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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Learning and Beliefs

New Communities

By Bashir Maan

Fogell's Bakery Shop, 1962 By 1950 the Jewish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish and a small number of Greek immigrants who had come during the previous sixty years had settled comfortably in Glasgow. A couple of hundred itinerant Asians had also been in the city since the beginning of the 20th century.

South Asians at War The numbers of Asians began to grow rapidly after 1950 when relative peace and calm had returned to the Indian sub-continent after the trauma of partition and the establishment of India and Pakistan as two independent countries. Those already here were earning a reasonable income as peddlers and bus conductors. They invited their friends and their families from India and Pakistan to join them. This chain of migration kept growing with every newcomer and by 1960 the number of Asians in Glasgow had swelled to over 3,000.

Charan Gill and Gurmail Dhillon The impending legislation to restrict immigration from (black) Commonwealth countries in the early 1960s increased the flow of immigrants as they sought to beat the ban. This nearly tripled the number of Asians in Glasgow within a couple of years. Around this time the Asians began giving up peddling and public transport in order to open corner shops and restaurants.

Vietnamese Immigrants The Chinese came from English cities in the late 1950s and 1960s. They too opened restaurants and by 1970 Chinese cuisine had become quite popular in Glasgow. A few Chileans and some Vietnamese, escaping from their respective oppressive governments, arrived in mid 1970s. Middle Eastern Arab and Iranian refugees followed them.

Nigerian Community Until 1970 very few Afro-Caribbean immigrants had come to Scotland, but since then many Nigerians, Ghanaians, West Indians, etc, have settled in Glasgow. Glasgow therefore is now a multi-racial and multi-religious society. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and Bahai faiths now all live side by side in peace in our caring city.

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