Punjabis in South East Asia – Punjabi third most common language after Cantonese in Hong Kong
Among Hong Kong Indian adolescents, Punjabi is the third most common language other than Cantonese. The Punjabis were influential in the military, and in line with the British military thinking of the time (namely, the late 19th century and early 20th century) Punjabi Sikhs, Punjabi Hindus, and Punjabi Muslims formed two separate regiments. The regiments were as follows:
Punjab regiment: 25,000 soldiers (50% Muslim, 40% Hindu and 10% Sikh)
Sikh Regiment: 10,000 soldiers (80% Sikh, 20% Hindu)
In 1939, Hong Kong’s police force included 272 Europeans, 774 Indians (mainly Punjabis) and 1140 Chinese. Punjabis dominated Hong Kong’s police force until the 1950s.
From the 2006 Government by-census results, it shows a population of roughly 20,444 Indians and roughly 11,111 Pakistanis residing at the former British territory.
There are 70,000 Punjabis.
Although most Malaysian Indians are Tamils, there were also many Punjabis that immigrated to Malaysia. According to Amarjit Kaur as of 1993 there were 60, 000 Punjabis in Malaysia. Robin Cohen estimates the number of Malaysian Sikhs as 30, 000 (as of 1995). Recent figures state that there are 130,000 Sikhs in Malaysia.
The third largest group among Indo-Singaporeans in 1980 were Punjabis (after Tamils – who form a majority of Indo-Singaporeans – and Malayalis), at 7.8% of the Indo-Singaporean population. There is Punjabi Society Singapore for Punjabi’s to celebrate their festivals, meet other Punjabi’s in various occasion through www.punjabisocietysingapore.com
Most of the Indians and Indian Filipinos in the Philippines are Sindhi and Punjabi as well as a large Tamil population. Many are fluent in Tagalog and English as well as local languages of the provinces and islands. Many are prosperous middle class with their main occupations in clothing sales and marketing. Sikhs are involved largely in finance, money lending (locally called Five – six ), sales and marketing.
Over the last three decades, a large number of civil servants and highly educated Indians working in large banks, Asian Development Bank, and the BPO sector have migrated to the Philippines, especially Manila. Most of the Indian Filipinos and Indian expatriates are Hindu, Sikh or Muslims, but have assimilated into Filipino culture and some are Catholic. The community regularly conducts philanthropic activities through bodies such as the Mahaveer foundation, The SEVA foundation and the Sathya Sai organization.
Most Indians congregate for socio-cultural and religious activities at the Hindu Temple (Mahatma Gandhi Street, Paco, Manila), the Indian Sikh Temple (United Nations Avenue, Paco, Manila), and the Radha Soami Satsang Beas center (Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila). The late “priest” (scripture reader in Sindhi and Gurumukhi) of the Hindu Temple, Giani Joginder Singh Sethi, was active in interfaith affairs, accepted visits by school students, and organised the first major translation of Guru Nanak’s Jap Ji into Filipino (Tagalog), translated by Usha Ramchandani and edited by Samuel Salter (published 2001).
Many Indians have intermarried with Filipinos, more so than in neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, mainly because their populations are largely Muslim, and the Indians there (with the exception of Indian-Muslims) are averse to marrying Muslims in those host countries.
Indian Filipino companies with the largest workforce include Indo Phil Textile (1,800 employees), Global Steel (950 employees and 8,000 in Iligan), Hinduja Global (3,500 workers) and Aegis People Support (over 12,000).
Lots of Indian students mainly from the southern part of India are studying in various parts of Philippines notably in Davao, where more than 5000 Indian students are currently doing their MD program from Davao Medical School Foundation. Other cities like Manila, Cebu, Legazpi also have a considerable number of Indian students.