Becoming a Hindu Community
Compared to India, we are more Hindus. We are more Hindus because we feel that we have to stick to something. I will tell you the number of times that you have visited the mandir here you would have never visited in the whole of your life over there, is it true? And here we go 100%. I have got a friend of mine, they are from West Indies; they moved from India in the 1890s. They are more Hindus than us, because they moved a hundred years back. We are twentieth century, they are nineteenth century. They are more practicing and they stick to it. They may not be able to speak Hindi but they can recite mantras in English [laughing]. We are in active practice; we go to functions, we celebrate festivals, and that is active, and active participation. When you think of losing something then you try to grab it hard.
This eloquent quotation from Uncle Ram, who migrated in 1968 and currently owns a small business, ruminates on the changing nature of belonging to a Hindu community. By comparing himself with his friend from the West Indies, he reveals his views of the different ways to be Hindu in the diaspora. His words acknowledge the fundamental importance of space and time in the construction of a diasporic Hindu community. He attributes some of the differences between himself and his friend from Trinidad to the time of migration and the location. Like others of the parental generation, he associates being a Hindu in England with going to the temple. His perspective is that migration has given 76