Being from India, it’s definitely easier for me to identify what an average Indian likes about Australia as a country. Australia is immensely popular amongst Indians and continues to be on their dream travel itinerary. This list reflects the reasons why Indians are drawn to Australia and love its warmth.
1. Master Chef Australia
It was the first time that the English speaking urban Indians watched an International TV show that was about serious food. Master Chef Australia aired in 2010 for the first time on Star World (part of the Star Network owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp). Indians loved the food made by Australian competitors; they cheered for favourites and adored the judges. It was refreshing for most Indians to watch a reality show on food without any expletives and drama! (note: Gordon Ramsay is extremely famous in India due to Hell’s Kitchen). The popularity of Master Chef in India even made renowned food critic and Master Chef judge Matt Preston visit India for promotion of the TV show in the following seasons.
2. Bollywood movies shot in Australia
There have been 8 Bollywood blockbusters shot in Australia. It all started with the movie Dil Chahta Hain, a youthful story about three friends that attained cult status in India. Parts of the movie were shot in Sydney and this was the first time Indians watched the beautiful locales of Australia on big screen. It was also the first time Didgeridoo, an Australian instrument was played in a Hindi song. Of course, Indian tourists started flocking Down Under like never before. A biopic on the famous Indian Olympian Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was also shot in Melbourne recently.
A still from the movie Dil Chahta Hai that shows the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge
3. Aussie Cricketers
India is a cricket crazy country and of course, handsome Aussie cricketers do have the girls swooning be it the retired Brett Lee and Shane Warne or the current hotties like Mitchell Johnson. It doesn’t matter that the Australian and Indian cricket teams have sledging histories and play cricket with a lot of aggression. Indians absolutely love Aussie cricketers when they tour India for matches or the Indian Premier League.
4. Hugh Jackman
The Wolverine star is extremely popular as the X-Men movie franchise has a great following in India. This Aussie export to Hollywood is indeed one of the most coveted international celebrities Indians love. The recent meeting of Hugh Jackman and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York’s Central Park nearly led to a media frenzy.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Aussie movie star Hugh Jackman