Early European travelers like Ludovico di Varthema+ (15th century) traveled to Gujarat and wrote on the people of Gujarat.
In terms of ancestry+, Gujaratis share identical gene+s with the rest of the North Indian populations. A 2004 Stanford study conducted with a wide sampling from India, found that over 33% of genetic markers in Gujarat were partially of West Eurasian origin, the second highest amongst the sampled group of South Asians with Punjabis at 42%, and Kashmiris at 30%. The possible homeland of this haplogroup likely spans the coverage of the Near East to Western India. Some preliminary conclusions from these varying tests support some of the highest degrees of Indian mtDNAs found in Western Asia, supporting a theory of trade contact and migrations out of Gujarat into West Asia. In Gujarat, 146 castes including over a dozen cases relating to Muslims are recognised as SEBC or OBCs.
Gujaratis have a long tradition of seafaring and a history of overseas migration to foreign lands, to Yemen+ Oman+ Bahrain+, Kuwait, Zanzibar+ and other countries in the Persian Gulf+ since a mercantile culture resulted naturally from the state's proximity to the Arabian Sea. Gujaratis in Britain are regarded as affluent, middle-upper class peoples who have assimilated into the milieu of British society. Endogamy remains important to Gujarati Muslims+ in UK with the existence of matrimonial services specifically dedicated to their community.
Famous Gujarati Americans include Ami Bera+ (United States Congress), Reshma Saujani+ (American politician), Sonal Shah+ (economist to Whitehouse), Bharat Desai+ (CEO Syntel+), Vyomesh Joshi+ (Forbes), Romesh Wadhwani+ (Forbes), Raj Bhavsar+ (sports) Halim Dhanidina+ (first Muslim judge of California), Savan Kotecha+ (Grammy+ nominated American songwriter), and Hollywood+ actresses, Sheetal Sheth+ and Noureen DeWulf+. Notable Gujarati Canadians include Zain Verjee+ (CNN+ journalist), Ali Velshi+ (former CNN+ journalist), Rizwan Manji+ (Canadian actor), Nazneen Contractor+ (Canadian actress), Ishu Patel+ (BAFTA+-winning Animations director), Arif Virani+ (Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park), Rahim Jaffer+ (Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Strathcona), Omar Sachedina+ (CTV News+ anchor) and Prashant Pathak+ (Investor and Philanthropist). Gujarati and other Indians starting moving to the Kenya colony at the end of the 19th century when the British colonial authorities started opening up the country with the laying down of the Railways. There is a small community of people of Indian origin living in Uganda, but the community is far smaller than before 1972 when Ugandan ruler Idi Amin+ expelled most Asians including Gujaratis. Indians have a long history in Tanzania+ starting with the arrival of Gujarati traders in the 19th century. Indian diaspora+ in South Africa is more than a century old and it is centered around the city of Durban+. Oman+, holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf+, has been the primary focus of trade and commerce for medieval Gujarati merchants for much of its glorious history and Gujaratis, along with various other ethnic groups, contributed to the rich dynamic culture, founding and settlement of its capital port city, Muscat+. There is a community of Gujarati Muslims+ in neighbouring areas of the nation of Pakistan+, mainly settled in the province+ of Sindh+ for generations.
Gujarati food has famously been described as "the haute cuisine of vegetarianism" and meals have a subtle balance of sweet, tart and mild hot sensations on the palate.
Khichdi+ and Kadhi+ – a mix of rice and yellow toor dal+, a type of lentil, cooked with spices in a pressure cooker – is a popular and nutritious Gujarati meal which has regional variations. Spices have traditionally been made on grinding stones, however, since villages have seen rapid growth and industrialization in recent decades, today people may use a blender or grinder. Traditionally Gujaratis eat mukhwas+ at the end of a meal to enhance digestion, and desserts such as ''aam shrikhand'' made using mango+ salad and hung curd+ are very popular. Surti+ delicasies include ghari+ which is a puri+ filled with khoa+ and nuts that is typically eaten during the festival Chandani Padva+, sutarfeni+ – made from fine strands of sweet dough garnished with pistachios, and ''halwasan'' which are hard squares made from broken wheat, khoa, nutmeg and pistachios+.
