They are just a handful in number now as compared to a few decades ago. The Anglo-Indian community living in the twin cities are also nicknamed Little England. Old timers from the community say that more youngsters are looking for greener pastures abroad — a major reason for the community’s dwindling population in the City.
“The priorities of the youth have changed now. The old timers used to work in either railways, army or in the mechanical sector but now youngsters are more interested in call centre jobs, computers, IT Sector and teaching. Youngsters from the society are also settling abroad for a better future,” said Maria Cook, a community member.
Nevertheless, they make their presence felt in the City’s diverse culture. Anglo-Indians are a fun-loving and vibrant community.
However, the move by the State government to ban wine making at home has angered Hyderabad’s Anglo-Indians, who have been brewing red wine — a tradition that they are very popular for — at their homes for generations during the Christmas season. However, today many Anglo-Indian households refrain from doing so due to the prohibition by the excise department. They say it costs about Rs.150 to Rs.200 to make a litre of wine at home, but wine of the same quality in the market is priced at Rs.600 per 800ml
“We have more than 60 branches all over the nation and our community members from other cities like Chennai, Kolkata and other cities make wine at home. However, in Hyderabad some people from the community started selling wine throughout the year and commercialised it. Due to the greediness of a few, the whole community is now suffering,” Waren La Touche, president, Anglo Indian Association, Twin Cities.
There are nearly 2,000 Anglo Indian families residing in the City, mainly in the Secunderabad and Lalaguda areas. “While we still love to celebrate festivals the Western way and value our culture, at the same time we are Indians. Christmas and New Year are our major festivals but we also celebrate Holi and Diwali too,” said Sandra, a community member.
The only association of the community conducts monthly meetings and gatherings during festivals, which gives them an opportunity to interact with other community members. Of late, inter-community marriages are also becoming common.