Desis in Europa

People marked as 'South Asians' in Belgium

In 1927 the freedom fighter Nambiar attended a conference against imperialism in Bruxelles (Zöllner 2000, 40). Seventy years later there lived 3000 Indians and 1800 Pakistanis in Belgium.

Ali (1982) describes the early life of Pakistanis in this country. According to this source the first came in 1973. They were predominately unskilled and semi-skilled workers. In 1982 there were among the estimated 1500 Pakistanis only 40 businessmen and 17 students. The community had established some associations, organised weekly Urdu films in a cinema, there were grocery and video stores and one Pakistani mosque. Burials, however, were still performed in Pakistan. There seem to have been provisions of the embassy to teach children Urdu.

Today South Asians in Belgium seem still to be mainly workers - both with legal status and illegalised.


For statistical material click here (pdf-file).

© Urmila Goel, / Europa or english / europe 2002/2007