Libmonster ID: IN-1360
Author(s) of the publication: I. Y. KOTIN
Educational Institution \ Organization: Kunstkamera, St. Petersburg State University

Philippines Keywords:Indian diasporaSindhiSikhs

Indians continue to explore the world, creating and expanding a network of immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. Their presence is also increasing in the Philippines.

The presence of Sanskrit words in Tagalog is a reminder of the long-standing Indian-Philippine relations. 1 Researchers do not know whether this was the result of direct contacts between the inhabitants of India and the inhabitants of the archipelago, now called the Philippines, or it is a consequence of the latter's communication with people from the Hinduized states of Southeast Asia.

In the 18th century, Indians arrived in the Philippines as part of a new force - the British colonialists. During the Seven Years ' War, which also affected this far corner of the world, in 1762, 600 Indian sepoy soldiers in the service of the British East India Company defeated the Spanish garrison 2 and captured Manila. In 1764, the war ended, but some Indians decided to stay in the Philippines. They settled in Barangay Dayap in the Kainto region3. However, these Indians were baptized, intermarried with local women, and their descendants were assimilated by the local population.

In the middle of the XIX century. The East India Company annexed Sindh and Punjab, which led to the inclusion of the population of these territories, including local enterprising merchants, in the British colonial system. One of the objectives of the East India Company was to prevent local merchants from trading in the territory it controlled and to preserve their ability to trade outside of India - in East Africa and East and South-East Asia. Then Sindhi merchants, famous for their enterprise, appeared in the Philippines. Sindhi merchants are also known to have appeared in Japan, Hong Kong, and Java in the 19th century.4 Sindhi entrepreneurs were quite successful in the silk trade. Over time, a network of Sindhi trading colonies developed, sometimes referred to as the Sindhi Diaspora. 5


The Sindhis ' position was strengthened by the American occupation of the Philippines (in the late 1890s-ed.), which gave English-speaking foreigners, such as Indians, a number of advantages over local entrepreneurs. Probably, at that time, the idea of natives of India (the so-called Bumbai) appeared as formidable, dangerous people. A Filipina professor at the University of Manila told the author of these lines that it is customary among local residents to frighten children with Indians: "If you behave badly, you will not sleep, bumbai will carry you away."

The old Sindhi trading houses G. Assanmal and Co (founded in 1925) and Crown Silk Store (founded in 1932, renamed Gumamal Sons in 1947)have become symbols of Indian influence and success in Manila. 6 In the 1970s, there were about 2 thousand Indians in the Philippines, now their number is estimated at 30 thousand.

The second significant group of Indians in the Philippines are Sikhs.7 A lot of people have been writing about Sikhs lately. A common claim was that they were representatives of a special ethno - confessional group of the Punjab population, followers of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), who dissociated himself from both Hinduism and Islam.

There are also commonly mentioned nine teachers of faith - gurus, the heirs of Nanak, who were also considered to be his complete reincarnations8. In Nanak's teaching, an egalitarian and anti-caste orientation is important. The teachings of the last Sikh guru, Gobind Singh (1666-1708), gave the Sikhs - followers of Nanak - a militant character.

It is much less known to most readers outside India that not all Sikhs are militant and wear the attributes of their faith - the so - called "five k "for men (kirpan - sword, kesha - uncut long hair, kada - bracelet, kachcha - wide trousers, kangha-comb). A significant number of lay Sikhs, called Sahajdharis, did not wear the attributes of Sikhism, but until recently worshipped Hindu deities. The religious beliefs of the Hindus of neighboring Sindh are somewhat similar to the beliefs of the Sikhs-Sahajdhari.

Sindhis are Hindus from Sindh, which borders Punjab and is historically connected with it, and became part of Pakistan in August 1947. A significant proportion of Sindhi-speaking Hindus fled to India and settled in Bombay( modern Mumbai), Delhi and a number of other Indian cities. Also, Sindhi bankers from Shikarpur, contractors from Karachi, entrepreneurs from Sindhi (in Pakistan) Hyderabad, engaged in trade, usury operations and money exchange, have explored such far corners of the world as Trinidad and Tobago, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Tangier (in Algeria), Tunisia, Dubai, Namibia, the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong (Hong Kong).

Now the Sindhis live mostly-

* The Seven Years ' War (1756-1763) - a major military conflict of the XVIII century, one of the largest conflicts of Modern times. The Seven Years ' War was fought both in Europe and overseas: in North America, the Caribbean, India, and the Philippines. In it, the colonial interests of Great Britain, France and Spain collided (editor's note).

page 61

Most often in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, the Canary Islands, Spain, England (especially London), Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan 9. Almost everywhere they found a clientele among Indians-indentured labourers, civil servants, and the military-but they didn't stop there.

The neighbors and competitors of the Sindhis were everywhere related to them Gujaratis. The commonality of language and religious beliefs in a foreign environment determined the close cooperation of Sindhis divided into subgroups: Lohana, Bhagnari, Chhapri, Sahitu, Bhaiband, Amil, Bhatiya, Pokarno, Saraswat, Brahmi 10.

