A majority of Indians admit that they do not know much about the country’s history, culture, destinations, nature and food, with many of them unaware of facts such as Gir being the only natural habitat of Asiatic lions or that the Khajuraho festival is celebrated in Madhya Pradesh, according to a study by Mahindra Holidays.
The knowledge and awareness of different facets of India appears to be the lowest in cuisine, as per India Quotient research — a light-hearted study conducted to mark Mahindra Holidays’ 25th anniversary, the company said in a statement.
Stating that there is a “surprising lack of knowledge of our own country, its diversity, vastness, culture, heritage, and cuisines”, the company said. As per the study, “60 per cent of the respondents admit that they don’t know much about Indian history, culture, geography/destinations, nature, food etc.”
“The India Quotient, which indicates the knowledge and awareness of different facets of India, appears to be the lowest in cuisine. In fact, less than a third of the respondents (31 per cent) are aware that when coffee was brought to India, it was planted first in Coorg,” it said.
The research also revealed people’s low awareness of Indian art, culture, and heritage.
“For instance, more than half (55 per cent) of the respondents also don’t know that Aipan is the signature folk art of Uttarakhand, more than a third (39 per cent) of the respondents don’t know that the Khajuraho festival is celebrated in Madhya Pradesh, and nearly a third (32 per cent) don’t know Maharashtra is the best place to shop for the Paithani sari,” Mahindra Holidays said.
Stating that the same trend is observed in terms of Indians’ geographical knowledge of their own country, the study said more than a third of the respondents (39 per cent) were not aware that Gir is the only natural habitat of Asiatic lions.
Similarly, it said, “One in every three respondents (33 per cent) is unaware that Udaipur is known as the ‘City of Lakes’ and more than a third of respondents (35 per cent) remain unaware that the wall at Kumbhalgarh Fort, the second-longest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China, is located in Rajasthan.”
Commenting on the findings, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd Managing Director and CEO Kavinder Singh said, “As people explore India, observe iconic Indian monuments and experience unique culture and cuisines of different states, they grow more curious about other aspects of India they don’t know about and become eager to raise their ‘India Quotient’.”
He further said, “For instance, two-thirds of the respondents (66 per cent) seek out local cuisines when they are travelling with family, however, 41 per cent of the respondents don’t know that Appam is the local cuisine of Kerala.”
The study also found that 27 per cent of the respondents said the top reason to take a family vacation is to bond with their family, with 15 per cent playing the role of ‘foodie’ on their family trip, experimenting with and experiencing local cuisine and advising their family on the same.
Mahindra Holidays said the research was based on telephonic and face-to-face interviews with 4,039 respondents in 16 cities — Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Surat, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kolkata, and Patna, conducted from December 2021 to January 2022.