Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus and Other Tamis in the Montréal Diaspora : 'same, same but different'

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Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus and Other Tamis in the Montréal Diaspora : 'same, same but different'
The author notes that according to a study published by Statistics Canada, in 2036, more than half of immigrants in Canada will be of Asian origin, and South Asians will be the group with most people. He points out that Tamil people represent the most important South Asian group in Montreal, but their profiles and stories are many and diverse. Immigrants of Indian origin, refugees from the civil war in Sri Lanka or resettlers from Malaysia or Africa, they recount dissimilar migration histories and profess different faiths. Focusing on the largest group, the Sri Lankan Tamil Saivite Hindus, the author explores the relationships of this group with other Tamils living in Montreal, namely Tamil Catholics and Pentecostal Christians, as well as with Tamil Hindus of Indian origin. Also, the author discusses the different strategies of integration of these Tamil communities into the French-speaking majority of Quebec and the city's English-speaking community, which represent a main figure of the ‘Otherness’ encountered by the Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus in this diasporic context. More broadly, the author shows that the development of Hindu religious solidarities and interplays in diaspora depend on the socio-cultural composition and cohesion of the Hindu groups, but also on their migration stories, and on the social and political context of the host country. As a result, the author argues, it turns out that in Montreal, Sri Lankan Hindus feel much closer to Sri Lankan Catholics than to Indian Tamil Hindus, which seems to imply that the sharing of the same land of origin, language, and migration pattern, is much more important than the belonging to Hindu religion in the re-building of togetherness and solidarity.
The South Asianist
Vol. 6
no. 1
Bradley, Mark. “Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus and Other Tamis in the Montréal Diaspora : ‘Same, Same but Different.’” The South Asianist Vol. 6, no. 1 (2018): 98–119.
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