The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated every year in August and is a popular ceremony among South Asian Hindus. During Raksha Bandhan, a sister ties a thread bracelet, known as Rakhi, on her brother’s wrist. This tying of the thread signifies a brother’s promise to always protect his sister. Although in a literal sense, Raksha Bandhan means a “bond of protection” or a “promise to protect”, this ceremony is actually a celebration of the love shared between a brother and his sister.


In exchange of the Rakhi, it’s customary for the brother to give blessings and gifts to his sister. Most traditional gifting options are money and sweets. Gifting chocolates during this festival is very popular.

However, these gifts could range anything from jewellery to electronics to apparels.

For brothers who live abroad, sisters send Rakhi by mail and many of them receive monetary gifts via remittance.

This widely celebrated festival of Raksha Bandhan is a great opportunity for Canada’s remittance sector since a vast population of South Asian migrants are from India. It is noteworthy that India held the 2nd place among countries for remittance outflows from Canada amounting to $3 billion in 2018.

In years to come, the remittance market size shall witness an astonishing growth as immigrants to Canada from India are increasing at a phenomenal rate, in both capacities as permanent residents and international students. As per IRCC, Indians admitted as PR to Canada increased by 105% from 2016 to 2019. Indian international students in Canada increased by 127% from 2016 to 2018, according to Canadian Bureau for International Education.

A variety of products and services become relevant for this festive gifting as well as for the forthcoming multicultural festivals in the second half of the third quarter and the fourth quarter of this year, since exchanging gifts are integral to all multicultural festivities and customs. These cultural festivals are great opportunities for brands to connect with their multicultural audiences.

Multicultural Marketing Opportunities in 2020

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