Gujarat Vidhya Sabha+, Gujarat Sahitya Sabha+, and Gujarati Sahitya Parishad+ are Ahmedabad+ based literary institutions promoting the spread of Gujarati literature. Swaminarayan+ paramhanso, like Bramhanand, Premanand, contributed to Gujarati language literature with prose like Vachanamrut+ and poetry in the form of bhajans+. Gujarati language is enriched by the Adhyatmik literature written by the Jain scholar, Shrimad Rajchandra+ and Pandit Himmatlal Jethalal Shah. Famous Gujaratis include Mahatma Gandhi+, Sardar Vallabhai Patel+, Morarji Desai+, Sam Bahadur+, Vikram Sarabhai+, Swami Dayanand Saraswati+, Shyamji Krishna Varma+, Muhammed Ali Jinnah+, Freddie Mercury+, Azim Premji+, Dhirubhai Ambani+, Narendra Modi+, and Jamsetji Tata+. Gujaratis also form a significant part of the populations in the small union territories of Daman+ and Diu+, and Dadra Nagar Haveli, both being former Portuguese colonies. He noted that Jainism+ had a strong presence in Gujarat and opined that Gujaratis were deprived of their kingdom by Mughals because of their kind heartedness.
Its frequency peaks at over 12% in Gujarat, 9% in Iran+, 9% in Punjab, 6% in Pakistan and 6% in Afghanistan+. At a population of around 615,000 Gujaratis form almost half of the Indian community who live in the UK (1.2 million). They are predominantly settled in metropolitan areas like Greater London+, East Midlands, West Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire+.
The community remains religious with more than 100 temples catering for their religious needs.
Gujarati Muslim society in the UK have kept the custom of '''Jamat Bandi''', literally meaning communal solidarity. The original East India Company+ set up a factory+ in the port city of Surat+ in Gujarat in 1615. The highest concentration of the population of over 100,000 is in the New York City Metropolitan Area+ alone, notably in the growing Gujarati diasporic center of India Square+ in Jersey City+, New Jersey+, and Edison+ in Middlesex County+ in Central New Jersey.
According to the 2011 National Household Survey, there are 118,950 Gujaratis of various religious backgrounds living in Canada.
A small colony of merchants, however, had existed on the port cities such Mombasa+ on the Kenyan coast for hundreds of years prior to that. In the late 19th century, mostly Sikhs+, were brought on three-year contracts, with the aid of Imperial British contractor Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee+ to build the Uganda Railway+ from Mombasa+ to Kisumu by 1901, and to Kampala+ by 1931. Due to the efforts of the Aga khan+, many Khoja+ Nizari Ismaili refugees from Uganda were offered asylum in Canada. The vast majority of immigrant pioneer Gujaratis who came in the latter half of the 19th century were ''passenger Indians'' who paid for their own travel fare and means of transport to arrive and settle South Africa, in pursuit of fresh trade and career opportunities and as such were treated as British Subjects+, unlike the fate of a class of Indian indentured laborours who were transported to work on the sugarcane plantations of Natal Colony+ in dire conditions. Many were incarcerated alongside Nelson Mandela+ following the Rivonia Trial+, and many became martyred fighting to end racial discrimination there.
Some of the earliest Indian immigrants to settle in Oman were the Bhatia+s of Kutch+, who have a powerful presence in Oman dating back to the 16th century. A sizable number migrated after the Partition of India+ and subsequent creation of independent Pakistan+ in 1947. Hindus and Jains+ are largely vegetarians, to a greater extent than Hindu communities elsewhere in India, however many Gujaratis such as Rajputs+ and Muslims+ have traditionally eaten a variety of meats and seafood.


It is found satisfying by most Gujaratis, and cooked very regularly in most homes, typically on a busy day due to its ease of cooking.
People from north Gujarat use dry red chili powder, whereas people from south Gujarat prefer using green chili and coriander in their cooking. In many parts of Gujarat, drinking chaas+ (chilled buttermilk+) or soda after lunch or dinner is also quite common. A version of English custard+ is made in Gujarat that uses cornstarch+ instead of the traditional eggs.
