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And they may have been more successful in doing so in the diaspora than in India. The attempts at homogenizing are also observed among Muslims. Immigration to the United States and the contact with Muslims from different regions of the world has called into question the legitimacy of South Asian Islamic traditions, as other groups view their own customs as equally Islamic.

Besides, the extreme diversity of the Muslim community is perceived as a handicap to the cohesion of the group, while unity is viewed as vital to gain representation and have access to resources in the American society. Hence, appeals of the leadership to the believers to abandon their cultural baggage and focus only on text-based rituals, as the Text is the ultimate reference that is likely to bind them beyond cultural particularities.

However, as compared to Hinduism, Islam is a highly transnational religion, and as compared to UK where most Muslims are from the Indian Subcontinent, South Asians in the United States are far from representing the dominant group amongst Muslims. This is shown by the kind of religious revival support in particular for a more scripturalist form of Islam, many South Asians, irrespective of their national origin, experience after migrating to the US.

The First Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in , guarantees religious freedom in a way which can remind one more of Indian secularism, since it implies that the State can show favour neither to the religious over the non-religious, nor to one particular religious tradition over another.

Effects of Ethnicity on Deceased Organ Donation in a Minority-Majority State

At any rate, Americans have the highest rate of religious practice among industrialized countries, as shown by the high proportion of the population professing to a religion and being actively involved in it. But it is worth noting that Muslims and Hindus experience it in different ways: Hence the paradox of the situation: As for Hindus, even though some negative stereotypes can be associated with Hinduism often seen as a strange and primitive religion as well, they mostly experience discrimination as well as a sentiment of ostracism as an ethnic minority.

Some find solace in reconstructing their identity not only along religious lines but also by stressing the superiority of Hinduism over other religions, this giving them a sentiment of pride and dignity. Interestingly, this insistence on the Hindu identity was observed as early as the beginning of the 20 th century when a handful of Indians who were then living in the US were fighting to obtain American citizenship: Indians argued that as high-caste Hindus they belonged to the Aryan race, and by extension were Caucasians, and therefore Whites.

As a matter of fact, Sikhs, Muslims and Parsis did the same, as they also tried to prove that they belonged to the Aryan race. At any rate, this shows how much the local context of a given period can influence the self-definition of individuals and groups. It should be also noted that in a country like Great-Britain the insistence on the Hindu identity has been a way of distinguishing oneself from Muslims and from Pakistanis in particular, especially after the Rushdie affair, and even more so since the July 7 th bomb attacks in London.

Similarly, in the s and s, Indians across religious affiliations would wear turbans so as not to be identified with African-Americans Mazumdar Hence, beyond issues of religion, race and class can be equally important in the self-definition and the image people want to project of themselves in the host-society.

Given the importance taken by mosques and temples as major places of socialization, Hindus and Indian Muslims have much fewer opportunities to meet than in the Subcontinent. The lack of a common space of worship is therefore a primary reason for the relative lack of contact between both groups: In the s and s when the contemporary migration process started, Indians, regardless of their religious affiliation, were still few in numbers and tended to belong to the same associations.

While Sikhs primarily left for political reasons in the wake of the riots and the Khalistani movement in favour of an independent Punjab , Muslims and Christians rather left for religious reasons, since Hinduism increasingly became an important feature in the lives of Indian cultural associations where sessions and events would start with a puja , for instance.

While a minority joined with Pakistani cultural associations, most Indian Muslims decided to set up their own organizations, like the already mentioned AFMI created in The first such event, which represents a watershed in the relationships between Hindus and South Asian, but more particularly Indian, Muslims is the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

Hindu nationalists claim that Ayodhya, a town in Uttar Pradesh, is the birthplace of Ram, and that the mosque, built by the first Mughal Emperor, Babur was erected over the ruins of a temple dedicated to Ram. From onwards, the Hindu nationalists led a virulent campaign to reclaim the site, and on 6 December, , they destroyed the mosque. It is a well-documented fact that the worldwide Hindu diaspora took part in this campaign from its inception. Some of the bricks that were carried as symbols in a procession in Ayodhya early in the movement, had been sent to India from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and from South Africa.

After the demolition of the Babri mosque, a segment of Hindu immigrants in the United States rejoiced over the event and indulged in the apology of the Hindu nationalists. The following letter sent by an immigrant from New York City to India Today is particularly enlightening:.

Assimilation paths of immigrant children: Asian Indians and Filipinos compared

For the past 45 years, Hindus have been pushed to the wall by the deadly combination of Islamic fundamentalists, communists and pseudo-secularist Hindus whose proclivity to belittle their heritage and damage the Hindu cause is mind-boggling. Now Hindus are in no mood to take anything lying down?

