Excluding Great Britain and the Netherlands, Europe has had little immigration from India and today has a small Hindu population. Great Britain and the Netherlands had colonies into which South Asian laborers migrated. Many Hindus from Guyana (see CARIBBEAN REGION) and Kenya (see AFRICA) left the struggling economies and racial persecution of those countries to enter Great Britain. Over 65,000 South Asians were exiled from Uganda under the directive of Idi Amin in the 1970s and nearly all fled to Britain.
   In Britain today, Hinduism flourishes in a variety of practices, and many temples exist (see UNITED KINGDOM). Because these Hindus remain close to their native land through Commonwealth ties, they have imported influential political and religious movements from India. Most neo-Hindu movements as well as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad are active in Great Britain.
   The Netherlands also has a sizable South Asian community, populated largely by Hindus who fled economic and political hardship in Suri-name. As in Great Britain, they remain in contact with Hindu movements in India and reflect the traditional practices as well as the conflicts repre-sented in contemporary Indian Hinduism.
   Eastern Europe remains the main residence for the Gypsies or Romany, who were originally Hin-dus from the Punjab and Afghanistan. The lan-guage and customs of the Gypsy ethnicity retain vestiges of a Hindu past, even though the Gypsy population is not considered a Hindu movement.
   In the last century, native Europeans have supported an entire array of contemporary Hindu movements, particularly the INTERNATIONAL SOCI-ETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, the SAT YA SAI BABA movement, various forms of hatha yoga, and individual teachers of Hindu practices.
   See also Diaspora; Scandinavia.
   Further reading: Martin Baumann, Migration, Religion, Integration: Buddhist, Vietnamese, and Hindu Tamils in Germany (Marburg: Diagonal-Verlag, 2000); Knut A. Jacobsen and P. Pratap Kumar, eds., South Asians in the Diaspora: Histories and Religious Traditions (Leiden: Brill, 2004).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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