New Delhi, August 16 India was alive in the hearts of the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) thousands of miles away in South Africa. Its traditions and culture even after more than hundred years were even today in practice there. That’s why marriages and other rituals were being conducted in the Indian style as per one’s own religion. Most of the PIOs prefer a marriage within the Indian community. Says Haji Mohamed Ebrahim Hajat, a PIO from Gujarat now living at Bedford View, a small city, proudly on telephone: “That’s why the wedding of my maternal granddaughter Asma Mayet is going to be solemnized on August 19 in a pure Indian Muslim style. However, the only thing that makes the marriage different from India is ‘Dain Mehar’ being paid in South Africa’s Kruger coin.”
It is to point out that Asma Mayet, daughter of Abu Bakar Siddique Mayet and Shaista Bibi would marry Adil Mayet, a businessman. The ‘Nikah’ ceremony would be held at a local mosque of Johannesburg. This would be an arranged marriage. This also showed its Indianness. According to an opinion poll, in India 78 per cent marriages were arranged by the parents/ guardians, or ‘wali’, known in Arabic.
A B Ed degree holder, Asma Mayet was the daughter of Haji Hajat’s only daughter Shaista Bibi who ranked two among the six surviving children of Haji Hajat. Both Asma Mayet and Adil Mayet hailed from Johannesburg.
Most of the PIO in South Africa do business. A 72-year old top business tycoon, Haji Hajat whose father had migrated to Binoni (South Africa) from Alipore (Gujarat, India) in 1912, ran half a dozen petrol stations in different cities of South Africa from his headquarters at Bruma. His wife Zoolekha Hajat, popularly known as Julie looked after the business as Managing Director. The father of his son-in-law Abu Bakar Siddique Mayet, too a businessman in Johannesburg, had also gone to South Africa from Gujarat.
The over-zealous Haji Ebrahim Hajat and Hajjan Zoolekha Hajat have invited a number of persons from India, the country of their origin as well as the persons of Indian origin, living in different parts of South Africa and elsewhere. According to them, such moment provided an opportunity to the persons of Indian origin to gather at a place and meet each other.