Being Tamil, being Hindu:Tamil migrants’ negotiations of the absence of Tamil Hindu spaces in the West Midlands and South West of England


This paper considers the religious practices of Tamil Hindus who have settled in the West Midlands and South West of England in order to explore how devotees of a specific ethno-regional Hindu tradition with a well-established UK infrastructure in the site of its adherents’ population density adapt their religious practices in settlement areas which lack this infrastructure. Unlike the majority of the UK Tamil population who live in the London area, the participants in this study did not have ready access to an ethno-religious infrastructure of Tamil-orientated temples and public rituals. The paper examines two means by which this absence was addressed as well as the intersections and negotiations of religion and ethnicity these entailed: firstly, Tamil Hindus’ attendance of temples in their local area which are orientated towards a broadly imagined Hindu constituency or which cater to a non-Tamil ethno-linguistic or sectarian community; and, secondly, through the ‘DIY’ performance of ethnicised Hindu ritual in non-institutional settings.

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Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > Sociology and Policy
Languages & Social Sciences
Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Permission is granted subject to the terms of the License under which the work was published. Please check the License conditions for the work which you wish to reuse. Full and appropriate attribution must be given. This permission does not cover any third party copyrighted material which may appear in the work requested. funding: This work was supported by the ESRC under Grant ES/G016666/1
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tamils,Hinduism,migration,ethnicity,religion,ritual,Sociology and Political Science
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
http://www.tand ... 1X.2015.1027968 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016
Published Online Date: 2015-06-15
Accepted Date: 2015-03-06
Submitted Date: 2012-10-04
Authors: Jones, Demelza ( 0000-0002-5985-1972)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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