IIS Staff Organise the Gujarat Studies Association Conference

Dr. Anjoom Mukadam and Dr. Sharmina Mawani organised the 2nd biennial Gujarat Studies Association (GSA) conference in Toronto, Canada on 23 – 24 May 2008. The theme of the conference, Identities: Reflections on Global Gujarati Communities, attracted delegates from North America, Europe, South Asia, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

From ancient times to the present, people have sought to understand their identities both from an individual as well as collective perspective. In so doing, not only do they define who they are, but also who they are not. In the mass migrations of the last 200 years, millions of people have left their ancestral homelands and cultures to settle in new places. The primary purpose of this conference was to explore the connections between ancestral homelands and new belongings, and focus on the complexities of shaping and reshaping linguistic, cultural and religious identities.

Complete at the source: Institute of Ismaili Studies

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

2 thoughts

  1. Analysis of my genes reveals my Gujarati and other ancestries:

    Based on a genetic analysis done in 2004 of the Y-chromosome extracted from my cheek cell DNA, which shows that I belong to the R1a haplogroup of the M17 genetic marker, my remote ancestor was a man of European origin born on the grassy steppes in the region of present-day Ukraine or Southern Russia 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. This man’s descendants(known also as the Kurgan people) became the nomadic steppe dwellers who eventually spread as far afield as India and Iceland.

    I am descended from the Indo-European branch of this clan, which is thought to be responsible for, among other things, the domestication of the horse and the development of the Proto-Indo-European language, leading eventually to the development of English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, other Romance languages as well as Sanskrit-based languages like Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Urdu. Many of the Indo-European languages share similar words for animals, plants, tools and weapons.

    My more recent ancestors were originally Hindus living in Chotila, Gujarat, India. 35% of all people currently living in Gujarat share my genetic marker (millions of people). They were converted to Shia Ismaili Islam by Persian Sufi Mystics(Pirs) around the 14th century CE. My great-grandfather and his 3 brothers travelled by ship and train from India to Pretoria, South Africa around 1894. Thus, having originally left Africa 60,000 years ago during the big migration, my ancestors had once again returned to Africa. I emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada from Pretoria, South Africa in 1973. My wife has a similar heritage to me but she was born in Mbale, Uganda and lived in Kampala, Uganda. Both our children(son 24yrs, daughter 15yrs) were born in Canada. I am very proud of my heritage.


  2. ya ali madad
    i usually read all what you write. sometimes when it is lenghthy i feel lazy to read sometimes bore but today i read every thing interestingly. my prayers are with you for your future and for your children´s bright future ameen.


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