A trip to India can change your life dramatically . From struggling to get your documentation right to visiting remarkable places, your life seems to take a sharp twist on to the path of courage Being a country with multi-faceted customs, any tourist traveling to India needs to be prepared to be wowed. The diversity of customs can be overwhelming and confusing to non-Indians. While the culture forbids citizens and tourists from performing some actions, there are other customs that every tourist would love to experience before leaving India.
1. Manners For The Temple
If you have plans to visit a temple on your trip to India, bear it in mind that it is considered dirty to wear shoes inside the temple, so make sure you take them off. Also, when you visit a place of worship, it is of religious significance to keep the lower part of your body fully covered. Bear these in mind before joining any procession? Which, of course, is fun.
If you did not attend a festival on your trip to India, then we’re sorry to say you didn’t really experience the country. The festivals in India are just as numerous as the religious activities. The coming together of people from different regions to celebrate at festivals is a show of India’s unity in diversity. If you are presented with the opportunity, grab it with both hands because there will be no better way of experiencing Indian culture.
In the event that you’re invited to a dinner, don’t expect to be served with forks and spoons. The entire family usually sits around the head of the family in a traditional Indian home. Indians prefer to eat with their hands. Wash your hands properly while you wait for the food. The meals are adventures on their own and you should enjoy them. You can request a spoon and you would be given one, but why not have this memory stashed away in your subconscious?
The western world is very liberal and this is pushing respect for our elders out of the window. There is so much respect for elders in India that an outsider can easily mistake it for fear. Greeting an elder comes with certain customs including a bowing of the head, touching the feet or joining the palms.
Indians prefer to live with their parents even when they are married and have jobs. When an Indian friend invites you to his or her home, don’t be surprised to meet a large family.
6. Uncomfortable Stare
Indians like to hold long stares at unfamiliar faces. This may be uncomfortable, but you need to get used to it. Unless you have ulterior motives, this should not bother you at all.
7. Use Only Your Right Hand
The left hand is considered inferior or unclean therefore it is not right to give or take anything with the left hand. You need to be extra cautious about this especially when you are in a place with religious influence.
Public Displays of Affection (PDAs) are not a common sight in India and partaking in PDA can attract you some bemused stares. All personal matters should be taken behind closed doors.