Wedding Oshwal Centre.
Sayijan & Vidya’s Hindu wedding was held at the Oshwal Centre in Potters Bar. I have put together a little slide show of their wedding photography. I hope you enjoy it x
The Oshwal Centre is a beautiful wedding venue and I have added a little bit of information about it here:
Oshwal Association of the U.K. (OAUK) is the largest Jain organisation in the U.K. It was established in 1967 and registered as a charitable organisation in 1974.
The history of the Halari Visa Oshwal Community dates back to 457 B.C. to the state of Ossiya in Central Rajasthan, India. The name “Oshwal” is believed to have derived from “Ossiya”. Due to adverse conditions, Oshwals migrated to Sindh, and then Kutch and finally settled in 52 villages around Jam Nagar and became known as the Halari Visa Oshwals. To this day, the descent of the Halari Visa Oshwals is traced by reference to one of the 52 villages in India and their “attak”, or clan name, which was derived from the founding members of the family.
The migration of the Halari Visa Oshwals to East Africa commenced in the latter part of the 1890s where they settled mainly as traders and professionals.
The earliest Oshwal settlers to the UK were in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Initially an informal social group was formed and the Oshwal community saw its early beginnings. The first migration from East Africa was in 1968, often referred to as “the exodus”, which saw the community numbers increase.
A strong ethic of hard work and entrepreneurial flair has seen Oshwals establish successful businesses in virtually all sectors and professions in most fields, including; law, medicine, accountancy & financial services.
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Oshwals are largely followers of the Jain faith, an ancient religion originating from India. Followers of the faith revere Lord Mahavir the 24th Tirthanker (A Tirthanker is a living being who attains enlightenment). Lord Mahavir’s teachings can be dated between 570 B.C. and 527 B.C.
The guiding principles of the Jain faith are Right Belief, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. One of the key tenets of the Jain faith is non-violence towards all living beings. By practicing the basic tenets, followers of the Jain faith believe that human kind will be able to live in peace and harmony with each other and with all living beings in the Universe.
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OAUK currently has approximately 15,000 registered members and the overall population is estimated at 25,000. For administration purposes, the Association is divided into 9 Areas. The governance and administration of Association is dealt with by the Executive Committee and each Area is managed by an Area Committee. Elections of both the Executive Committee and the Area Committees take place every two years.
The Charity Objectives in summary are: –
- The advancement of the Jain Religion in the U.K.
- The relief of poverty, advancement of education and the protection of health.
The Association has four venues: –
- Oshwal Centre, Coopers Lane Road, Northaw, Hertfordshire EN6 4DG. This is also the site of the first Shikarband Jain Temple in Europe.
- Oshwal Mahajanwadi, 1 Campbell Road, Croydon, Surrey CR0 2SQ
- Oshwal EKTA Centre, 366A Stag Lane, Kingsbury, London NW9 9AA
- Oshwal Shakti Centre, Inwood Road, Hounslow, Middlesex TW13 1UX
Work carried out by OAUK
Oshwal Association of the U.K. carries out regular activities for the welfare and benefit of its members including religious activities, the running of Gujarati Schools, Adult education classes, seminars on health and welfare, events for the elderly, sports clubs for the children and various cultural and heritage programmes.
The Association also promotes charitable work and raises funds for animal welfare, education and health care for those in need. At times of natural disasters and catastrophes’ the community has raised substantial sums to assist such causes. The majority of the work is carried out by volunteers who take time out of their professional and family lives to devote time back to the community. Oshwals also volunteer for a large number of other charities and organisations and hold posts as school governors, magistrates etc. Several have been recognised for their contributions and have been awarded with honours.
The history of the Halari Visa Oshwal Community commences from very humble beginnings and dates back to 457 B.C. when the state of Ossiya was founded (roughly situated in central Rajasthan in India) and the King, ministers and a large number of soldiers and their families gave up the consumption of alcohol and meat and converted to the Jain faith.
Due to adverse natural conditions, a number of these Oshwals migrated to Sindh (now Western Pakistan) in around 10th to 12th Century A.D. The conditions being no better, they then migrated to Kutch (part of the state of Gujarat). In around the 16th Century A.D., following a dispute between two brothers of the ruling family, the Oshwals followed Jam Rawal who founded a settlement in the Halar District of Gujarat and set up his capital city, Jam Nagar. The Oshwals settled in 52 villages around Jam Nagar and became known as the Halari Visa Oshwals.
To this day, the descent of the Halari Visa Oshwals is traced by reference to one of the 52 villages in India and their “attak”, or clan name, which was derived from the founding members of the family.
Looking for better economic opportunities, some Oshwals migrated to cities like Jamnagar and Mumbai. Eking out a meagre living from farming, Oshwals learnt about economic opportunities in what was then British East Africa, and the first Halari Visa Oshwal, Mr Jetha Anand set out in 1896 and settled in Madagascar. In 1898, Mr Hirji Kara, Mr Popatlal Vershi, Mr Devji Hirji and Mr Nathu Devji set out and settled in Kenya. Following this a large number of Halari Visa Oshwals migrated to Kenya and settled in Mombasa as traders, gradually spreading to Nairobi and other towns as the building of the railway progressed in Kenya. During the course, they also settled in Uganda and Tanzania.
History of Oshwals in the U.K.
The earliest Oshwal settlers to the UK were in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Initially an informal social group was formed and the Oshwal community saw its early beginnings. The first migration from East Africa was in 1968, often referred to as “the exodus”, which saw the community increase in numbers , The main migration of Oshwals happened from 1968 and 1972 onwards. Many, especially those expelled from Uganda, arrived with nothing. To earn a living, the Oshwals, both men and women, took up employment in factories, shops, offices, London Transport etc with one driving ambition, to feed and educate their families and to provide a roof over their heads. Gradually, following years of hard work, many were able to purchase their own homes, shops and start up small businesses. At the same time, as the children grew up and pursued further education, a growing number of Oshwals took up jobs as professionals. Up until the 1990s Oshwals who had retained British Citizenship continued to migrate from East Africa, making the UK their home. [Time line history to be provided]
Oshwals are followers of the Jain faith, an ancient religion originating from India. Jainism was preached by 24 Tirthankaras (liberated souls) of which Lord Mahavir was the 24thTirthankar and who propounded the current form of Jainism.
Lord Mahavir was born in 599 BCE in Bihar, India and was a prince. At the age of 30 he gave up all attachment to worldly goods and family and took up the life of an ascetic. After 12 and a half years of severe penance he achieved Keval Gnan (realization of perfect perception, knowledge, power, and bliss). For the next 30 years, he travelled far and wide in India teaching the philosophy of the Jain faith. In 527 BCE, at the age of 72, Lord Mahavir attained Nirvana (complete liberation from the cycle of life and birth)
Jainism teaches that the path to liberation from the cycle of life and birth is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. Jain principles are set so that they can be practiced by ascetics, as well as lay members of the community with varying degrees of penance. The very essence of Jainism is the concern of the welfare of every being within the Universe and for the health and welfare of the Universe.
Right Belief, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct
The 5 Great Vows
- Ahimsa – Non violence towards all living creatures
- Aparihagraha – Non- attachment to possessions and others
- Satya – Truth
- Asteya – Not Stealing
- Brahmacharya – Sexual Restraint
By practicing these basic tenets, followers of the Jain faith believe that human kind will be able to live in peace and harmony with each other and with all living beings in the Universe.
An ardent follower of the principle of Ahimsa in modern times was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi)
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