Indian Diaspora in Europe: Cultural Challenges and Adaptation

Immigration is an incredibly difficult process because you suddenly find yourself in a foreign country where everyone speaks an unfamiliar language, and there are no people to ask for advice or help. In this case, Indian expats in Europe help. These people have arrived a long time ago, understand the rules of life in a new country and can help. With their help, NRI experiences in Europe become much more accessible. Today, we want to list the main problems that immigrants may face and how to adapt more quickly.

A few words about the Indian diaspora

The Indian community abroad numbers more than 25 million people. Most Indians prefer the USA or Canada, but these countries have several important disadvantages:

  • High taxes.
  • High requirements for those wishing to obtain a work or student visa.
  • High crime rate.
  • High cost of living.
  • Many employers are hesitant to hire Indians, making it difficult to find a job.

As a result, many people who care about Indian heritage preservation are thinking about moving to Europe. Despite the fact that the diaspora here is relatively small, today, there are more opportunities for development.

The largest diaspora among European countries is in the UK – 1.3 million people. They are very friendly here to newcomers from India; it is easy to rent housing and find a job if you are highly qualified. The main proof of the loyalty of the people of this country is that the Prime Minister of this country is Rishi Sunak, born into a family of Indian origin.

The next incredibly favourable European country for immigration is Germany. A few years ago, the number of Indian immigrants here was minimal. Still, recently, the country’s government has carried out reforms to simplify the process of adaptation and paperwork, which has led to the fact that over the past year, most people migrating to Berlin are of Hindu origin. Here, approximately 58% of workers of Indian origin occupy positions requiring a university degree or equivalent specialised skills.

Also included in the list of favourable countries are Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy and a number of other countries where exhibitions of Hindu art are regularly held, and there is a fairly large diaspora.

Main problems you may face during immigration

There are a huge number of challenges faced by Indian expatriates. We want to list only the most basic of them and give some tips for adaptation.

Ignorance of the language

Each EU country has its own national language, which is spoken by the majority of citizens. Each of these languages is extremely difficult to learn, especially if you migrate as an adult. As a result, one of the most popular countries for Indian emigrants in Europe is the UK. Previously, India was a British colony, and children here still study English in schools, so people already have a basic knowledge of this language in the early stages.

However, if you have chosen another country whose language you do not know, you can contact the Indian community abroad. Quite often, they organise free or discounted language courses, where the program is selected individually, depending on your level.

Different culture

Among all the Indian expat challenges, special attention must be paid to the integration of Indian culture in the new country. Cultural preservation in Europe is quite simple; people here are incredibly friendly and love to learn something new. Here, it is quite easy to preserve your ethnic identity abroad because, thanks to the Indian diaspora experiences, you can easily find various events, such as:

  • Exhibitions of art by Indian artists.
  • Fairs selling Indian clothing and jewellery.
  • Indian music festivals.
  • Exhibitions of Indian literature.
  • Seminars that simplify cultural adaptation in Europe.

Integration of Indian culture occurs quite simply and gently since many countries are home to a large number of Indians who gather in ethnic groups in Europe, where they create various events dedicated to cultural assimilation in Europe.

Different religion

In most European countries, the main religion is Catholicism, while more than 80% of Indians practice Hinduism. Indian heritage in Europe lies in the fact that immigrants not only did not abandon their religion but, on the contrary, tried to maintain it, build temples, and engage in preaching. One of the most critical aspects of the Indian diaspora experiences is the opportunity to find like-minded people with religious views.

Cultural diversity in diaspora is about preserving the traditions and beliefs of the native country and adapting them to the lifestyle in the new society. If you plan to live in Europe, this will be fine because people here are tolerant and respect other religions.

Difficult to find a job

The challenges faced by Indian expatriates are not limited to just cultural issues. When moving to a foreign country, finding a job can take a lot of work, even for highly qualified specialists. Various overseas Indian communities can help with employment. You can often find information about diaspora support networks that cooperate with multiple employers loyal to Indian expats in Europe.

Many immigrant success stories tell that newcomers met locals and gained Indian diaspora experiences, which helped them find work quickly. You shouldn’t count on the Indian community abroad to find you a job, but they will tell you how to write a resume, how to behave at an interview to get a job, and what kind of cultural preservation in Europe exists in the workplace.

Preparation of necessary documents

Cultural adaptation in Europe begins processing a massive amount of paperwork. Indian emigrants in Europe can legally work or study only if they have received permission. Due to the large bureaucracy, paperwork can take a lot of time, effort, and energy; however, this stage cannot be avoided. Sometimes, the Indian community abroad can help with this. So, they can find companies that will send an official invitation to work, tell you where to go for help or tell you the numbers of local lawyers who are ready to help Indians for free or a symbolic fee.

Indian expats in Europe have long completed all the paperwork and can give simple but practical advice on making it easier and faster. In addition, they will tell you how you can apply for subsidies or benefits, what social programs you can take advantage of, and much more. Nathan Rothschild once said that whoever controls the information controls the world. All Indian expats in Europe have experienced this for themselves and are convinced that information in the modern world is the most important product and outstanding value.

Financial transfers

Integration of Indian culture cannot be imagined without the help of relatives who remained in their homeland. Many Indian residents are below the poverty line, and immigration is the only way to help their relatives cope with financial difficulties. The problem is that most local banks charge huge transactions for their services. In this case, online platforms come to the rescue, helping to change currency, send cash to your home country, and support your family. The money is usually credited to the recipient’s account within a few hours. The list of suitable platforms varies greatly depending on the country you choose, so it is easiest to find this information from a diaspora representative.

In the end

Preserving Indian heritage in Europe is much easier than in many other regions, thanks to the kindness and loyalty of local residents. Due to the fact that the diaspora here is relatively small, people tend to stick together, help, and support each other, which brings great results – a large number of events are held in support of their native culture, lectures and seminars are organised for newcomers, and there are more opportunities for employment and training.