Anglo-Indian community in India: Reinforcing cultural roots

The Anglo Indian community has a long history behind them and the fact that they still exists in India is barely known to people.

Published: 10th August 2022 03:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2022 06:49 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Anglo-Indian community has a long history behind them and the fact that they still exists in India is barely known to people. Keeping this in mind, the Anglo Indians from the city formed a committee — the New Anglo Community — that represents the issues faced by the members of the community and also to find solutions. As the community got together this year to celebrate Anglo Indian Day on August 2, we got in touch with the president of the community who helped us understand their culture and their grief about their representation.

Lauren Sacnlon, President of New Anglo Community sharing about their lineage and the annual event they host every year, says, “When the Britishers were here and the British married Indian women, the end result were us — the Anglo Indians. We needed an identity and the Britishers had declared in the constitution of India that we must be classified as Anglo Indians or Eurasian in the beginning. We needed a special day to signify us and that is how the World Anglo-Indian Day came to be from August 2, 1935, but people were not so aware of it and we are trying to revive that. We are threatened today, we are not protected, rather almost ignored. We are trying to revive our ancestry connection and keep our culture alive.”

Explaining about the Anglo-Indian culture, she says, “Our culture is western, we were the ones who used to wear dresses. The Anglo-Indian women were the first ones to venture out as they were westernised in their thinking. We started working as teachers and nurses and the Indian women were shy at that time and stayed at home. This change was brought in us by our father’s side (Britishers) as the mothers were shy.” Talking about the tradition they practice for every event they conduct, she shares, “Dancing is in our blood and also we are fun loving, light-hearted though there is a stigma attached to us but we are not bothered.

We are just the kind of people who make the others happy and so we have our own kind of entertainment like singing, dancing, having fun and socialising and that has brought about a change in India. We were the first ones who started schools, missionaries, we were everywhere, but because we are a minority now we have been pushed aside which is unfair. Our representation is taken away from us and we don’t fit in any schemes as well.” Moving forward with their culture and tradition, passing it on to the younger generation she says, “Every family is reinforcing it to their children and I am just reminding them again incase they don’t do it we will be long forgotten. We are here to stay, we might be a small number but yet we are impactful.”



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