Gujarati Samaj of Montreal Inc is a non-profit community-based organization totally dedicated to the advancement of Gujarati culture, religions, folklore, history, and philosophy. Set up formally in September 1976, The Gujarati Samaj – Montreal Inc undertakes to enhance and foster the Gujarati heritage in Quebec.
At the time of its inception the objectives of the organization were to provide for the social and cultural needs of the Gujarati speaking people of the province of Quebec and to foster understanding and co-operation with other cultural bodies forming the Canadian mosaic. Since its inception the Samaj has been able to uphold its objectives through its activities. A good deal of our rich heritage and culture has been passed on to the Gujarati youth born and brought up in Quebec.
New initiatives recognize the long-standing generational growth of the Gujarati community in Quebec, and thus serve to foster cross-cultural appreciation and understanding through joint projects with sister associations across Quebec. Working together, we promote cultural understanding with other communities in the Canadian Society, and assist and cooperate with other organizations across Canada that have similar objectives to our organization.
The Gujarati-speaking community in Montreal has a distinct and diverse history. Its members have a common ancestral tie in that they are a people whose origins come from the state of Gujarat in India. Our members, however, are quite a diverse mix – with those coming from India direct, those that have transplanted themselves to Africa or the Caribbean or other parts of Asia before coming to Canada, and those that may have made several stops through a few generations from India to Africa to Europe and then to Canada! And now, of course, we have a budding 2nd and 3rd generation that were born and educated and raised here! Religions are diverse too – Hinduism is predominant, but there are Jains, Muslims, Catholics and even on occasion those of the Jewish faith! It is a true testament to the diversity of India!
We are primarily a Montreal based organisation – and our members are those who have an affinity or interest in the Gujarati cultures and traditions. As such, our members – while typically of Gujarati origin – also include those who come from other regions of India, Canada and so forth. Non-Gujarati speaking members will usually join our group through affiliation with friends and/or through marriage, thereby increasing the diversity in our membership.
Our activities also reflect the diverse nature of our membership. We have undertaken to offer a wide variety of mixed cultural activities… ski trips, picnics, cabane-a-sucre, Holi celebrations, cross country exchanges with other groups, business mentoring programs for the youth, bazaars and fun fairs, our Diwali festivities, Christmas and so much more! … Talk about a melding of cultures!!