The penchant for absurd exaggeration, cynical disregard for truth, vituperative attacks on Hindu leaders, grossly libellous articles designed to vilify and discredit the BJP and entire Hindu samaj smack of yellow journalism India Today This pessimism often exaggerated well beyond reality is not only the direct result of the Ayodhya affair, but is also an aftermath of a reinforced ethno-religious sentiment exacerbated by the diasporic condition: This hypersensitivity could already be observed in the country of origin with a fairly marked propensity amongst Indian Muslims to victimization.

Their status as a vulnerable minority in India, accused of being responsible for Partition and whose loyalties are often suspect they are regularly accused, at times of crises in particular, of being a fifth column of Pakistan are the two main reasons for the sentiment of alienation felt by many Muslims in India. But as said before, the diasporic condition may reinforce the hypersensitivity, this being another facet of the so-called long-distance nationalism.

Muslims in India in the past have kept a low profile, but they no longer feel the need to do so after migrating. They are likely to become more vociferous in their denunciation of the violations of minority rights in India, regardless of the actual size of the problem on the ground. At any rate, the memory of Partition is still very alive among immigrant South Asians regardless of their religious affiliation, but in particular among the Punjabis. The following comment was made in England, but could apply to the US as well:.

While the sympathy expressed by the Pakistanis is genuine no doubt, it is hard to listen to such lamentations over and over again. The concern they have for their religious brethren makes them believe that anyone who is not a Muslim is a Muslim basher Kalam circa Indians vs Pakistanis, regardless of religious affiliations is the nuclear tests conducted by both India and Pakistan in Though they aroused mixed feelings in both communities at large, they were nonetheless hailed with an unrestrained jubilation by a segment amongst them: Interestingly, most Indian Muslims reacted either by celebrating the Indian nuclear tests or by taking a pacifist stand and denouncing the tests conducted by both countries.

This epitomizes the fact that no matter the mixed feelings they may nurture towards their home-country, in particular when they are in a diasporic situation, those feelings do not translate into any significant kind of support for Pakistan as a nation. The importance of temples and mosques in separate community formation has been already mentioned; in addition, media, new technologies the Internet in particular , as shown by the dramatic increase in communal newspapers and websites over the years and the extensive use of e-mails during the Kargil crisis for instance, as well as political lobbies 18 are invested in the United States with a new and exclusive importance, and have become the major arenas of confrontation.

But interestingly, in the few areas where there is a relative concentration of South Asians as compared to UK, South Asians do not however live as much in ethnic enclaves , the relationships between South Asians are not particularly strained; besides, their frictions, when they do exist, do not usually degenerate into street-fights. In addition to the daily interaction that may dilute the conflictual logic, this situation can also be explained by the fact that these populations tend to be socially homogeneous: Such is the case for instance in Queens New York , where a fairly high number of South Asians hailing from diverse ethno-national backgrounds live but sharing usually similar social conditions Khandelwal For those populations, class issues tend to be endorsed with a greater importance than ethno-national or ethno-religious considerations.

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Hence, the situation is fairly different from the UK. This perhaps is explained by the fact that in the United States, South Asians form only a minority among other migrants while in the UK they are one of the dominant minorities and are much more involved than they are in the US, in competing to place demands and negotiate with the British authorities for obtaining subsidies and other types of material gains. Interestingly, many of them are Gujaratis, who at any rate form the largest regional group of Indians in the United States.

This may be significant to the extent to which the transformation of the State of Gujarat into a laboratory of the Hindutva Hinduness forces had repercussions far beyond India. With this backlash, these very Gujarati expatriates have contributed to the Hindutvaization of Gujarat by massively financing Hindu nationalists, as was revealed during the Gujarat riots see below. Regarding the aggressive promoters of a Pakistani or of a Muslim identity defined in opposition to the Other, and the Other still being for many Hindu , they also tend to live in areas where there is a low concentration of South Asians.

Such is the case, for instance, of Pakistani lobbyists whose main activities are focussed on anti-Indian discourses living in the New York region. Though there have been an increasing number of pan-Indian associations, many organizations have been formed on a regional basis: Gujarati, Punjabi, Hyderabadi, Bengali interestingly but not so surprisingly, Bangladeshis have formed separate organizations from the Bengalis and from other South Asian Muslims as well.

Besides, the overlapping of identities and belongings is such that borders can be easily blurred.

Effects of Ethnicity on Deceased Organ Donation in a Minority-Majority State

Some vectors that may usually be dividing among immigrant groups can at times play a significant bridging role, like language: As for Bollywood, it still plays its role of bridging borders in the diaspora, as it already does in the Subcontinent, 21 regardless of age, sex, class, region, language, religion, caste and so on. During the recent years, these actors have come to play a fairly significant role in the United States. Admittedly, their circle remains rather narrow: In the s, there were already a number of progressive organizations but for most their main objective was to defend the interests of South Asians in the United States itself, across religious, national or regional barriers.

