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The history of Gujarati
Names and writing system
Gujarati today by Viv Edwards
Gujarati is spoken by an estimated 47 million people worldwide.Some Gujaratis came direct from India to the UK in the 1950s and 1960s; many more arrived via East Africa where they moved at the beginning of the twentieth century to work as farmers and traders. Political discontent in the 1960s - which culminated in the expulsion of the South Asian population from Uganda in 1972 - led many British passport holders to settle in the UK, or Canada.
Gujaratis form the second largest of the British South Asian speech communities, with important settlements in Leicester and Coventry in the Midlands, in the northern textile towns and in Greater London.
In a survey of London schoolchildren in 2000, Gujarati was the fourth most commonly spoken language in the capital. Gujarati families are found, in particular, in a western zone from Hounslow to Barnet, including both Harrow and Brent, and in a smaller eastern zone which consists of Lewisham and Newham. More recently there has been some movement of Gujarati speakers from larger cities to areas such as Gloucestershire. Some Gujaratis use Kachchi as the language of the home. However, because Gujarati has greater status in India as the language of state government and education, Kachchi has tended to be considered a dialect of Gujarati, rather than a language in its own right. Gujarati Muslims will also have varying degrees of loyalty to Urdu and Qu'ranic Arabic.The Gujarati community is served by two weekly publications, Gujarat Samachar and Garavi Gujarat. Radio stations broadcasting some programmes in Gujarati include BBC Asian network, Sunrise Radio in West London, Sabras Radio in Leicester, Asian Sound Radio in Manchester, Me FM in Aberdeen, Radio XL in the West Midlands and Sunrise Radio-Yorkshire.