Where: London, UK
April 15, 2007: In the UK alone, more than 1.05 million Indians contribute to making the country culturally colourful. Now, there’s more proof that Indians are the largest minority ethnic group in England. According to a study published in The Observer on Sunday, the Indian surname “Patel” is one of the top 500 British surnames. “Patel” is 20th in the list. No wonder too! There were as many as 80,000 Patels in Harrow alone as early as in 1998. Adding all the baby Patels that would have entered the world since then, should give you some idea of why Patels form a healthy chunk of UK’s population.
Patels originally come from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The word originates from Sanskrit, meaning ‘Tenant of royal land’ or village headman. In the UK, the Patels seem to have taken it rather literally, spreading far and wide, doing well especially in businesses, be it hotel owners or shopkeepers.