Kutchi From Gujarat
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Many Kachhis left Kutch during the British rule of India from 1850 to the 1940s, moving to commercial areas such as Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Many also live in neighboring states such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
A sizeable community of Kutchi Leva Patels can be found in Kenya, UAE, UK and Australia where they have established community centres and Swaminarayan Temples under Bhuj Temple, Kutch.
The Kutchi language is a member of the Pali-Prakrit language family. Among the immigrant Kutchi people living outside India, major populations can be found in countries like Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Fiji, Canada, United States, Oman and UK. They also speak closely related Gujarati language. especially those living in cosmopolitan cities such as Mumbai and states like Kerala. The Kutchis who immigrated to Africa have adopted some phrases of the Swahili language and those who have settled in the U.K have incorporated some phrases of English into their language.
There are many castes in a typical Kutchi community, such as Rahima (Arbab), Nohriya, Gharana, Lohar Wadha, Hingora, Halaypotra, Sanghar, Jat, Jadeja, Leva Patidars/Patels, Rathor, Khatri, Bhatti, Hingorja (Khalifa), Hala, Memon, Geerahi, Batala, Kumbhar (Kumhar), Gaanchi, Jakohi, Wahgair, Juneja Wara, Mistri, Lohanas, Nandwanas, Nagar Brahmins, Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas, Mali, Meghwalh-Marvada, Charaniya, Maheshwari-Barmatipanthi, Phariyar, Jains, Bhanushalis, Miyanas, Khojas and Bayar (Ruknani).
The tone, sense, and outcome of the recently concluded Indo-African Forum Summit, evidently indicates a leap forward in the strengthening of India Africa relations. The first-ever Forum Summit that began on the 8th April 2008, discussed varied issues such as; agriculture, trade, industry, investment, peace and security, good governance and information technology. An action plan for development and a political Delhi
Declaration on global issues of trade, climate change and United Nations (UN) reforms were adopted at the Summit. India according to Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of External Affairs, has a naturalally in Africa and a two-million strong Indian diaspora indicates enormous synergies and complementarities.
i For India, the core emphasis is on South-South cooperation. India has always stressed to work towards democratic tolerance, economic development and social justice. Consequently for Africa, India’s friendship is enduring, empowering and energizing. So far the Pan-African e-network project that seeks to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world is one of the far-reaching initiatives undertaken by India. The project covers 53 nations of African Union through a satellite and fiberoptic network that will provide effective communication and connectivity among themselves.
The project also aims in connecting regional centers in Africa to institutions in India to provide tele-education and tele-medicine facilities.
ii Indo African academic and cultural exchange programs are also going strong. The two month long ‘Shared Histories Festival’ held in 2007 that celebrated India in South Africa,was a great success. Annually over 15000 African students study in India and many qualified Indians live and work in Africa. India in return wants to learn lessons from African environmentalist who have pressed the frontiers of communication on sustainable development. The bonds that tie India and Africa in contemporary times are historical and time tested. Be it the anti apartheid movement or promotion of the non- aligned movement;
India and Africa have worked together. Going back into the nineteenth century the entrepreneurs from India ventured to the coastal regions of Eastern Africa for trading
purpose. Though profit making in this resource rich region was their primary motive, their contribution in the expansion of commerce and greater understanding of the culture is noteworthy. Their pioneering inputs during the nineteenth century are enduring and has greater relevance in analyzing present economic relations with Africa
In greater understanding of Indo-African relations, this paper examines the influx and settlements of the mercantile communities of the western coast of India [Kutch] to the Eastern shoreline of Africa [Zanzibar] in the nineteenth century. Kutchis became prominent in East Africa in the nineteenth century and expanded the commerce of that region. Prior to the bifurcation of East Africa between the British and the Germans  the Eastern littorals and mainland of Africa were composed of present-day Tanzania and Kenya.
iii Capital of this Omani colony was a very fertile islet of Zanzibar. This town was the central hub of the mercantile activities and presence of numerous nationalities, like that of the Arabs, the Indians, the French, the British, the Americans and including the locals like the Swahilis, the Somalis among others gave a cosmopolitan outlook.
The Indians especially the Kutchis both the Hindus and the Muslims were settled in different parts of the Zanzibar dominion including Mogadishu in the north to Kilwa in the south, and all those who visited the island in the nineteenth century noticed their prosperous commercial adventures. The following study has focused largely on the nature of their settlement and demographic distribution of their population in the nineteenth century.
Tribes of Gujarat
Tribes of Rajastan
Kutchi (કચ્છી / ڪڇّي)
Kutchi is an Indo-Aryan language with about 866,000 speakers mainly in India in the Kutch region of Gujarat, and also in Sindh in Pakistan. There are also some Kutchi speakers in Trinidad and Tobago.
Kutchi is also known as Cutchi, Kutchhi or Kachchhi and is related to Sindhi and Gujarati. It also contains quite a lot of vocabulary from Sindhi, Gujarati and Rajasthani.
In Pakistan Kutchi is written with the Sindhi version of the Perso-Arabic script, and in India the Gujarati is used. In 2009 a new script for Kutchi was developed by Dr Rajul Shah more details.
Gujarātī script for Kutchi
Heritage Voices: Language – Kutchi
ABOUT THE AUTHOR-Mahida Bachu
I am a Kutchi speaker, born and raised in Havre de Grace, Maryland. My maternal and paternal great grandparents were originally from India, but they immigrated to East Africa in search of work. My grandparents on both sides were born in Kenya in the 1940’s. My paternal grandparents later moved to Uganda, where my father was born in the city of Lira. Following the mandated expulsion of Asians from Uganda in 1972, my father’s family fled Uganda and resided in Italy for several months before arriving to the United States.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR- Mahida Bachu
I am a Kutchi speaker, born and raised in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
Kutchi Voice (Revised 2)(1).doc
Microsoft Word document [2.2 MB]
People of Old Town: Cutchi Muslims
The Cutchi Muslims are the most integrated Asian group in Mombasa. The extent of thier integration is reflected in the fact that a number of their offspring of thier mixed marriages have produced men and women of talent who have become prominent in national life. One Badala family, the #Bhalo family, has produced famous swahili poets, musicians, and men of religion.
Carved Door in Indian style....typical coffered panels.. elaborate carved lintel of leaves and flowers and the two protruding corbels similarly carved.
Waniya no Delo
Waniya no Delo is just ahead from Waniyavad area. Jain Upashryas, Jinalay and community hall is situated in this area. Even today number of Jain families are living here and because of that this Dela means doors are called as a 'Waniya no Delo' or 'Jian Delo'. Due to community hall many functions are taking place in this area in which lot's of people are coming here. Inside of Waniya no Delo still there are some houses with old decorative construction.
Click on photo below for more on Kutci people