood movies, song and dance too attracts them.

    Chatsworth is the largest Indian township in Durban. It's a microcosm of Indian society. Rich, poor, educated, affluent areas, slums, temples, churches, ashrams, succesfull people, drug addicts - it has it all. People were taken from different areas when the Group Areas act was enforced and thrown together and now you have a unique blend. I have many relatives there and it was our weekend home for many years as I was growing up cos my grandparents lived there (they are now late). There are some unique "fashions/ styles" that only Chatsworth can pull off - like gold slit between the teeth.

    I'm sorry for not posting any photos but I've been so busy and as soon as I can get a body guard I will do that.

    The good things about SA - the weather (though this season we've had an unusual amount of rain), the sun and the beaches, the wildlife, the rainbow people, the space (of course cities are overcrowded but when you travel its so lovely to see open spaces), the drakensberg mountains

    the not so good things - crime, violence, stereotyping people.

    Lets see what photo's I can put to whet your appetite.

    Zebras next to the car, Drakensberg, We admire and respect Gandhi.

    Take care all.
     

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  4. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Neesha,
    I happend to stumble on the photos you have posted and from there I came to this thread. Well, it is so nice to read about you and the community in SA.I guess you must be wanting to visit India someday. Do come, we are all there to receive you as relatives.
    I belong to a Kannada speaking community, born and brought up in Kerala, who talk Tamil well.It seems that our ancestors came off to TamilNadu and Kerala from the Karnataka-Maharashtra border long back. We are a large group, but we have no idea where we had our roots. We follow the Telugu Brahmin customs to an extent and follow the Telugu calender.
    Now I live in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
    I feel sad that we are neither here nor there type. though born and brought up in Kerala, we are not considered Keralites. Though we know Tamil very well, we are neither Tamilians. Though we are originally Kannadigas, we are no longer there also.
     
  5. Neesha

    Neesha Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Varalekshmy Varloo

    Thank you. I am really looking forward to visiting India but we want to come as a family and are waiting for Mayuri to be a little older. I came to India in 1995 and 1997 (with my mum on the first trip) and besides visiting Baba's ashram in Puttaparthi we toured a bit of Bombay and South India Tirupathi, Mysore, Bangalore, Madras. But it was from a tourist's angle - we used to look at houses and people and wonder how they live, what they eat etc., the real India. Now I know I'll have family when I come!!

    Wow I didn't expect someone right in India to be feeling like this but I fully understand your feelings. This frustration of not being able to root yourself. I'm quite comfortable with the South Indian aspect of my heritage cos you can link Tamil people of SA and their cultural practices to Tamil Nadu. Of course there are specific things I would like to find out in future.
    It's my North Indian side that's my obsession. Though we can identify in general with Hindi films and music there are certain aspects of who we are that I can't find in mainstream India. But I'm making some progress - will update you soon.

    Regards Neesha
     
  6. nimminaras

    nimminaras New IL'ite

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    Hi everyone,

    Neesha - I read your story which was extremely interesting. I live in New Zealand and here there are a lot of Indians from Fiji. Their forefathers had been taken by the British during the late 1800's and early 1900's to Fiji - to work in the sugar plantations. As distances were huge and very expensive, they did not return but stayed in Fiji and for generations they had no connection with India. Most of them again were from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

    Just like in South Africa, the cultures have intermingled and they have a common language - Hindi which again is not exactly like the Indian Hindi but a mixture of hindi and the local Fiji language.

    Similar to your situation , they have all retained thier Indian culture, which is an amalgamation of north Indian and south Indian practices which has been handed down through the generations with a local flavour added .

    What is amazing is that although most of them, have had no contact with India due to the inability to travel etc..they still have maintained most of the practices and culture and values which is heart warming. They enjoy Navratri and have 10 day dandia raas, celebrate Diwali etc...like we do in India.

    Reading all that you say about life in South Africa Neesha - sounds so much like life in Fiji and I am sure Indians who are in far away other places - since generations can also relate to your story of SA.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us - and do keep writing about the celebrations of Indian festivals there.

