05 Jul 2022 | The little Punjab of London
Did you know that there's a little Punjab in the UK that provides a homely feeling for us fellow Indians. Southall is a suburban district located in the West of London where the whole region is segregated between residential areas, a commercial centre on the high street, and Broadway. The old Southall is home to Southall railway stations and industries. This town is close to Heathrow Airport and is famous among South Asian immigrants. Southall holds the largest Punjabi community outside of India, and therefore, the rise of Punjabi culture in this area has led to giving the nickname of "little India" for Southall. This place is a great hangout place for Indian students study abroad in London as some of the famous universities, such as Brunel University, University of West London, and Arden University, along with others, are situated in the nearby location from Southall.
Let's understand a bit of history about how South Asians settled in such a place. The first groups of South Asians were recruited to work in the local factories, and therefore, the population started increasing with the availability of employment opportunities such as at Heathrow airport. The culture of the place is largely influenced by South Asians, including Indians and the Pakistani population, but mostly Punjabi people. This place is as Punjabi as it could be as even the signs at the railway station are in English as well as Gurmukhi which is written in Punjabi scripts. The Gurdwara Sir Guru Singh Sabha is one of the largest Sikh gurdwaras present outside India and is also located in Southall along with two large Hindu Mandir. The streets of Southall offer spices, and jewellery, while the Broadway has many Indian food options such as Samosas, Dosa and sweets like jalebis. Southall, not much far from Central London, is a perfect place to hang out and enjoy the most loved part of India in a different country!