British Asians extra socially conservative than remainder of UK, survey suggests (News)

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Media captionIs homosexuality nonetheless taboo in British Asian households? BBC Three investigates

British Asians are extra socially conservative – and extra optimistic – than the broader UK inhabitants, a ComRes survey for the Asian Community suggests.

The survey discovered that lower than half of respondents – 43% – thought same-sex relationships had been acceptable.

It additionally discovered greater than half (54%) of British Asians had “toned down” their Asian id to “slot in”.

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Greater than 2,000 British Asians responded to the ballot as a part of the BBC’s Large British Asian Summer time.

The same variety of UK residents responded to the identical inquiries to generate a mirrored image of the views of the broader inhabitants.

Of the two,026 respondents to the British Asian survey, 1,197 had been born within the UK – with nations of origin being predominantly India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

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The survey might be mentioned on a particular reside debate present on the Asian Community, on 14 August from 22:00 BST – midnight.

In accordance with the surveys, simply 5% of UK-wide respondents could be offended if a relative had intercourse earlier than marriage – whereas greater than a 3rd (34%) of British Asians could be.

On same-sex relationships, 15% of UK-wide respondents mentioned they weren’t acceptable. This rose to greater than a 3rd (36%) of British Asians.

The surveys additionally revealed variations in how age impacts attitudes.

Within the UK-wide survey, youthful folks had been extra supportive of same-sex relationships, in comparison with older folks. However within the British Asian survey, attitudes had been broadly related throughout all age teams.

On faith, over half of 18-34 yr olds within the common inhabitants mentioned it wasn’t vital to them “in any respect”. Simply 8% of younger British Asians mentioned the identical.

General, 46% of British Asians mentioned it was “essential” to them – in comparison with 12% of the final inhabitants.

In the meantime, when requested to explain Asian tradition, 33% of British Asians mentioned it was “modernising” and 25% “progressive”. The UK-wide response was 9% and eight% respectively.

When requested about altering their behaviour to slot in, about 12% mentioned they incessantly “toned down” their Asian id – 23% mentioned often and 18% hardly ever. Some 79% mentioned at the very least a few of their cultural traditions had been dying out.

General, although, British Asians had been extra hopeful about their future than the inhabitants at massive.

Some 72% mentioned Britain is someplace you possibly can fulfil your aspirations and ambitions, in comparison with 64% of the inhabitants at massive.

Probably the most optimistic group of all had been British Indians – with over three-quarters believing in a shiny future.

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Media captionThree generations of British Asian households argue the toss over relationships and courting.

The survey additionally requested about different matters, together with the police and the monarchy:

  • 59% of British Asians trusted the police, in comparison with 65% of of the broader inhabitants
  • 51% of British Asians wished to maintain the monarchy, with 26% preferring a republic (the remainder had been uncertain)
  • Throughout the UK, 65% wished to maintain the monarchy, with 21% preferring a republic
  • 48% of British Asians noticed faith as a supply of division and battle, in comparison with 77% of the broader inhabitants
  • In the meantime, 30% of British Asians thought Britain has grow to be a “extra tolerant place” within the final couple of years – in comparison with 22% of the final inhabitants

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Chirag mentioned folks have had issue announcing his identify

Chirag Asnani, 25, may agree with elements of the survey’s findings – he advised the BBC’s Asian Community he modified his identify to attempt to slot in with British tradition.

At college, he briefly known as himself Craig as a result of folks mispronounced Chirag – and since he thought Craig was extra of a “white identify”.

“On the time I assumed it could be cool as a result of no-one else had the identify Chirag – and in addition Daniel Craig was simply changing into James Bond at that time,” he mentioned.

“I assumed it could catch on. After I whereas I assumed ‘that is dumb’ and my mother and father thought ‘that is dumb’.

“So I went again to Chirag and simply made certain folks had been saying it proper.”


Evaluation: ‘Residing with contradiction’

By BBC Asian Community’s Nomia Iqbal

The survey confirms what many British Asians have at all times mentioned – bridging two cultures entails complication and contradiction.

Greater than half of respondents say that they’ve toned down their Asian id with a view to higher match into British society. This might imply folks utilizing Western-sounding names or altering their accents.

Maybe it is a reminder that finally that is how integration can occur. For his or her mother and father, who got here to the UK after World Conflict II, the intention hadn’t essentially been to remain. Dealing with racism and being few in quantity, many held tight to group and custom to retain a way of id.

Once they ended up staying so did these values which many handed to their British-born kids. That is maybe why the survey means that the British Asian group has extra socially conservative views on homosexual relationships and intercourse earlier than marriage, even amongst the youthful era.

However plainly British Asians are, as a complete, extra optimistic than the final inhabitants – indicating that regardless of the inner and exterior challenges, persons are confidently navigating society.

Residing with contradiction turns into second nature.


Qudrat Khan, 24, mentioned she would straighten her hair and tried to remain out of the solar as a result of she “wished to be as gentle and truthful as doable to stick to those western magnificence requirements”.

“There have undoubtedly been factors the place I’ve diluted facets of my id to attempt to match with the extra British norm,” she mentioned.

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Qudrat Khan mentioned her curly hair made her stand out as a baby

Madihah Khan, 24, has once in a while needed to “Anglicise” her identify to assist with pronunciation and, when going to school, “undoubtedly did down my Muslimness”.

In the meantime, Shahzam Uddin, 28, mentioned as a boy he felt conflicted by his Asian and British roots – however as he acquired older “simply accepted” it.

On the problems of British Asians being extra conservative, Mahek Mehta, 24, mentioned she believed faith performed a big half.

She mentioned: “I do know some mates who’re socially conservative, they are typically extra concerned in faith as effectively and that is in all probability the place the foundation comes from.”

Her buddy, Madihah Khan, mentioned folks may flip to faith extra if they don’t really feel accepted by wider society.

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Mahek Mehta and Madihah Khan mentioned faith performs a component in conservative attitudes

The Large British Asian Summer time is a season of programmes throughout the BBC this August, through which British Asians share their tales.

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