The Indian diaspora stays connected with its country of origin through places of worships, media and entertainment, food and the practice of yoga, which also gradually enables their children to connect with the values of their motherland. This was the essence of the discussion on ‘Sharing A Common Heritage : The Emotional Connect’ on day one of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and coordinated and managed by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Presiding over the discussion, Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Principal Director, Symbiosis, said, “A vast majority of Indians working or settled overseas make all possible attempts to initiate their children to the culture and heritage of their country of origin by educating them to imbibe the wisdom scripted in Indian holy books’’.
This effort was made to remove the rising cultural insecurity amongst Indian children whose parents either work and or were settled abroad through places such as temples, gurudwaras, churches, mosques and the like, she said while making her observations on the issue of emotional connect. She suggested that Indian universities should have programmes to provide for establishing cultural linkages with overseas Indians.
Ms. Meghna Ghai Puri , President, Whistling Woods International, in her observation, gave credit to India’s media and entertainment industry which according to her has emerged a lead source to link Indian culture and tradition to the Indian diaspora. The religious places were equally significant to provide for convergence for the diaspora, she added.
Mr Subash Razdan, Chairman, The Gandhi Foundation of the USA, felt that Indians settled abroad should pour funds to support the primary and secondary education in India and spread awareness on subjects related to environment and climate change in the developing world to contribute their share of prosperity to the country of their origin. He too echoed sentiments saying that cultural linkages are best cemented in places of worships abroad.
Dr Jagvinder Singh Virk, Chairman GOIPIO Australia Business Council, praised Australia for its immigration culture in which Punjabis and other communities settled in the country for years hardly faced any problems in establishing cultural linkages with India for themselves and their children. The Australian government always supported erection and building of religious places to enable migrants to stay connected with their country of origin.
Ms. Pallavi Aiyar, Indonesian Correspondent of The Hindu, in her remarks, pointed out that China is one of the exceptions in which the presence of Indians is thinning very fast barring in the fields of medicines and yoga teaching. With rising economic engagements between India and China, this trend would get reversed in the future, she said.