Gujarati and Sindhi Studies : societies, languages and cultures.
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A working group of scholars, students and professionals

The working group Gujarati Studies: society, language and culture started in October 2004 in continuation of the research works and teaching of Mrs. Françoise Mallison, emeritus Directeur d'Etudes in the Historical and Philological Sciences Dept. of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), so that Gujarati studies may subsist in Paris, but also in France. Then, it extended its activities to Sindh and took the name of Gujarati and Sindhi Studies: societies, languages and cultures.

Bringing together about one hundred scholars, students and professionals, Gujarati and Sindhi Studies is organizing a monthly meeting in which one of its members or a guest is invited to give a lecture on a theme related to Gujarat and Sindh or to Gujarati and Sindhi Diasporas (see below the list of the previous lectures). In addition to the main topic, a session may also include a book review or short comments on the last available publications that are of interest to the members.

Gujarati and Sindhi Studies owed at first part of its success to the participation of its members of Gujarati origin. Most of them came to settle in France from the francophone islands of the Indian Ocean, mainly from Madagascar and Reunion. Persons from Gujarati and Sindhi origin number about 5 000 in the Paris area; however, some members are also residing outside Paris, in Reunion and in Madagascar, or in other countries.

Gujarati and Sindhi Studies maintain relations with some other groups of scholars, whose working themes and research areas are related to its main objects and may organize sessions in common with them.

Group members are invited to propose common working or reflection themes related to their scholarly background or to their concerns. The following themes of study and projects have been dealt with during the last two years:

  • Architecture (in 2010-2011), Gujarati communities in Portugal and in its previous colonies.
  • The study of the Gujarati and Sindhi speaking communities in the Paris area, among which the most numerous are the Bohras, the Ismailis, and the Ithna Ashari Khojas.
  • The publication of the proceedings of the Gujarat Symposium held in Paris on the 16th and 17th June 2003: "Instances of Patronage : Arts, Literature and Religion in Gujarat", organized by the research group Inde médiévale et moderne : textes et contextes attached to the EPHE, under the direction of Mrs. F.‘N.' Delvoye.

The working group Gujarati and Sindhi Studies is attached to the Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient under the responsibility of Pierre Lachaier (Maître de Conférence at the EFEO), who coordinates its activities in consultation with Mrs. Françoise Mallison, Mrs. Nalini Balbir (Indology Professor at the University of Paris-3 and Directeur d'Etudes at EPHE), Mr. Michel Boivin (Chargé de Recherche au Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CNRS) and Mr. Akil Amiraly (PhD postdoctoral-Student, Management Research Centre, Ecole Polytechnique-CNRS) and with their collaboration.

The 4th October 2007 (updated in December 2011)
Pierre Lachaier.

Contact::

A. Amiraly : akilamiraly@yahoo.com
N. Balbir : nalini.balbir@wanadoo.fr
M. Boivin : michel.boivin@ehess.fr
P. Lachaier : pierre.lachaier@wanadoo.fr
F. Mallison : fmallison@hotmail.com