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India 2015: OVERVIEW | Key Themes: Tradition Continued

Preserving traditions ranks high among Indian priorities

Even as the pressures of modern life erode traditions and family ties in much of the world, preserving these values continues to be a driving force shaping Indian society.

In the 2014 Futures Company Global MONITOR survey of 24 countries, 79 percent of Indians answered that it was extremely or very important for them to preserve their family’s cultural traditions. The average response among the other countries was only 58 percent.

This finding doesn’t automatically
mean that preserving family traditions circumscribes engaging in the modern world or enjoying its benefits. Rather, respect for tradition and the engagement with modernity coexist, as suggested by other Futures Company findings.

Almost two-thirds of Indians compared with less than half of respondents from other countries agree with the statement, “I am always looking for different cultural experiences and influences that will broaden my horizons.”

Similarly, when asked about what accomplishments they consider to be signs of success, “Being a dutiful member of your family” was selected by 71 percent of Indians, compared to an average of 54 from all the countries surveyed.

Revealing some movement in the tension between tradition and modernity, the Indian response about family loyalty declined slightly between 2013 and 2014. The desire for luxury products and brands, another success measure, increased.

Indians are grounded in their own traditions and not constrained by them. Being secure in their own cultural identity Indians feel free to explore those of others. That disposition may be natural in a nation of 22 official languages where people daily encounter both commonality and difference. 

... Loyalty symbolizes success...
Compared with the average consumer across 24 countries, Indians are much more likely to view being loyal to family and owning luxury brands as measures of success.

  ... But Indians are open to new experiences
Compared with the average consumer across 24 countries, Indians are much more open to experiences outside their own backgrounds.


Source: Global MONITOR 2014/The Futures Company