India and its diaspora: making sense of Hindu identity in South Africa.
Gopal, Nirmala D.
Singh, Shanta Balgobind.
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Indian immigrants to South Africa in the late nineteenth century differed in terms of their origins, motivations, belief systems, customs, and practices from the indigenous African population as well as from the ruling white settler elite. It is within this context that this paper interrogates some of the ways in which several generations of (Indian) Hindus constructed and continue to (re)construct their religious identities in South Africa. Data for this study were achieved by administering face-to-face questionnaires to 66 individuals in the Metropolitan Area of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The sample (selected through snowball sampling) comprised third to fifth generation Indians belonging to the four major language groups (Tamil, Telegu, Gujarati, and Hindi) residing in South Africa. Following the questionnaire responses, interviews were conducted with a selected number of respondents from the same sample. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS while analysis of qualitative data followed a thematic model.