Asians (mainly Indians) are more technology savvy than any other social group in Britain, with most Asian homes having Internet connections and DVD players, according to a survey.
The Sky TV survey indicates that entertainment enjoys a prime position in the daily agenda in Asian homes. One reason why television viewing is high among the Asians is because most of them do not go to clubs or pubs.
The survey is said to be the first of its kind on viewing habits in Asian homes, and was commissioned by Sky TV to mark the 10th anniversary of Asian satellite TV broadcasting in Britain.
The survey reveals that Asians are twice as likely as other families to have DVD players and more likely to have PCs, games consoles and Internet connections. Three out of four British Asians have access to the Internet, compared to a national average of 50 per cent. Moreover as many as 31 per cent of Asian families have DVD players, which is more than double the British average.
The findings also reveal that six out of 10 Asian families have multi-channel TV and three-quarters feel underserved by mainstream terrestrial channels. But many also do not like the 24 Asian satellite TV channels to which they subscribe.
According to the survey, nine out of 10 Indian families are movie buffs but among Pakistanis the figure falls to less than half. Bollywood movies are among the most popular draws.
Research director Saber Khan said: ?The survey shows for the first time that ethnic media consumption is high. Multi-channel TV now plays the major role in meeting TV demands of Asians.?
The British Foreign Office now speaks in Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu as well as Punjabi. For travellers to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it offers tips in these languages under a new initiative?besides, of course, in English.
Baroness Symons, the Foreign Office Minister for Consular Affairs, said: ?The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve its consular services to reflect the changing diversity of the UK and to encourage all British travellers to enjoy safe and trouble-free trips abroad.
?We know from our contacts with ethnic minority communities in the UK that they would welcome moves on our part to provide consular information material in minority languages.
?To this end I am pleased to announce the launch of these travel tips which offer essential information in the relevant ethnic languages of the Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani communities in the UK.? Trevor Phillips, chairperson for the Commission for Racial Equality, welcomed the initiative and said it reflected an inclusive and supportive approach towards the ethnic minorities.
The ?Travellers? Tips? provided on the foreign office website are written by British embassies and high commissions overseas, and advise British travellers on what they should and should not do in each country.
Research by Oxford University and its collaborators has shed light on the last 100,000 years of human migration from Africa into Asia. The genetic study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, confirms that some of the earliest migrants travelled into Asia by a southern route, possibly along the coasts of what are now Pakistan and India.
The researchers identified a genetic marker in museum samples of inaccessible populations from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. This allowed them to re-interpret previous genetic studies from the Indian subcontinent.
Said Professor Alan Cooper, director of the Henry Wellcome Ancient Biomolecules Centre at Oxford University, who led the study: ?The findings mark a significant step forward in our understanding of the nature and timing of human settlement outside Africa, and may even give us a glimpse of what these ancient explorers looked like genetically.?
For researchers, the Andaman islanders have been an enigma since the early days of Victorian anthropology due to their distinctive physical appearance.
They have a very short stature, dark pigmentation and tight curly hair which contrasts with settled populations practising agriculture in the region.
The same features link them to other isolated populations throughout southern Asia, many of whom are hunter-gatherers.
This has led to speculation that these groups might represent the original inhabitants of the region who have either been replaced or absorbed into more recent population expansions.
Some have even speculated that they are related to African pygmy populations. According to the study, relationships between different groups of people can be described by analysing mutations in mitochondrial DNA, a genetic component that is passed on maternally.
The majority of people in Asia have been shown to carry mitochondrial DNA of a type known as haplogroup M, which has several subgroups and can be traced back 60,000 years.
In the new study, the Andaman inhabitants have been shown to belong to the M group, and most likely to its subgroup M2, which is around 53,000 years old. This provides evidence that the Andamanese are no more related to Africans than any of the rest of Eurasian populations, and may indeed be linked to surviving hunter-gatherer groups in mainland India who also carry the M2 marker.