'Comunidade Hindu' In Maputo Province, Mozambique 1960-1990
Posted: 20 Mar 2017 Last revised: 1 Jul 2017
Date Written: 2017
Using in-depth ethnographic and archival data collected from 2014-2017, this paper investigates four decades of institutional resilience by Maputo's "Comunidade Hindu,"a Hindu religious and cultural education organization in Mozambique's capital. In light of forced migration, government pressure, and fluctuating citizenship rights in the multi-layered colonial structures of Portuguese Africa, the Comunidade's continued existence presents a valuable case study in the survival tactics employed by ethno-religious organizations to overcome pervasive vulnerability and support members through serial insecurity. Originally founded as an Indian worker's association in 1932, and shortly after laying the cornerstone in 1943, the Comunidade Hindu began to absorb the aftershocks of geo-political shifts in the Indian Ocean region; particularly Indian independence in 1947, the annexation of Portuguese India in 1961, Mozambican independence in 1974, and the Mozambican civil war from 1977 to 1992. This study explores how the institution changed its name, membership, and purpose multiple times over this period (including in the late 1970s, when the socialist government nationalized the Comunidade's building) to ensure its own survival as an institution and to solidify its value as a site of cultural significance in the Mozambican national context.
Keywords: India, Hindu, Mozambique, independence, colonialism, uncertainty
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