The Oshwal E-Report
An Electronic Newsletter
by the Halari Visa Oshwals of America
www.oshwal-usa.org Oshwal e-Report – May/June 2012

Franklin Township Jain Center of NJ Tour

Thank You to everyone who could attend the Franklin Township Jain center of NJ on Sunday April 29, 2012. It was a great turn out and everyone took a lot of interest in it’s progress. Hope you enjoyed taking the tour as much as we did. Few things that we wanted to follow up after the tour.

  • If you are interested in floor plan and areas of donation, please let us know.
  • If you wish to receive emails form JCNJ, please let us know so we can direct you to the contact person.
  • If you are able to volunteer for this Grand event, you can visit www.jaincenternj.org to get more details about the Pratishtha Program, volunteer areas, areas of donation(Gheebolis) and much more.
  • Here is the link to the Pratishtha Program for the 9 day Grand Celebration.   In short it’s from June 29 to July 8th 2012: http://www.jaincenternj.org/Pratishtha/Documents/Final%20Program-April27.pdf

Don’t miss this opportunity to attend this grand celebration in USA. This is once in lifetime event you can be a part of and be proud of. If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to write to us.


Treasurer’s Report: Jayanti Galaiya

Currently we have $10446.10 as total balance, of which $8301.50 is marked for the boarding and $1485.50 is marked for Bangalore Mahajan Wadi.  This leaves us with $659.10 after we have paid off both the projects.  I have asked couple of more people to donate towards Bangalore and intend to make it Rs.100,000.00. We intend to close both of these chapters soon.

Kids Corner:   

Medical Word Scramble – Answers for last month: Germ, Virus, Scrub, aches, clean, influenza, bacteria

Riddle:  There was a silver car parked in front of a green house. The silver car had to pay a $500 fine. Why?

Teacher: Now, Sam tell me frankly do you say prayers before eating?
Sam: No Sir, I don’t have to my mom is a good cook.


Mother’s Day Poem

by Seena beed

Moms are loving
They care for us
They drive us to school
Or we take the bus
They make us dinner
Delicious food
Sing us to bed
And keep us in a happy mood

HISTORY OF HVOA (Halari Visa Oshwals of America)

by Manek Dodhia

Preface – by Bina Beed

 As you know History is one of the most important parts of our present and for future generations, this article is an attempt to write the History of HVOA for our future generations of Mahajan community. This history is intended to be neither comprehensive nor official.

As time passes, each generation of Oshwals risks losing understanding of where the community has been; this appreciation is vital in keeping the community engaged and active as it navigates where it is to go.  I asked the American Community’s earliest-immigrating members to write a brief history of the Community’s development in America.   I hope it will give the younger members a better understanding of the why Halari Visa Oshwals of America came to be, and the challenges it overcame to do so.  My sincerest thanks to everyone who contributed, and special thanks to Manek Dodhia, who completed the final write-up


Halari Visa Oshwals is a very small community originally settled since last 560+ years in the Halar district around Jamnagar city in the western part of Gujarat, India. Prior to settlement in Halar, the community’s roots were in Rajasthan and Kutchh. In Halar, the community’s main source of livelihood was agriculture as the majority of the members were illiterate. From Halar the community families mass migrated mostly to Mumbai, East Africa and United Kingdom to earn livelihood and for advancement. Currently the total worldwide Halari Visa Oshwal Community population is around 80,000 in number.

The Halari Visa Oshwal migration to America, specifically United States and Canada, began in the mid 1960s. A group of Oshwals came here to further their education and professional careers. After their education, many oshwals entered the job market and found new opportunities attractive enough to settle in North America. This first group of Oshwals was made up mostly bachelors who returned to their home land (India and East Africa to find suitable mates to start families and establish roots in America. A small number married American Anglos. Halari Visa Oshwals in America have generally preserved their culture, tradition and religion here, holding various organized social and religious functions.

In the mid 1970s, another group of oshwal immigrants came here due to unsettled political situation in East Africa. The majority of these oshwals settled in Canada as well as in USA.

During the 1980s, the oshwals immigrating to America were mostly relatives of the first and second Groups.

These pioneers who settled mostly in North East USA were instrumental in formation of the Halari Visa Oshwal organization of America; there were a few common reasons that led to bring the community members closer via communications and frequent gatherings:

  1. Everybody in USA, so far away from homeland-India probably very first time. Each one was homesick being away from family in this new vast and strange land, culture and fast lifestyle
  2. Communicating to the family members in India was difficult and expensive ( telephone call  cost to India  was five dollars per minute with minimum call charge time 3 minutes and the operator on the other side in India listening every word you speak on phone, reminding you that ” your three minutes over, do you want to talk more!”). For most of us this high international telephone call charge was not affordable at that time. (Graduate professionals were earning about10 to 12 k/year) with all kinds of obligations here in America as well as in India).
  3. The Oshwal immigrants from 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s that settled in North America was fresh and familiar with Halari customs, village lifestyle, our original Halari Katchhi language, food, functions, festivals etc- these things were missed by everyone as they were scattered in different parts and places in USA for work or studies.
  4. We wanted to retain and strengthen the link with our roots, Halari common customs/ culture with the sincere hope to pass it on to the future generations of oshwals in America.

During 1990s and onwards a new group of oshwal immigrants mostly with advanced technical knowhow in computer and financial fields is steadily settling in America. Currently this group is sizable in number. They have advanced in their fields and careers much faster than the earlier groups of 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. At the same time, the children of the earlier groups are also entering in the job market with advanced degrees in education in multiple fields and they seem to be doing very well.

Nearly two generations- over 40 years have passed from that beginning of SINCERE HOPE.  In our new and younger generations, the current trend for the interest in the community events participation interest dwindling and looks little bit less encouraging. There may be multiple reasons for this situation:

  1. Majority of the oshwal community younger members in America are born and brought up here. Many of them may not have visited India or members of the joint family there. So obviously they may have less exposure to their roots. They are not homesick like their parents/grandparents. Everything for them is here in America.
  2. The current trend of mixed/intercaste marriages is rising. So many common culture, lifestyles, customs etc. are changing.
  3. The advancement in science and technology, new tools (cell phone, Facebook, SMS, TV, computer, ipads, iphones, etc) take away a lot of time.
  4. With advanced education, the new generation earn much more than earlier generation.  So they may have expanded hobbies, friend circle, leisure activities to pass time

In closing………..

The history of the Oshwal settlement in America is almost 50 years old. We are in the third generation in America! The old generation is beginning to reach the retirement age. The new generation is in the driving seat.  The new generation’s career fields, social contacts, interests, thinking, amenities, activities etc are much diversified leaving lesser time for community activities.  Obviously the new generation, born and brought up in America has lesser degree of exposure and attachment to oshwal roots, history or the hardships that earlier generations went through. But now is the time that the new generation should take over the responsibilities for this organization to further cause, build the spirit that  WE ARE A FAMILY

Our Oshwal-USA.org website is frequently updated with community news, event details and links to interesting information related to the Oshwal community.

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