    Nimmi :hatsoff
     
  7. dipti255503

    dipti255503 New IL'ite

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    Hi, Neesha, how r u? M happy to read abt u. I m staying in Limpopo province, here in South Africa very far from u, but now it is a global village isn't it? So some day we might meet. we r gujarati n speak gujarati in home so my children can speak guj. but can't write or read. When i go to India ppl ask me, have u visited Gandhi aasrham? i wish i had but the distance! Well hope to do so some day. Keep well. Good luck
     
  8. Neesha

    Neesha Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Nimmi
    Kemcho Dipti

    Thanks Nimmi - its very interesting to read about Indians from Fiji. I didn't know they were similar to us in SA in that regard. I have read a bit abt Indians in Guyana and Surinam and they too have some cultural practices that we have and were also indentured workers.
    Now the net widens not only could do we have relatives in India but across the globe since Indians from these areas (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu (then called Madras Presidency) were taken to the different countries!! If a scholar/ researcher could do an indepth comparative study of these Indians throughout the world, it would really be interesting!

    Hi Dipti - welcome to SA
    I didn't know too much about Gujerati people until my sister got married to one! In our daily interactions I thought they were Hindi but when my sister got married we realised some subtle differences in customs etc. In SA we have a vibrant Gujerati community and they have retained their traditions and in fact lots of the older people speak Gujerati. Many are vegetarians. My sister's mother-in-law (Baa) cooks the most interesting vegetarian foods and snacks and whenever we visit she wants to stuff us up with dhokla, sikhand, chevro etc.
    My husband has visited Ganhiji's ashram twice taking his school children on excursions but I'm ashamed to say I didn't but I definitely will in the near future and post some pictures.
    You are right Limpopo is so far but perhaps we will meet one day. About 3 years ago we visited Limpopo during the Christmas holidays. High school children studying History/ Geography were often taken to the then Eastern Transvaal for school trips and my husband always said we must visit since its so beautiful. We went to Nelspruit and then stayed in a place in Sabie. We visited Pilgrims Rest, Blyde River Canyon and many waterfalls. We had a lovely time and it really is a beautiful place.

    Keep in touch, Nimmi and Dipti.
    Wishing you a happy festive season!!

    Neesha
     
  9. Aarushi

    Aarushi Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Neesha,

    I came and browsed this thread after you mentioned it in the "Task Force Grp for NI members". And my first feeling is Wow! To tell you the truth, I'm absolutely riveted by the fluidity of your descriptions of life in South Africa. You opened a whole new world to me....:)

    And guess what, I'm from ghazipur area too!! :) It is a district in eastern UP and my dad also came from a village called Rampur in Ghazipur.

    Ask your dad if he remembers the name of his ancestral village...maybe my dad will know somebody from there..you never know...:)

    Looking forward to seeing more pix and hearing more about SA from you...

    love,
    Aarushi
     
  10. Neesha

    Neesha Senior IL'ite

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    Hi all

    Haven't been posting for a while. It gets hectic during the buildup to Christmas and I was on leave for the past 3 weeks. Didn't get a lunch break at home! to log in to Indusladies.
    Well the festive season is over - and we all celebrated. Most people use this time to visit family and eat, get married and eat, go to the beach and eat - so its a busy time and in the New Year you have to start a diet.

    Schools have started and my son began grade 1 on 16 January.

    Dear Aarushi

    So sorry for not responding sooner. I have found some pictures that I will have to see how I can scan them and put it in another thread.
    My Dad and mum visited a cousin in India when they first went in 1980/81. However my Dad's cousin (here in SA) has compiled a family tree and there I've found some invaluable information. This Khaka has kept in contact with the relatives in India. My great grandfather who immigrated to SA was Mahadeo Takuri Prasath Chaurasia. It seems like Takuri was the surname and Chaurasia their caste/sect?
    The village was GAHMAR. At present some sons are in Karimuddinpur where they have a pharmacy/ medical store.
    I will post pictures and more info soon.

    Regards Neesha
     

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