Cross Cultural psychologist, founder of www.dealwithculture.com, traveller, digital nomad, yoga practitioner, post-airline career advisor. Reinvent your career!
5 things to know before travelling to India
1. The traffic is insane🚗🚙🚕 Roads can be congested and using the horn is common. This creates impression of total chaos but there is a system and things work out in the end.
2. Communication can be challenging👳🏾 India’s cultural values imply preserving harmonious relationships, therefore you will hardly hear a „no“ as an answer. Learn how to read between the lines and observe behaviour for the hints that will help you understand the situational context.
3. Social Status👳🏾 Because a caste system existed in India for many centuries, people continue to be highly aware of social hierarchy and their place within it. Age, academic degree and profession all help to determine status. First greet the oldest or most senior individual in a group. Those with titles should be addressed using their titles. Use “Sir” or “Madam” for those without professional titles.
4.Be conservative👗 Basic standards of modesty all over India require that you cover your knees, upper arms, shoulders, cleavage and midriff. It’s acceptable for your midriff to be exposed when wearing a sari, but not otherwise. How you dress profoundly affects how people respond to you. Women who dress and act modestly are much more highly regarded than those who flout the cultural norms. Wearing clothing that is indecent by Indian standards is insulting to the culture, and it also gives men the idea that you are available for sexual favors. Most Indians are much too polite to tell you to your face if you are inappropriately dressed, but they certainly notice. 5.Be patient👳🏾 In Western cultures you are lazy if you waste time and don’t plan for the future. In stark contrast, India is oriented toward the past. This causes India to be focused on traditions and long term commitments. Time and Human Activity are Independent and Mutually Exclusive Many reasons for time orientation preferences in India exist.Life is an ongoing cycle where influences from the past explain the current situation and the present is only a result of past action and can not be controlled.