Welcome to The New Wahindi
This blog is an extension of my first blog on East African Asians, The Wahindi, which can be seen at http://east-african-asians.blogspot.com, reflecting my personal views and musings that will continue to feature on that site.
The original Wahindi were perceived by the indigenous East Africans to be the Hindi, people who came from the Hindustan, namely India even though many were Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. The New Wahindi has been settling down in Europe, USA, Canada, South America, the Far East, Australia and also in other parts of Africa. The new Wahindi has reflected on the trauma of Asian expulsion from Uganda in 1972, the plight of the Asians who left Kenya in 1968 but under more amenable conditions. The Asians from Central Africa, namely Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe and those now living in ‘modern’ South Africa have also shared some of the trauma of the new Wahindi. The new Wahindi sometimes consider themselves to have unique mindsets that reflect their love for East Africa but they can also be very critical of the countries that they were forced to leave behind. They want the nations of East Africa to be successful and prosperous but they can also be very impatient. Most importantly, they cannot always understand the distinctions between aims of the new African leaders and those that they had left behind. The new Africa’s economics and ecology has been shaped by growth of populations, the devastation caused by AIDS/HIV and breakdown of infrastructure resulting from war and the scarcity of resources. The Wahindi mindset is sometimes said to be in deep freeze. They tend to compare the old Africa with the new Africa but without taking into account the major variables that may have impeded progress – population growth and greater demand on resources. The new Wahindis also perceive themselves to be different compared to the new South Asian migrants from the Indian subcontinent who have only left their homelands in the last 15-20 years. During a recent visit to the region, I sensed that new South Asians could be considered to be the new ‘fundies’ or technically skilled people who work in the technical trades – electricians, plumbers, builders and mechanics for example, to support the old Wahindis and the new African economies. There will be more on this later. Finally, the new Wahindi is a traveller, tourist and an avid reader of newspapers and follower of developments in East Africa. Their impressions, or misimpressions are derived from western media but can also be greatly influenced by their old yardsticks for evaluating the change.
Is the new Wahindi really different? That is for the reader to find out based on travelogues, critical debate and commentaries that I hope to attract. This is why a new blog is needed to separate my own musings from the reflections of the new Wahindi at large.