Indian Connections in Argentina + Uruguay

Sharukhan

No matter where I travel, there seems to be a little bit of India in every corner of the world. With the South Asian diaspora so massive, I shouldn’t really be surprised. Yet, I always feel excited when I find an Amitabh Bachchan dvd in Morocco, a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Acapulco, a Tunisian bakery full of jalebis in Paris, or even a  picture of Aishwarya Rai in a Turkish market.

Argentina and Uruguay are no different. On a recent trip to South America, it was really cool to find Indian influences in these countries even though there are only 1600 Indians living in Argentina today and a mere hundred or so in Uruguay. With a 25% increase in Desi Globetrotters flocking to Argentina in 2012, this South American region now also has the attention of Indian travellers looking for bold, new cultural experiences, with a tinge of connection to home.

Here are some South Asian connections I’ve come across when visiting and researching Argentina & Uruguay:

Sikh Gurdwara in Rosario de la Frontera
(Salta Region, Northern Argentina)

I didn’t get a chance visit Rosario as it’s quite far from Buenos Aires, but prior to travelling to Argentina, I had no idea a Sikh Gurdwara even existed in Argentina. In fact, it’s the only one in South America. Find out more in this interesting short clip (after clicking play, click “Watch on Youtube” as embedding is disabled):

Taj Mahal Restaurant (Buenos Aires)

If you ever get tired of eating steaks, sausages and ribs in carnivorous Argentina, you know where to go for some aloo paratha instead. The owners and chef are originally from India.
Taj Mahal

Indian Emporium (Buenos Aires)

Walking in the barrio of Palermo one night, I came across the Indian Emporium in Buenos Aires selling Indian and Western clothing and jewellery. Check out their website!
indian emporium coll

Indian Emporium (Punta del Este)

Although of the same name, this Indian Emporium in Uruguay is different than the one in Buenos Aires. Same moniker, different brand. You can visit this Indian Emporium in the resort town of Punta del Este, Uruguay. Geared to the younger, bohemian set looking for wild colours, different textures and bold cuts, this shop sells fashionable beach clothes rather than Indian wear.
indian emporium uruguay

Classical India: Music, Dance, Yoga (Buenos Aires)

Buenos Aires is the cultural and artistic hub of South America. Embracing world music and dance is the norm. I saw these flyers posted in window shops in Palermo Soho.
indian classical collage

Bollywood Movies: 3 Idiots (Punta del Este)

Our hotel in Punta del Este gave us a binder with a list of movies to choose. Surprisingly, Aamir Khan’s “3 Idiots” was on there!
dvds 3 idiots

Bollywood Hero (Buenos Aires)

Through the buzz of a busy market in the barrio of Caminito in Buenos Aires, I hear a call all too familiar.

“I am Shah Rukh Khan!”

I heard it a lot in Turkey, but wasn’t expecting it in Argentina. There he is, a street vendor calculating where I’m from and who I am. Trying to turn a connection into a sale. Nice try, Mister, but there’s only one King Khan of Bollywood. Always amusing – cracks me up everytime!
Shah Rukh Khan

Govinda Gifts (Montevideo)

I saw this sign while walking through Montevideo and it caught my eye. Although not entirely sure of its story, this shop sells mostly home decor and gifts.
DSC_0176

Hello, Friend (Punta del Este)

Graffiti walls are everywhere, but this one stood out in particular. Yaar means friend in Hindi. Looks like fellow desi globetrotters have made their mark in Punta del Este! Although my husband thinks it more like the ‘Ya’ar’ pirates say. What do you think??
IMG_4300

Gandhi Ji Love (Buenos Aires)

Buenos Aires is full of street art murals. The all too familiar face of Mahatma Gandhi caught my eye.
Gandhi

No matter where I am in the world, my South Asian roots will always be there.

Photo Credit: Desi Globetrotter, Wikimedia, Indian Emporium (Argentina), Indian Emporium (Uruguay).

Desi Globetrotter

Hi, I'm Parm, the founder and editor of Desi Globetrotter, an international online magazine + blog dedicated to inspiring people to travel the world independently. Based in Vancouver, Canada, I'm also a Marketing Coordinator at an art gallery, a Freelance Content Strategist and a Freelance Travel Writer with articles published in Conde Nast Traveller India, Huffington Post Canada, South Asian Woman Magazine, Mybindi.com, and MasalaMommas.com. I love exploring the globe to learn and to connect with the world I live in. Got a question or comment? Let's chat! You can email me at: parm[at]desiglobetrotter[dot]com. Would love to hear from you!

3 Comments
  1. Parm
    Did you travel to Peru , how safe is it for tourists.
    I am visiting Peru , Chile , Argentina and Uruguay
    In another week
    Thanks

    1. Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your message. I haven’t travelled to Peru or Chile yet, only Argentina and Uruguay. I would say exercise caution like you normally would any other destination, but just pay close attention to what locals are saying to you. I did have my phone stolen in Buenos Aires and it really was the first destination where locals were telling me to put my camera away. At first I was taken aback and didn’t listen to them, thinking hey, I’ve travelled alot before, nothing is going to happen. But then I had my phone stolen and that made me a bit more cautious. Just pay attention to your surroundings and what locals are saying to you. There’s a lot of beauty in South America – I need to see more of it myself!

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