Indians abroad often find themselves experiencing a deeper connection to their Indian heritage than their counterparts living in the motherland. This intriguing phenomenon raises questions about cultural preservation, identity, and the dynamics of diaspora communities. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons behind this observation and explore how being away from India can paradoxically bring Indians closer to their roots. Join us as we unravel the complexities of this thought-provoking topic.
I often feel we Indians abroad get more from India than Indians living in India.In this draw, we, as a community of Indians abroad, get involved in it and revel in the sentimental bond more profoundly and reverentially. Nevertheless, in our conscious minds, we reside more in the land we left behind than in the transformed India of today.
The aura and ambience of the native home, with all its cultural, linguistic and religious diversities, inhabit significantly and earnestly in the Indian diaspora all over the world. It is a celebration of India that covers most aspects of the nation in its multi-racial, multi-linguistic and multi-religious complexion, where birds of different feathers flock together.
The celebration in our adopted countries is in our festivals and religious parades, our entertainment and recreation, our social and religious gatherings, our rituals, customs and traditions, our readings and knowledge about India, and engaging in its literature, arts and music. It is also an obsession with things that are desi by nature.
The excitement of desi by nature reflects in our traditional dresses and dances, bhangra, garba and most other folk performances. Indian cuisine occupies a prominent spot on the list that itself breaks down to Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Rajasthani, Kashmiri, etc., covering every region and sub-region of India. And this is where we get more of India; for example, we enjoy its diverse food in a big cosmopolitan city anywhere in the world. Here one can also get anything Indian from any part of the country that perhaps people in India don’t get. It’s like a one-stop India shopping centre abroad.
Whereas we Indians abroad receive and devour everything Indian from goods to yoga and meditation, from its spiritual values to music and arts, our contribution to India is also significant in enriching its literary and cultural scene. Poets and writers of Indian origin settled in foreign soils have become part of the Indian literate landscape.
Indians abroad get more of India than Indians in India
It is a common opinion that Indians abroad get more of India than Indians in India. There are a few reasons for this.
First, Indians abroad often have a strong sense of nostalgia for their homeland. They may have left India for a variety of reasons, but they still feel a deep connection to their culture and traditions and also Aging Parents in India. This nostalgia can lead Indians abroad to appreciate and learn more about India than Indians who have never left.
Second, Indians abroad often have access to more resources and opportunities to learn about India than Indians in India. For example, many universities and cultural centers in developed countries offer courses and events on Indian culture and history. Indians abroad may also have access to a wider range of Indian media, such as books, movies, and music.
Third, Indians abroad often live in communities with other Indians. This allows them to stay connected to their culture and traditions. They may also have more opportunities to celebrate Indian festivals and holidays.
Of course, there are also Indians in India who are very knowledgeable about their culture and traditions. However, the supportive ecosystem for learning about India is often stronger for Indians abroad.
Here are some specific examples of how Indians abroad can get more of India than Indians in India:
- An Indian student studying abroad may have the opportunity to take a course on Indian history or culture. They may also have the opportunity to participate in Indian cultural events or join an Indian student association.
- An Indian professional working abroad may have the opportunity to network with other Indian professionals and learn about Indian businesses. They may also have the opportunity to travel to India for business or pleasure.
- An Indian immigrant living abroad may have the opportunity to raise their children in a bilingual and bicultural environment. They may also have the opportunity to send their children to Indian schools or participate in Indian cultural activities.
It is important to note that this is just an opinion, and there are many Indians in India who are very knowledgeable about their culture and traditions. However, the supportive ecosystem for learning about India is often stronger for Indians abroad.
Nostalgia dominates in the India of our image that we have weaved.
The country of our origin presents a different outlook now than the one we left a few or many years ago. But our preference lies in perceiving India at the time our ancestors or we left the motherland. That intactness can be of a few years, decades or hundreds of years, as with most Indians who settled in the Far East, Africa, West Indies and Pacific Islands countries like Fiji.
According to Wikipedia, the Indian diaspora population is over 31 million worldwide. With that large population and increasing daily, India abroad itself constitutes a ‘nation’ that seeks its attachment and identity with India. But these sentiments face erosion by the sectarian and communalized environment pushed by the ruling political leadership and Hindutva’s spread of hatred and fanaticism. That dampens the inspiration Indians overseas got from their ancestral land. India may be abandoning its secular path, but we Indians abroad keep following the democratic and secular traditions we inherited. Our integrity lies in equality, respect, and no caste discrimination.
I believe that Indians abroad and Indians in India can both have a deep appreciation for India. It depends on the individual’s own journey and connection to their culture and heritage. There is no right or wrong answer to this question.
I think it is important for Indians abroad to stay connected to their roots and to learn about the challenges faced by Indians in India. They can also use their privilege and resources to make a positive impact on India.
In this debate, do we still have to visit India as it now looks damaged by religious intolerance and divisions? The nation strays towards a dangerous path, pursuing a new identity based on one race, one culture, and one religion, which is the opposite of the diverse and egalitarian India we created abroad. In that sense, the value of India, our motherland, is debased to a tourist destination, meeting our relatives and friends or just for nostalgia to roaming the streets where we grew up and stopping over for some street food.
Indians abroad often have a unique perspective on India. They are able to see India from the outside, and this can give them a better understanding of its culture, history, and politics. Additionally, Indians abroad are often more connected to India than Indians in India, as they are constantly reminded of their Indian heritage.
While there are some challenges that Indians abroad face, such as feeling isolated from their families and friends in India, overall they have a unique opportunity to learn more about India and to stay connected to their heritage.
Indians abroad are getting more of India than Indians in India through a variety of ways, including social media, Indian food, and Indian communities. They are using these resources to learn about Indian culture, stay connected to their roots, and create a strong Indian diaspora around the world.