Written by: Risha Chaurasia; IG @x_risha_x
Indian Culture Outside India
A nation’s culture resides in the heart and soul of the people,’ – Mahatma Gandhi
India has the largest diaspora in the world, with around 20 million of its citizens living in other countries. Approximately 3 million Indians currently reside in the USA alone. NRIs or Non-Resident Indians, as they are known here are people of Indian origin who go and settle down outside the country.
In Guyana, about 40% of the population is Indian, as many Indians took refuge there due to the political upheaval in India in the 19th century. A similar situation is in the Caribbean, where 2.5 million residents are Indian. They were brought there as slaves by the British, Dutch, French and Portuguese during the colonial times.
In the United Arab Emirates 27% of the population is Indian, which is a result of flourishing trade and commerce between the 2 nations. Indian languages Tamil and Malay are the national languages of Singapore, which is the result of almost 6 million Indians calling Singapore their home. Indian soldiers moved to Singapore due to World War II as Singapore and India both were British colonies.
Despite being away from their homeland for years, these people celebrate all Indian festivals with the same grandeur and splendor as it is celebrated here and never forget the essence of being Indian. There are many Indian associations that host Diwali and Holi parties. Durga Pooja, one of the most auspicious events for the Bengalis is celebrated with great pomp and show all across the world.
The traditional and native foods and clothes also do not go through any major changes. Saree shops and Indian restaurants are spread all over the world. In fact, London has more Indian restaurants than Mumbai and Delhi combined the two largest cities in India. Indian food is rich in both flavor and texture and the large assortment of dishes and cuisine makes it a popular choice.
Another aspect of Indian culture is our movies. Bollywood is the largest film-making hub in the world, producing well over 1000 movies every year. Bollywood movies are as prevalent and lucrative outside India as domestically. In the Fiscal Year 2019 Bollywood movies earned a whopping $58 billion in global theatres. Movies like Dangal earned $16.3 billion outside India. Bollywood songs are heard and played by millions of people.
Indian culture has remained intact and gone through very few changes over the years. The Indian diaspora population still celebrates Indian heritage and culture with pomp and show.