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Carmen kindly presented Muncha’s photo in India on
a horseback before he left for Argentina. Carmen and Leandro
were full of excitement and as they said post the meeting
“we are richer now as we belong to two cultures, one
of Argentina and the other of Sikhs and the Punjab”.
They insisted on seeing off the author the next day at the
airport. Carmen had not met an Indian till our meeting post
Muncha’s death in 1943, at the age of 52 years. Juana
died in 2001 at age 99. The author provided them with telephone
numbers of other Singhs in Cordoba as Leandra wants to establish
a sort of “Singh” Club.
Jiwa and Tara Singh: Jiwa Singh (uncle) and Tara Singh (nephew)
of village Bopa Rai Khurd, are the leading farm owners of
Rosario de la Frontera, a small town where the Gurdwara is
located. Besides owning vast acreage of farm lands, they have
a transport business and super market and other real estate.
They were responsible for initiating and setting up the Gudwara.
The story goes that Jiwa wished to migrate to North America
but Dan Singh, an earlier immigrant from his village requested
him to accompany his mother to Argentina. On arrival in 1958
he started working with Dan Singh and then soon thereafter
bought his own truck. A partnership was formed between Tara
Singh, Jiwa Singh and Dan Singh(now dead).
Suba SinghThis clean-shaven taxi driver in Salta city migrated
to Argentina as a teenager in the sixties. The most interesting
moment of the visit to Suba, was to see a photograph of five
teenage brothers in turbans and striped (night suit type)
pajamas in their village (Saleempur Masrooda in the Jallandhar
/ Phagwara area. Despite their lower middle class background,
all five brothers have settled abroad, two each in UK and
Argentina and one in Australia. It just symbolizes the Sikh
Ajit (Gurmit) Singh:
Ajit Singh left for Argentina at the age16, in 1951, on the
invitation of his uncle Rakha Singh in Jujey Province. The
latter had migrated in the early thirties at age twenty or
so. Ajit’s passage (five other Sikhs also traveled with
him) from Singapore to Buenos Aires cost a meager Rs 45 and
the ship touched Java and Durban en-route to Buenos Aires.....
Article Published in The
Sikh Review - December 2004 - No. 624