Some were focusing on particular segments of the population such as women organizations against domestic violence like Sakhi, Manavi, Apna Ghar, and so on , Dalits like ambedkar. Gradually these organizations, while still being concerned with local issues, have extended their activities toward the Subcontinent, hence giving a more transnational dimension to their concerns. But what is even more noteworthy is that the sheer number of these organizations has significantly increased in a few years.

Most or almost all of them mix local concerns with transnational ones. Among them, we can mention: One of them deserves to be specially mentioned: The creation of this organization is indeed particularly interesting because Indian and Pakistani doctors had formed separate professional organizations like AAPI, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, and APPNA, the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America , and many members of these organizations have been actively involved in lobbying campaigns focused on the hostility to the Other Mohammad-Arif Regarding the change of sociological profile, between the end of the s and the beginning of the following decade, there has been a maturation of the second generation, which has come along with a questioning by the youths but also by women, who had been so far marginalized, of the quasi-exclusive supremacy exerted by men of the first generation over Indian and Pakistani organizations.

These men, who acted as self-proclaimed community leaders and had so far monopolized the whole community space, tended to and still do insist on a singular identity, that of a Hindu, or a Muslim, or that of an Indian but understood as necessarily Hindu or a Pakistani. Hence for the past few years, alternative community spaces have emerged under the impulsion of women and youths even though a significant fraction of women and youths are also engaged in movements of hindutvaization and re-Islamization.

Hence it is this conjunction between the rise of new actors on the diasporic public sphere and dramatic events in both home-societies and the host-society, which explains the more aggressive activism, as well as the growing legitimacy, of secular and progressive organizations over the recent years. Yet, this competition between different actors of conflictuality on the one hand, of actors of reconciliation on the other is nothing new: September 11 and its aftermath, and the riots in Gujarat.

Since September 11, the situation is such that all the people who hail from the Subcontinent, regardless of their actual religious background, including in highly cosmopolitan cities like New York, tend to be regarded with suspicion because they are mistaken for Muslims even when they are Hindu or Sikh. This situation has generated different kinds of reactions: But other people on the contrary have seen this situation as an opportunity to build bridges beyond religious cleavages and to try to find common platforms to face a situation of crisis together.

And this goes well beyond the circle of progressive activists. The direct responsibility of the local State in the riots was soon established. This event, reminiscent of the horrors of Partition, engendered a fairly important mobilization in the United States, on the initiative of both progressive organizations and Indian Muslim associations. In , these organizations achieved what has probably been one of their greatest successes. This invitation triggered off an important mobilization of about thirty organizations who were backed by a dozen more based in the United States, and representing both Indian Muslims, civil rights groups, and intellectuals.

They formed a coalition called Coalition Against Genocide. Following this mobilization, the US government refused to grant Modi both a diplomatic visa and a business visa.

Regarding the diplomatic visa, it put forward the argument that Modi had been invited by an Indo-American organization and not by the American government. We can of course wonder about the real motivations of the US government and whether the latter would have adopted the same attitude had the BJP still been in power; yet, the whole affair represents as symbolic as it may be a nonetheless significant victory for progressive movements in America.

This regards a controversy over textbooks in California. The monitoring of the presentation of Hinduism and Indian history in American school textbooks is an important goal of the American Hindutva movement. In early , two groups closely connected to the Sangh Parivar, the Vedic Foundation and the Hindu Educational Foundation, submitted recommendations to the California Curriculum Commission for revisions of textbooks and their treatment of ancient Indian history.

In addition to removing stereotypes and factual errors, the groups also inserted highly contentious changes, like removing anything suggesting that caste still determines the status of people in Indian society, portraying Hinduism as very similar to Judaism and Christianity, making all non-Hindu Indians foreigners, and so on.

Initially, the Curriculum Commission came under so much pressure from Hindutva forces who wrapped these changes in the vocabulary of minority rights and equality, that the Commission accepted many of those changes.

It would be sufficient to compare the number of people who came to the AAHOA meeting held in New York that Narendra Modi could not physically attend but his speech was retransmitted by satellite , with the number of people who were demonstrating outside the building against this meeting: First, so-called American multiculturalism tends to create or reinforce internal group-boundaries. Migration also involves socio-economic and social mobility issues, and even though these populations are not in direct competition with each other the same way as they can be in the Subcontinent, they do share a common experience of marginalization and stigmatization generated by dislocation, whose outcome is for some immigrants a tendency to find solace in narrow and parochial identities.