These subgroups are the heirs of local ethnic and social associations (jati). Sometimes, like Amil and Bhaiband, there was even a certain division of functions and rivalry between them (the Amil were British colonial officials, the Bhaiband were engaged in commerce). However, the small number of Sindhis in the diaspora forced them to help each other. Sindhis in the diaspora are Vishnu Hindus, and a special role in their religion is assigned to Jhuleval, their common legendary patron saint, a revered saint who is considered one of the avatars (incarnations) of the god Vishnu.

At the same time, within a particular family, subgroups maintained strong ties that connected their members in different countries. Mark Antony Falzon of the University of Canterbury, who wrote a doctoral dissertation on the Sindhi diaspora, considers, for example, one of the Biradari* Sindhi population of 171 people. Of these, 114 live in India (including 62 in Mumbai), 1 in Hawaii, 1 in Texas, 3 in Connecticut, 3 in Madrid, 2 in Barcelona, 1 in Greece, 41 in Dubai, 1 in Mombasa, and 2 in Doha, in Sierra Leone - 1 11.

Although Sikhs consider their faith special, and Sindhis consider themselves Hindus, both worship Guru Nanak, some as a holy teacher of the faith, others as a Hindu saint.12 This fact makes it easier for Sikhs to visit Hindu temples in Manila, and for Sikh temples to visit gurdwaras by Sindhis. The boundaries between communities are not insurmountable. At the same time, the most radical Sikhs seek to distance themselves from the Sindhis, and they demand more "orthodoxy"from their brothers in faith. This is evident in the dispute over control of Sikh temples.

Recently, the Philippine press has been following the disputes that arise outside the walls of Sikh temples with interest, and sometimes with concern. In September 2008, the Manila Standard published an article about clashes within the Sikh community of the Khalsa Diwan Sikh congregation in the Paco 13 area of Manila. The article reported that one of the community leaders was killed in a dispute over 100 million pesos ($1 is approximately equal to 43.5 pesos) - the parish's savings.

The fact is that Sikhs are required to spend daswandh - a tenth of their income - on the needs of the community. As a rule, this money is collected by the treasurer of the gurdwara-the temple and community center, the place where the holy book of the Sikhs - "Adi Granth"is kept. In fact, the chairman of the temple Council manages this money. Thus, Bhagwant Rai Bansal, who was elected chairman of the temple council, used part of the parish's money for personal needs. This figure had problems with the previous leadership of the church and the leaders of the group who did not agree with the results of the new elections. Comments to the article posted on the Internet in the form of a thematic blog call Baysal a "professional criminal" 14.

It is difficult for us to judge the correctness of the positions of a particular group in the community, but it seems that, like communities in other countries where there is a significant Indian diaspora, Sikhs are divided into groups of influential "immigrant pioneers", highly successful businessmen, major contributors, founders of community funds, and younger immigrants who are determined, as in the following issues: both on the issues of disposing of the community's property, and on the issues of disposing of the community's property, are quite radical.

Outwardly, the split takes the form of a dispute between sahajdharis, i.e. those who do not strictly observe the norms of wearing "five " k" "and keshdharis from newly arrived Sikhs, who consider the wearing of "five" k "" mandatory and the main manifestation of Sikh religiosity.

The Indian presence in the Philippines is also noticeable in the heart of Manila-on United International Avenue, where there are Hindu temples and Sikh Gurdwars. Like the Indian community in Japan or Hong Kong, Hong Kong is a small but influential and economically active community whose presence in the archipelago is likely to continue in the future.

1 The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora. Ed. by Brij Lai. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet. 2006. P. 198.

2 In 1521, Magellan landed on one of the islands of the archipelago. In 1565, the first Spanish settlement was founded here. Since the 16th century, the archipelago has been known as the Philippines, named by the Spanish after King Philip II. The archipelago was considered part of Spanish territory until 1898, when Spain ceded the territory to the United States after the Spanish-American War. For more information, see: Levtonova Yu. O. History of the Philippines. Kratkiy ocherk, Moscow, 2012 (1st ed. - 1979).

3 Ibid.

4 См.: Thapan A. R., Sindhi Diaspora in Manila, Hong Kong, and Jakarta. Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2002; See also: Firsova V. S. Indytsy v Jap'anii: proshoe i nastoyashchee [Indians in Japan: Past and Present]. Series 13. 2012. Vol. 4. p. 29-36.

Falzon M. A. 5 Cosmopolitan Connections. The Sindhi diaspora, 1860 - 2000. Leiden, 2000.

6 The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora...

7 See also: Kotin I. Y. Sikhs, Sindhis and other Bumbai / / Pilipinas muna. Philippines first and foremost. Maklaevsky collection. Issue 4. Saint Petersburg, 2011, pp. 461-469.

8 On Sikhism, see Uspenskaya E. N., Kotin I. Y. Sikhism. St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Oriental Studies, Azbuka-klassika Publ., 2007.

9 See Falzon M. A. Op. cit.

10 Ibid. P. 32.

11 Ibid. P. 46.

12 См.: Gold D. R. Hindu, Sufi, or Sikh: Contested Practices and Identifications of Sindhi Hindus in India and Beyond, New York. Corrnell University Press, 2008.

13 Turf War Rocks Sikh Temple // Manila Standard. 23.09.2008.

14 Manjinder Kumar. 18.10.2008.

* A group of relatives, sometimes very distant, but who honor a common legendary ancestor.


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