Introduction / History In the 1950s and 1960s only a few South Asians came to Germany. At first a few thousand younger men came from India and Pakistan to find work or for educational studies. They chose Germany because of it being well off financially, it being good for education, it was not a colonial power and had good relations with India. They were not in unskilled work for long. Most of them got good educational qualifications and were able to get much better jobs as a result.
The South Asians were scattered in Germany with no large communities and they had a lot of contact with Germans. Many of the South Asians married German women with some of them marrying in their own countries and bringing their wives to Germany. Now most of their children are at universities and some like their parents are in the middle class of German society.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, thousands of young Christian women from the Indian state of Kerala came to work in hospitals as qualified or trainee nurses. Shortly a Malayali (people from Kerala) community came about as they were looked after by German institutions.
Later after living for some time in Germany, most had arranged marriages in India or married one of the Malayali men who had emigrated to Germany and so Malayali families were formed.
Differently to the other South Asian generation in Germany, most young Malayalis have lived in an Indian community with their own societies and are going to Malayali schools and Indian Masses. Their parents want their children to have a more professional standing than them with a career in medical work being the favorite.
There are other South Asians in Germany including Sikh asylum seekers from the Punjab, Ahmadi asylum seekers from Pakistan and Tamils seeking asylum who are from Sri Lanka. They came from the 1970s and later and are small in number. Their life in Germany has a lot to do with their asylum seeking position. (Maybe a chance here for Christians to evangelize these asylum seekers who are looking for security for themselves).