Desis in Europa

People marked as 'South Asians' in Portugal

Today few 'South Asian' citizens live in Portugal . There seems to be no considerable migration of workers, professionals or refugees to this part of 'Europe'. These figures, however, do not reflect the fact that until 1961 Portugal had 'South Asian' subjects in its colonies in 'India' (Goa as well as Daman and Diu) and until 1974 in Africa (Mozambique). After their independence many 'South Asians' with Portuguese citizenship went to live in the colonial power. Manorama (1994, 56) thus estimates that the considerable number of 102,000 people of 'Indian origin' live in the country.

The 'Indians' coming from Goa are mainly Catholic Christians. It is estimated that today 20,000 'Indian' Christians live in Portugal. The Hindus in contrast are mainly from Mozambique. At its independence 4,000 to 5,000 Hindus left the country in fear of the ‘Africanisation” and ethnicised persecution. Almost all of them were 'Gujaratis', who today live mainly in the poor districts of Lisbon, working in low paid jobs. In the mid-1990s a total of 7,500 Hindus seem to live in Lisbon and 500 outside. The Hindu identity is preserved through religious institutions and festivals. (Baumann 1998, 115)


Further Literature

For statistical material click here (pdf-file).

© Urmila Goel, / Europa or english / europe 2002/2008/2016