Ardeshar Khabardar+ who was president of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad+ was a nationalist poet. Writers like Harindra Dave, Suresh Dalal, Jyotindra Dave, Dinkar Joshi+, Prahlad Brahmbhatt, Tarak Mehta, Harkisan Mehta, Chandrakant Bakshi+, Vinod Bhatt, Kanti Bhatt, Makarand Dave+, and Varsha Adalja+ have influenced Gujarati thinkers.
Kanji Swami+ a spiritual mystic who was honored with the title, 'Koh-i-noor+ of Kathiawar+' made literary contributions to Jain+ philosophy and promoted Ratnatraya+.
These include Mahatma Gandhi+, Sardar Patel+, and father of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah+.
Gujaratis are very prominent in industry+ and key figures played an historic role in the introduction of the doctrine of Swaraj+ and the decisive victory of the 1947 Indian independence movement+ in British-ruled India+. There are significant Gujarati communities in other parts of India, most notably in Mumbai+, Delhi+, Calcutta+, Madras+, Bangalore+ and other metropolitan areas like Kollam+ and Kochi+ in Kerala+. The countries with the largest Gujarati populations are Pakistan, United Kingdom, United States, Canada and many countries in Southern and East Africa.
Gujaratis first went to the UK in the 19th century with the establishment of the British Raj+ in India. Cities with significant Gujarati populations include Leicester+ and London boroughs of Brent+, Barnet+, Harrow+ and Wembley+. All major Hindu festivals such as Navratri+, Dassara, and Diwali+ are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm even from the generations brought up in UK. Significant immigration from India to the United States started after the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965+, Early immigrants after 1965 were highly educated professionals.
The majority of them live in Toronto and its suburbs+ - home to the second largest Gujarati community in North America after the New York Metropolitan Area. Since the representation of Indians in these occupations was high, stereotyping of Indians in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyka as shopkeepers was common. The African politicians at that time accused Asians of economic exploitation and introduced a policy of Africanization.
The immigrants who arrived with the British were the first ones to open up businesses in rural Kenya a century ago. Some died, while others returned to India after the end of their contracts, but few chose to stay. Passenger Indians, who initially operated in Durban, expanded inland, to the South African Republic (Transvaal+), establishing communities in settlements on the main road between Johannesburg+ and Durban. Notable South African Indians of Gujarati heritage include Marxist+ freedom fighters such as Ahmed Timol+ (activist), Yusuf Dadoo+ (activist), Ahmed Kathrada+ (activist), Amina Cachalia+ (activist) and Dullah Omar+ (activist), as well as Ahmed Deedat+ (missionary), Imran Garda+ (Al Jazeera English) and Hashim Amla+ (cricketer). At the turn of the 19th century, Gujaratis wielded such immense political clout that Faisal bin Turki+, the great-grandfather of the current ruler, spoke Gujarati+ and Swahili+ far better than he spoke Arabic and Oman's sultan Syed Said (1791-1856) was persuaded to shift his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar+, more than two thousand miles from the Arabian mainland, on the recommendation of Shivji Topan and Bhimji families who lent money to the Sultan. These Pakistani Gujaratis belong mainly to the Isma?ili+, Khoja+, Dawoodi Bohra+, Chundrigar+, Charotar Sunni Vohra+, Muslim Ghanchi+ and Memon+ groups; however, many Gujaratis are also a part of Pakistan's small but vibrant Hindu community+. Gujarati cuisine+ follows the traditional Indian full meal structure of rice, cooked vegetables, lentil dal+ or curry and ''roti+''.
It can also become an elaborate meal such as a thali+ when served with several other side dishes such as a vegetable curry, yogurt, sabzi+ shaak, onions, mango pickle and papad+.
There is no standard recipe for Gujarati dishes, however the use of tomatoes and lemons+ is a consistent theme throughout Gujarat. Well known laureates of Gujarati literature are Jhaverchand Meghani+, Avinash Vyas+, Hemchandracharya+, Narsinh Mehta+, Gulabdas Broker+, Akho+, Premanand Bhatt+, Shamal Bhatt+, Dayaram+, Dalpatram+, Narmad+, Govardhanram Tripathi+, Mahatma Gandhi+, K.
His poem, ''Jya Jya Vase Ek Gujarati, Tya Tya Sadakal Gujarat'' (Wherever a Gujarati resides, there forever is Gujarat) depicts Gujarati ethnic pride and is widely popular in Gujarat.
