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Showing posts from June, 2016

Namaste, Salaam and Jambo: The Indian experience in Africa !

Makindu town, on Kenya's Nairobi-Mombassa Highway, is most known for its grand and immaculately-maintained gurdwara, which is a must stop for all travellers, not only Sikhs. Dating back to 1902 (though the present building only came up in 1926), the shrine is abiding testament to the over century-old and continuing - but less attention-receiving - Indian presence in Africa.
Though any thoughts of the Indian diaspora veers mostly to the western world, and if this huge continent comes to mind, the focus is generally on South Africa - due to the sojourn there of a most famous Indian (though the Mahatma is sparing about his experiences in his autobiography).
But it is not the only African country where there are Indians - and in quantity. In Kenya itself, Punjabi singer Hazara Singh Ramta recounts in "Ramta Africa vich" that when he landed: "...mainu vi len si aayi Punjabi janta saari/ Nairobi aerodrome te si bheed bhadhake/Vaisakhi de mele vangna vajde si dhakke..&quo…