I am proud to be an Oshwal

(note: this is part 1/2 of a series by Rati Dodhia.  See here for Part 2 “Origin of Oshwal Community”)

Like many people of our community I knew practically nothing about our history when I was in school, collage and immigrated to the United States.  When first time I read about history of Oshwal community which was in late 1970, I realized what I had missed. This not only reaffirmed the richness of our culture and traditions and but also made me more proud of being born in this noble community.  My search for more information about our origin and exemplary progress during the last 120 years resulted in my book titled: “Rise and Glory, History of Halari Visa Oshwals”.  The book is posted on our web site: http://www.oshwal-usa.org/history/

Many people will wonder why I am writing these articles about our community. The reason is I want everyone, young and old, boy or girl and man and woman out there to be proud of being born in this community as much as I am or even more.

Let me start with asking you all: Are you all proud of being an American? I am sure the answer is going to be yes and rightfully so. But have you ever asked yourself why you are proud to be an American. Again I am sure the answer is going to be because America is the richest, most powerful country with vast resources and ample opportunities for everyone to pursue ones desire to improve the quality of life.  This is very true, but what has that to do with us. What have we done to make this country being rich or powerful? Most of us have done very little or nothing but we are still part of this great country.

So just as we are proud to be an American, Why not to be proud of being an Oshwal? I have come to know that many people do not care and have an attitude of, “so what is so great about being an Oshwal. What has that community done for us?”

This community has origin that goes back to Lord Mahavira’s time. It has a rich heritage. It practices one of the oldest religions of the world. It is one of the richest communities in India; it is one of the most honest communities in the world.

In the articles which will follow, I intend to write about our origin, our religion, our ancestry and our heroes of past and present to make each one of us feel proud of being an Oshwal.

Before I end this article, I have couple of questions for all.

  1. Do you know the history of your own family?
  2. Our community is made up of many sub-groups. These sub-groups are our last names or surnames. Do you know your surname? Do you know the origin of your surname?

If you do know the answer to these two questions will you please briefly write to me at this E-mail address: history@oshwal-usa.org

 (note: this is part 1/2 of a series by Rati Dodhia.  See here for Part 2 “Origin of Oshwal Community”)