Ketan Mehta and Sanjay Leela Bhansali+ explored artistic use of bhavai in films such as ''Bhavni Bhavai+'', ''Oh Darling! All throughout history Gujaratis have earned a reputation as being India's greatest merchants, industrialists and business entrepreneurs, and have therefore been at forefront of migrations all over the world, particularly to regions that were part of the British empire such as Fiji+, Hong Kong+, East Africa+ and countries in Southern Africa+. Outside of the Near East+, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Northwestern Indian states, Haplogroup U7 is non-existent. Globally, Gujaratis are estimated to comprise around 33% of the Indian diaspora worldwide and can be found in 129 of 190 countries listed as sovereign nations by the United Nations+.
Prominent members of this community such as Dadabhai Navroji+ and Shyamji Krishna Varma+ played a vital role in exerting political pressure upon colonial powers during the struggle for Indian Independence+. There is also a small, but vibrant Parsi+ community of Zoroastrians+ present in the country, dating back to the bygone era of Dadabhai Navroji+, Shapurji Saklatvala+ and Pherozeshah Mehta+. Gujarati Hindus also maintain their caste affiliation to some extent with most major castes having their own community association in each population center with significant Gujarati population such as Leicester and London suburbs. It is designed to regulate the affairs of the community and apply sanctions against infractions of the communal code. Since US immigration laws allow sponsoring immigration of parents, children and particularly siblings on the basis of family reunion, the numbers rapidly swelled in a phenomenon known as "chain migration+".
In the 1890s, 32,000 labourers from British India were East Africa+ under indentured labour contracts to work on the construction of the Uganda Railway+ that started in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa+ and ended in Kisumu+ on Kenyan side of Lake Victoria+.
The 1968 Committee on "Africanisation in Commerce and Industry" in Uganda made far-reaching Indophobic proposals. They were joined by Gujarat+i traders called "passenger Indians", both Hindu and Muslim free migrants who came to serve the economic needs of the indentured labourers, and to capitalise on the economic opportunities. After wealthy Gujarati Muslim+ merchants began experiencing discrimination from repressive colonial legislation in Natal+, they sought the help of one young lawyer, Mahatma Gandhi+ to represent the case of a Memon+ businessman.
In modern times, business tycoon Kanaksi Khimji, from the famous Khimji family of Gujarat was conferred title of Sheikh+ by the Sultan, the first ever use of the title for a member of the Hindu+ community. Famous Gujaratis of Pakistan include Muhammed Ali Jinnah+, Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar+, Abdul Sattar Edhi+, Jehangir H.


The different types of flatbreads that a Gujarati cooks are rotli or chapati+, bhakhri+, thepla or dhebara, puri+, maal purah, and puran-pohli. Gujarati families celebrate Sharad Purnima+ by having dinner with doodh-pauva under moonlight. Diasporas and transnational networks in many of these countries date back to more than a century.
Expansion times and haplotype+ diversities for the Indian and Near and Middle Eastern U7 mtDNAs are strikingly similar. Non Resident Gujaratis+ (NRGs) maintain active links with the homeland in the form of business, remittance+, philanthropy+, and through their political contribution to state governed domestic affairs.
Now this community is mostly the second and third generation descendants of "twice-over" immigrants from the former British colonies of East Africa+, Portugal+, and Indian Ocean Islands+. Both Hindus and Muslims have established caste or community associations, temples, and mosques to cater for the needs of their respective communities. Patidars+ form the largest community in the diaspora including Kutch Leva Patels, followed closely by Lohanas+ of Saurashtra+ origin. Gujarati Muslim communities, such as the Isma?ili+, Khoja+, Dawoodi Bohra+, Sunni Bohra+, and Memon+ have caste+ associations, known as jamats that run mosques and community centers for their respective communities. Given the Gujarati propensity for business enterprise, a number of them opened shops and motels.
The Ismaili Khoja+ form a significant part of the Canadian diaspora estimated to be about 80,000 in numbers overall. Most of the surviving Indians returned home, but 6,724 individuals decided to remain in the African Great Lakes+ after the line's completion. A system of work permits and trade licenses was introduced in 1969 to restrict the role of Indians in economic and professional activities.
