Gujarati

Gujarati-People_1.jpg

Immigrants from: India

Population in Australia: 59,000

Where in VIC: Werribee, Casey, Glen Eira, Monash City, Booroondara

Languages: Gujarati, Hindi

Religion: Hindu (Islam, Zoroastrian)

Christian witness: 0.97%

One known church fellowship in Australia.

The Gujarati are an influential people in India.  Historically they traded overland with the bordering Persian Empire and also with the Ottoman Empire. But it was their seaports that made them wealthy, trading with the Portuguese long before the arrival of the British Empire. 

The Gujarati are only 6% of India’s population but their influence is still economically significant. They dominate the lists of India’s wealthiest men, and still account for 22% of India’s exports. 

Because of their wealth and mobility Gujarati make up large numbers of Indian diaspora overseas. The expat life is not foreign to the Gujarati, they have been doing it for centuries. In fact, it could be considered part of their identity as Gujarati. Gujarati began immigrating to Australia in the 1960s. Over half of them have arrived since 2006. Many of them slot immediately into professional jobs. 

Gujarati is a literate culture, with a literature dating back to 1000 AD. They also have a thriving film industry dating back to 1932. 

Gujaratis have a strong folk musical tradition with their own wind, string and percussion instruments. Their festivals are usually very colourful and full of music and dancing. Gujarati food is primarily vegetarian. 

The Bible was first translated into Gujarati in 1861 and there has been missionary activity there ever since. The gospel has never taken root among the people. Even overseas there are few Gujarati Christians.