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Equally important is the role played by the respective leaderships, who, involved as they are in power struggles, competition for resources and bids for personal recognition both by the host-society and by the ethnic community , will not hesitate to only lay the stress on the respective differences and specificities and not on the common history that binds these communities. These ethnic entrepreneurs will do so all the more willingly because they are encouraged by the host-society to exhibit a homogenous culture.

Neither is the role played by openly communal organizations negligible in increasing the gap between religious groups. Comins reported that "[i]t is not an uncommon thing to find a cooly woman living with a Chinaman as his wife, and in one or two instances the woman has accompanied her reputed husband to China", with six Indian women marrying Chinese men in as reported by The Immigration Report for On plantations white European managers took advantage of and used indentured Indian woman for sex.

Haynes Smith, while Creole women were abhorred or ignored by Indian men. The low ratio of Indian women to Indian men, along with the factor of Portuguese, white overseers and managers, and Chinese men having sexual relations with Indian women, aggravated the problem of rivalry for Indian women between Indian men, and drove up the value of Indian women. Sexual abuse, horrible living standards, and tough work were all things Indian women had to contend with. Unlike the African slaves, the East Indian indentured workers were permitted to retain some of their cultural traditions.

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But the process of assimilation has made the culture of the modern Indo-Guyanese more homogeneous than that of their immigrant ancestors. Between and over ship voyages with , indentured Indian immigrants came to Guyana; while just 75, of them or their children returned. The vast majority came from the Hindustani or Hindi speaking areas of North India. The most popular dialect spoken was Bhojpuri spoken in east Uttar Pradesh and west Bihar , followed by Awadhi spoken in central Uttar Pradesh. Indenture documents show Hindu by caste: The only acknowledgment the colonial government and the plantation managers gave to caste differences was their distrust of the Brahmins as potential leaders.

East Indian workers were housed together and placed in work gangs without consideration of caste, and no solidified caste groups survived the early colonial period. Guyanese Hindus continue to observe holidays such as Phagwah also known outside the country as Holi burning of Holika and Diwali festival of lights among others while Muslims celebrate the holidays Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. In Guyana , Indian Arrival Day is celebrated on May 5 commemorating the first arrival of indentured servants from India to the country, on May 5, On this day, the workers arrived to work in sugar plantations.

Among Hindus and Muslims, arranged, comparatively early marriages were common in rural areas until the modern period early s but are rare now. Middle-class Indians had greater freedom in choosing a spouse, especially if the woman was a professional. As in most parts of the western world marriage now occurs later, and the family unit is smaller than in the past. Indo Guyanese families are patriarchal with an extended system, where family members assist each other, like many other groups in Guyana.

If it can be afforded there is usually a Hindu wedding ceremony and also a western or "regular" wedding reception, or a small Hindu ceremony and a much larger "reception" so friends from the larger community can attend. With the blending of cultures in the Caribbean Indo Caribbean dishes became one of the dominant notes throughout most of the English Caribbean, with dishes such as curry and roti, dal puri.

Dishes that survived the colonial period include gulab jamun , parasad , kheer known as "sweet rice", and seven curry, and other dishes associated with religious functions. In Guyana, among the Indo-Guyanese people, it is popular to eat fried vegetables such as okra or "okro", pumpkin , bitter melon or "karela", long beans or "bora", and eggplant known as "baigan" or "balanjay. The Indo-Guyanese community has always had great admiration for Bollywood , the Hindi film industry.

Bollywood movies and songs have had a huge impact upon the Guyanese pop culture since the early s. In , Lata Mangeshkar , one of the most beloved singers in Guyana, was greeted with crowds of fans and was presented with the key of the city of Georgetown, Guyana on her visit. Indian soap operas have recently grown in popularity in Guyana. The most popular genres of music among Indo-Guyanese people include Chutney music , Soca music , Indian music , and Chutney soca. Indian instrumental influence can be seen in Guyana through the use of the tabla , harmonium , dholak , dhantal , and tassa drums.

Indo-Guyanese women have always been a great asset to beauty pageants in Guyana. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. English Guyanese Creole Dutch. Hinduism Islam Christianity Jainism Others. This section contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. Please help to clean it up to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.

Where appropriate, incorporate items into the main body of the article. Cultural Power, Resistance, and Pluralism: Volume 22 of McGill-Queen's studies in ethnic history illustrated ed. Retrieved June 1, Guyana After Slavery, Volume 4 of Caribbean studies illustrated ed. Indentured labor, Caribbean sugar: Chinese and Indian migrants to the British West Indies, Johns Hopkins studies in Atlantic history and culture illustrated ed.