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There were no other attractive destinations to go to in the
region. As it is, North America had erected barriers against
Indian immigration. Of course some Sikhs returned to India
but others must have settled in Brazil. What do we know of
them and their subsequent generations, needs detailed investigation?
A case study of Wagner Singh is given below.
Wagner Sansara Singh
The author had been pursuing various contacts to get information
on old immigrants but without success. But persistence paid
and it was possible to locate an old immigrant’s grand
son. Wagner’s grand father, Sansara Singh is registered
as an immigrant arriving in January, 1927 at Santos port.
Unfortunately Wagner knows hardly anything about Sikhs but
was emotionally moved to meet with a turbaned Sikh. The author
was presented several gifts including the watch he was wearing!
In an interview on 2nd Sept. 05, Wagner mentioned that his
grand father came along three others, Ram Singh, Ratan Singh
and Watan Singh. Wagner feels that there are several more
old Sikh immigrants in Brazil but he has no details. Wagner
Singh's grandfather Sansara ( probably Sansar) Singh was born
on 20th March1902 in village Casado (pronounced: Delado) to
Bogovani Singh (possibly Bhagwan Singh) and Aracor Singh (possibly
Ar Kaur). Sansar Singh kept wearing turban (white) till his
death when he was buried and not cremated. Initially Sansar
worked with the British Railways in Sao Paulo. He moved up
country to Olympia.
3 where he decided to start his own grocery retailing. Wagner
remembers him as somewhat subdued at all times. Sansar made
no effort to teach Punjabi to his children but used to pray
frequently. He was a vegetarian. The grand children remember
him as a very loving and caring person. Sansar married twice,
first to Judia and then to Waleska Venzel Caramento and had
two sons from Waleska, Walter Sansar Singh and Sansar Singh
Jr. Sansar Jr. looked like a Brazilian but Walter looked more
Walter(now dead) married Iracema Bafero, a Brazilian (presently
77yrs old). They had seven children. Wagner was the second
born. Wagner’s father Walter Sansara Singh joined a
bank as clerk and rose to become the manager. He used to tell
his children about the importance of honesty, and exhorted
them to do the right things.He used to stress that all things
are ours and not mine individually. Walter financed his brother's
education, which helped the latter become a teacher, and finally
the Headmaster of a School. Walter was somewhat of an intellectual
but his wife was not very literate.
Wagner was born on 18th August 1956 at Socotta, where he went
to High School. He did not complete his college graduation
as he had to take over family responsibilities because of
his elder brother’s death. Wagner joined a bank in Sao
Paolo and worked for ten years.....
Article Published in The
Sikh Review - February 2005 - No. 626