Gujarati People and British East Africa

Topics: Gujarat, Gujarati people, Surnames Pages: 2 (556 words) Published: May 9, 2011
There are two main groups of Patels in Gujarat that make up the Patidar community: 1. Leva Patel/Patidar and 2. Kadva Patel/Patidar. The Kadva Patidar sub-caste is found mostly in districts of the Saurashtra region like Rajkot, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Mahesana. The Leva Patidar sub-caste is primarily concentrated in the Charotar Region (which are also known as Charotar Leuva Patidars), Kheda, Anand, Kanam, Baroda, Dahod, Bharuch, Panchmahal, Surat and Valsad. The Leva Patels are said to be the descendents of Lav, son of Lord Rama and the Kadva Patels who are said to be descendents of Kush.

The Leva Patels and Kadva Patels are known for their entrepreneurial skills in business and agriculture having a strong hold in Gujarat and have made a name for themselves around the world. There are religious and ideological differences between various groups of Patels. They have their own social samaj (gatherings) and mandirs at various locations. The Patel community followed an age-old tradition of marrying within their ‘GOL' or circle, but with changes in economic status, global influence, literacy and education, changes are now taking place and Patels are increasingly marrying outside the Gols.

Other Gujaratis who migrated out of what is now the state of Gujarat during the British Raj to British East Africa (Kenya and Uganda) sometimes adopted the surname 'Patel', and this surname was then subsequently passed onto their descendants (who now mainly reside outside Kenya and Uganda). Also, during the British Raj, some 'Patels' who migrated to British East Africa and the Union of South Africa (South Africa) adopted different surnames, usually the name of their village, their trade or even their grandfather's name. Subsequently, these surnames have been passed down to their descendants.

The "Patel motel" phenomenon, as it is popularly known, has made a major impact on the American hospitality industry.

The surname is the second most common last name in...
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