Any population who migrates to a different country, to a certain extent, will have to assimilate their customs and traditions into the adopted country, Hindus and Hinduism is no different. According to the UK census of 2001 there are just over half a million Hindus in the UK although some estimates go much higher.
The Hindu population has been established for many years, first as sailors then in the second half of the twentieth century recruited as staff in the NHS and as a result of expulsions from Uganda by Idi Amin. Hindu customs have needed to adapt and Hindu funerals with them. It is the wish of most Hindus to have their cremated ashes scattered on the Ganges, but often this is not possible so they choose a local river. In the UK the Thames is very popular, now you may think that is obvious as about 80% of all UK based Hindus live in the London area, but we have a significant number of inquirers from Hindus living outside the London area who wish to have their ashes scattered on the Thames, after some enquiring we thought there was a deeper more spiritual element to it – the direction of flow, as east to west this also symbolises life as it goes from sunrise to sunset. Although Charles Cowling from the Good Funeral Guide pointed out that the Thames goes west to east – so does anyone out there have any better suggestions? Maybe in the way the Ganges is the most prominent river in India, the Thames is the same for Britain.
For more information on the Boats available to scatter ashes on the Thames