Western Union-Nielsen study says overseas Indians find cricket ‘very Indian’

Food, Bollywood movies and festivals help Indians connect to their roots, says a joint study by Western Union and research firm Nielsen.

The global payment service firm in its study “Great Loves that Binds Overseas Indians Back Home” surveyed over 600 Indians living across 12 countries. Of these, 30 per cent were born overseas, while the rest were born in India but had been living overseas for over nine years.

While 21 per cent said it was Indian cuisine that helped them retain their culture, 15 per cent named Bollywood films and music and 7 per cent festivals such as Diwali and Holi. About 6 per cent thought cricket is very Indian and 5 per cent said ayurveda herbal healing was a major draw.

The Ministry of Overseas Indians estimates that over 25 million Indians live overseas in 194 countries based on documented statistics representing non-resident indians and persons of Indian origin. Western Union in 2011 remitted money from 196 countries to India via its network of more than 1.1 lakh agent locations located in 6,000 towns and 497 cities across all 28 States in as of September 30.

“It is encouraging to see that Indian culture is being handed down very effectively around the world, with Indians born overseas identifying with the exact same symbols of India as their parents do,” said Western Union Regional Vice-President (India) Kiran Shetty.

Classical music and dance, places of worship, handicrafts, traditional wear and yoga were ranked higher than weddings, superstitions, myths, palaces and heritage places.

priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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