London – The United Kingdom, an island nation in the northwestern region of Europe, is home to a diverse set of ethnic communities. These various communities share similar experiences within the country’s different areas. Of this significant number of ethnic groups, which one makes up the largest subgroup of British Asians in the country? The answer is the British Indians.
Today, there are approximately 1.4 million British Indians in the United Kingdom, excluding those with mixed ancestries. This represents one of the largest Indian diasporas just behind the United States, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Nepal, and Saudi Arabia.
Who are the British Indians?
As the United Kingdom has grown into a home for various indigenous as well as migrant ethnicities, who can identify as British Indians?
Citizens of the United Kingdom who have Indian ancestry are identified as British Indians. This term includes Indian-born persons who migrated to the UK, as well as those born in the country who have Indian descent.
The growth of the British Indian communities has come from Indian-Britain relations, which goes back centuries. The immigration of Indians is said to have started in the Middle Ages; however, no concrete evidence supports this claim. The people have been united through historical experiences when India was under British rule. The continuous immigration of people to the UK is ongoing.
Cultures and Practices
British Indian cultures and practices are spread out across the nation. This movement shows how the British Indian people gradually adjusted and created their ethnic communities to grow in the United Kingdom. It is essential to note as well that among the British Indians, the majority are of Punjabi origin, followed by the Gujarati, Malayali, and Marathi communities.
British Indians follow the same cultural practices the native Indians, and they are able to showcase their rich culture, tradition, and practices. The distinct features in British Indian architecture, literature, philosophy, and music help establish their people’s status as an active ethnic community within the United Kingdom. The big difference, perhaps, is the amalgamation of the various cultures that have influenced and shaped the people’s identity over a long period.
Aside from keeping their own ethnic identity and practices, the British Indians are one of the significant factors in the diversity and growth of the British capital. The people’s mere population number is already indicative of the way communities are integrated within the region. Even with various cultural backgrounds, the citizens of the UK get to experience distinct traditions and beliefs. Currently, British communities have a significant influence on British culture, from the arts, entertainment, food, and even politics. Thus, the British Indian community is alive and continuously growing among the diverse society of the United Kingdom.
Image from Sabrina Mazzeo, https://unsplash.com/@sabrinamazzeo