Anglo-Indian Values

In a previous blog post I put forth the question what are Anglo-Indian values? This was also shared through a variety of outputs including Anglo-Indian groups and organisations on social media – notably Facebook and Twitterbut also via Instagram,Anglo-Indian Values Tumblr and Google+, specifically targeted at those with Anglo-Indian heritage. In addition, the links were shared via my family members who are direct Anglo-Indian descendants. Many replies were received across the broad range of outlets and are presented here, anonymised. These are not a definitive claim of Anglo-Indian values, but do raise some common themes and interesting points for consideration.

Descendants of (predominantly) the Portuguese, the British and Indians, Anglo-Indian values are arguably firmly rooted in European values. Some argue that “Anglo-Indians still have European values and are much more free thinking than conservative Indians.” 

It is apparent through much of the literature on the Anglo-Indian community that core to their value system is generosity. It is argued that there is a culture of gifting and care for the less fortunate of their community. This was echoed in some of the feedback from the Anglo-Indian groups and family recollection of Nana, Elaine Cynthia Hassett. Love for the underdog also appears as a common theme, alongside grit and determination (respondent).

Values are difficult to clearly define for the Anglo-Indian community, some advocating that ‘values don’t differ’ and ‘humans all have the same ones in different circumstances’ (respondent). Even if we argue that values do differ, it is difficult to pin down concrete values of the Anglo-Indian community given the fluidity over time. After independence many Anglo-Indians left India for England, Australia, Canada, USA and various other European locations. Each community will inevitably have their own set of values, influenced by the context they live in, which may differ from those of Anglo-Indian communities in India.

Many claim that faith (Christianity) is central to Anglo-Indians and shapes their practices and values. Others claim this contributes to a general behaviour of burying their heads in the sand and anonymously blending into Indian working class culture (respondent).

Anglo-Indians are first and foremost human beings, and all human beings are different. But, a general consensus appears to be that core Anglo-Indian values are: generosity, love, family, modesty and resilience. Whilst this is not a definitive account, the welcoming spirit of the Anglo-Indian community is clear.

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