India is known for its mystical theology and people needing for spiritual awakening come here. Well, this has also been a cliche from several years which is ongoing but things have changed in the course of time. India is rapidly developing, with all the languages they speak, cultures they follow, religions they believe in. It is wide and diverse and one cannot get it one go. Even people living in the country are unaware of many things. People are travelling to know more places and exploring new places. Not just Indian but people from different countries are keen to know about the Indian customs and cultures. Here are some important things to know which should be kept in mind to be aware of the general Indian customs.
Indian Customs | India Customs and Traditions
Do not call them from Names.
Titles are of great importance in India, people should be addressed formally with surname. Only use someone’s given name if they give you permission to do so. Indians might not like you calling them from their first name. People close to them can do that but if you meet them first time and taking their name might get to offensive side. You can simply ask them if you can take their first name. Not all Indians are same but it depends on person individually. Just be polite and ask.
2. Temple Etiquette.
India respects all cultures and is a ‘cultural hub’. It has temples, Gurudwaras, Churches and mosques. Every place has their own rules to be followed. In India, Feet is considered dirty and people don’t take it to temple. It is a token of respect which everyone should follow. In Gurudwaras, along with taking shoes off outside, feet is washed while entering the main premises and you must put a small cloth on head which is regarded as respect to god.
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3. Eating Etiquette with Hands.
People in other countries generally use spoon and fork to eat food. But in India, you use hands. This is because it is a part of culture. It is considered a primal way to eat which has a lot of benefits too. It helps in digestion of food easily and keeps you away from diabetes. This is also told in Ayurveda teachings how having food with hands is essential to touch your food when eating. This improves our consciousness of the taste of the food we eat. You are feeding mind with food along with the body. You create a physical and spiritual connection with it.
4. Don’t Show Affection in Public.
A crucial if you have not been to India earlier. India has a conserved culture and certain things are considered as ill-mannered. You are watching a great view in front of you and want to kiss and snuggle your partner? Well, that is a big no. You must not do that, people do not get intimate in public areas in India. Human intimacy is a curious contradiction in India.
5. Don’t Wear Tight or Revealing Clothing.
This is mainly for female travelers. Do not wear revealing clothes which can be a reason people might stare you. The reason behind it is that in India, girls do not generally wear short clothes, which is actually changing a bit. But it is better to prevent any situation than facing it.
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6. Don’t Outright Decline an Invitation or Request.
This is for the people who say things outright. It is a good things to be blunt but a bit odd when you are too straightforward. This seems to disregard others, rather, you can just say, ‘I don’t think it is possible for me to do that, than saying, ‘No, i would not do that’. This is specially for people staring business in India.
7. Don’t be Offended by Intrusive Questions.
You are on a travel trip in the country and suddenly someone shows up. Don’t get shocked because people like talking to foreigners and knowing their insights. They might ask your name or where you are from. They might ask you about you travel. That is a good thing to interact but be careful, not every person is wise and genuine. Do not share your belongings, that might be a risking thing. Interact with people, know the culture, watch the mountains and coastal areas, but stay alert.
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8. Sexuality and women travelers.
You may notice people looking through curious eyes. You might get a little uncomfortable but that’s that. Try to get used to it and just ignore things. It does not happen in every part of India but this happens at some places not so developed and which has less tourists crowd and this article is just for you to get mentally prepared for such incidences.
9. You’ll be hounded by people.
There are many places which does not have much tourists and people are not used to watching travelers. If you are travelling to such places, you might be hounded by people. People might gather around and try to talk. Well, this generally happens in rural areas. It’s okay to have fun and share laughs but be cautious and alert.
10. Don’t Judge the Whole Country.
This is the last but very important point. You might have different experience in India, good or bad. It depends which part of India you have traveled. You will have great experience in India but certain things which can cause bad impact. That is simply because the Indian culture is much different from others. Do not judge the whole country solely on the experience you had once. Enjoy and know about about it, you will love the country.
Every country has their own cultures and traditions which has come from the history of the country. In a country like India, you get to see myriad of cultures and those are also changing from place to place, from every kilometers. India is heterogeneous in many ways yet homogeneous in other. This is a country which can not be explained but visited and experienced on an individual level. The country is colorful, lots of festivals, lots of celebrations, different cultures and the most important thing is ‘expect for the unexpected’. Just follow basic rules and enjoy the adventure!