Common Indian Customs

So, you have survived the Indian customs for greetings. Right now, you may worry that you do not know how to behave in public, or the Do's and Don'ts in normal day-to-day living. Well, worry no more (I sound like a sales guy), in this article I will cover the entire Do's and Don'ts in Indian customs in normal day-to-day interaction. Be sure to read carefully.

"Look into my eyes, and tell me what do you see"

Walking down the street, you should not show public affection even to your loved ones. As a traditional country, India does not welcome PDA (public displays of affection). Kissing and hugging are out of the question. Don't be surprise that people will literally stare at you with disapproving eyes. As you know, Indian people have eyes that are huge (Sigh, I can't say the same about my eyes, which are very chinky).

Even though Indian people's eyes are huge and considered the most beautiful in Asia, it is inappropriate to look straight into a person's eyes while talking. You can observe this yourself. Indian people tend to make less eye contact than Western people do do. If you are accustomed to Western or US culture, be aware that less eyes contact does not mean that Indian people are not honest or are less confident. It's just the way of their culture, and I will cover more of this custom in a future article.

You should always keep your distance with the native women. Indian women are very sensitive to who touches them. Culturally, only a woman's son can touch her, and her husband only in private. You should stay with saying Namaste to be safe as I mentioned before. However, same sex physical contract is considered to be Okay.

If you've traveled to India before, you may see two men holding each other's hands or two women embrace each other with a kiss on the cheek. Please, do not confuse these actions with being homosexual. In Indian customs and culture, this means these two people are the best of friends.

India culture

How to behave while walking down the street?

While traveling, you should not whistle or wink because it is considered to be impolite. Yes, this also applies when you see something or somebody that you find attractive. The woman may not come over, but she may whistle back and send her snake over to meet you (hehe). Sorry, Indian readers I couldn't stop myself from making that joke.

In Indian customs, when someone points at something he/she will do it with his/her chin by jerking it, or with a full hand. However, never point with the finger; you only do this action to somebody who is inferior to you. This also applies when you are beckoning someone. The most proper/common way is hand extended, palm down, and curving your fingers inward like the scratching motion.

When you go into a restaurant, beckoning the waiter is little bit different. You may snap your fingers or hiss, but again, never use one finger to point or call somebody over. If you do that, you may find some extra ingredients in your food. Just kidding, Indian people are quite nice.

Another way you can ask people to come over is to wave your hand back and forth or up and down. Now, if you are European this can be quite confusing, because Europeans use this gesture to say "Good bye." So, just keep that in mind.

As you already know, there are some parts of India that are quite poor, which means that there are a lot of beggars on the street. One of the rudest things you can do is to stare at them. This is considered to be a humiliation to the natives. Please be extra careful about this, but I know this is easier said than done.

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