Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Hindu Diaspora in Portugal: The Case of Our Lady of Fatima Devotion

  • Inês Lourenço
  • Rita Cachado
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_821-1


South Asian Diaspora in Portugal is diverse in nationalities and religious practices. The most prominent population is Hindu-Gujarati, living in Portugal since the late 1970s of the last century. This migration route was boosted by decolonization of Mozambique in 1975 (former Portuguese colony), from where this population migrated before. Anchored in long-term fieldwork, our researches allowed us to access specificities of this group. Particularly, this entry focuses on Hindu practices that incorporate elements of Portuguese Catholicism.

In domestic shrines, beyond Hindu deities, we often find a representation of Our Lady of Fatima. Moreover, every family visits the sanctuary in Portugal at least once each year. Through the phenomenon of inclusion of Our Lady of Fatima in Hindu ritual and pilgrimage practices, we will present ethnographic results from these religious practices with connections with Mozambique, India, and the UK. We will reflect about processes of Hinduization of catholic beliefs and its transnational impact, as well as on (in)visibility/visibility strategies (Knott K (2016) The tactics of (in)visibility of religious communities in contemporary Europe. In Bochinger C, Rüpke J (eds) Dynamics of religion: past and present, vol 67. De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston) and integration.

With the analysis of these dynamics, specific of the Portuguese context, we aim to challenge dominant views about the Hindu diaspora through perspectives that allow us to observe Indian diasporas, as Oonk suggested, “with an eye for nuance and variation” (Oonk G (2007) Introduction. In Gijsbert Oonk (ed) Global Indian diasporas: exploring trajectories of migration and theory. IIAS/Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, pp 24, 9–30).

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inês Lourenço
    • 1
  • Rita Cachado
    • 2
  1. 1.CRIA, Centre for Research in AnthropologyISCTE/IUL, Lisbon University InstituteLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Social and Research MethodsCIES-IUL Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology – University Institute of LisbonLisbonPortugal