Over the following decades the population, mainly Gujarati but also a sizable Punjabi too, increased in size.
Many of the buildings constructed then still remain in Stone Town+, the focal trading point on the island. Umar Hajee Ahmed Jhaveri+ was consequently elected the first president of the South African Indian Congress+. The Muscati Mahajan is one of the oldest merchants associations founded more than a century ago. Kothari+, Javed Miandad+, Abdul Gaffar Billoo+, Tapu Javeri+, Pervez Hoodbhoy+, and Ardeshir Cowasjee+. Popular snacks such as Khaman+, Dhokla+, Pani Puri+, Dhokli, dal-dhokli, Undhiyu+, Jalebi+, fafda, chevdoh+, Samosa+, papri chaat+, Muthia, Bhajia, Patra, bhusu, locho, sev , fafda gathiya, vanela gathiya and Sev mamra+ are traditional Gujarati dishes savoured by many communities across the world. Munshi+, Umashankar Joshi+, Suresh Joshi+, Pannalal Patel+, Imamuddin khanji Babi Saheb (Ruswa mazlumi), Niranjan Bhagat+, Rajendra Keshavlal Shah+, Raghuveer Chaudhari+ and Sitanshu Yashaschandra Mehta+. In recent decades, larger numbers of Gujaratis have migrated to English speaking countries such as United Kingdom+, Australia, Canada+ and the United States+. Most of them despite being British Subject+s had restricted access to Britain after successive Immigration acts of 1962+, 1968+ and 1971+. A well known temple popular with Gujaratis is the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple+ in Neasdon, London.
Gujarati Rajputs+ from various regional backgrounds are affiliated with several independent British organizations dependant on caste such as Shree Maher Samaj UK, and the Gujarati Arya Kshatriya Mahasabha-UK.
Now in the 21st century over 40% of the hospitality industry+ in the United States is controlled by Gujaratis. Most of them arrived in Canada in the 1970s as immigrants from Uganda+ and other countries of East Africa.
Gujarati and other South Asians had significant influence on the economy, constituting 1% of the population while receiving a fifth of the national income.
Most were, however, eventually admitted on the basis of a Quota voucher system or, in case of Uganda, as refugees after the expulsion order by the Uganda+n ruler, Idi Amin+ in August 1972+.
A popular mosque that caters for the Gujarati Muslim community in Leicester is the Masjid Umar+. Gujaratis, especially the Patidar samaj, also dominate as franchisees of fast food restaurant chains such as Subway+ and Dunkin' Donuts+. For example, in Uganda, the Mehta+ and Madhvani+ families controlled the bulk of the manufacturing businesses. During the middle of the 1960s many Asians saw the writing on the wall and started moving either to UK or India. At that time the majority of Gujaratis opted for British citizenship and eventually moved there, especially to cities like Leicester+ or London+ suburbs.
The descendants of the Gujarati immigrant generation have also made high levels of advancement into professional+ fields, including as physician+s, engineer+s and politicians. However, restrictive British immigration policies stopped a mass exodus of East African Asians until Idi Amin+ came to power in 1971.
Famous Kenyans of Gujarati heritage who contributed greatly in the development of East Africa include Thakkar Bapa+, Manu Chandaria+, Atul Shah+, Baloobhai Patel+, Bhimji Depar Shah+ (Forbes), Naushad Merali+ (Forbes), and Indian philanthropist, Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee+, who played a large role in the development of modern-day Kenya during colonial rule.
Additionally, the tariff system in Uganda had historically been oriented toward the economic interests of South Asian traders. He exploited pre-existing Indophobia and spread propaganda against Indians involving stereotyping and scapegoating the Indian minority. Most members of this community belonged to Gujarati speaking Halari Visa Oshwal Jain community originally from the Jamnagar+ area of Saurashtra+.
Indians were labelled as "dukawallas" (an occupational term that degenerated into an anti-Indian slur during Amin's time), and stereotyped as "greedy, conniving", without any racial identity or loyalty but "always cheating, conspiring and plotting" to subvert Uganda. Amin used this propaganda to justify a campaign of "de-Indianization", eventually resulting in the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Uganda's Indian minority.



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