Converse with Indians, While in India — Trip to India
As Indians will typically start off by asking personal questions about you and your family, it’s good to reciprocate with similar questions about theirs. Indians especially those who are used to seeing foreigners — are prone to asking questions that may seem too intimate, often within minutes of being introduced. This is because they are trying to zero in on your social and economic coordinates to know who you are in terms of social standing, wealth, power, family, education, connections, religion, respectability, etc., all of which comprises a person’s auqat, or place in the social hierarchy. The rules of social interactions, which have everything to do with auqat, are deeply ingrained in every Indian from infancy. For most Indians, caste is still a major part of this equation. Auqat determines how much respect you will be given and how you will be treated in any particular situation, so it is intimately connected with your izzat or honor.
Indians tend to be extremely curious about how our thinking and lives are different from theirs. After the first question, which is almost invariably which country you are from, you may be subjected to a barrage of personal questions about your family, your marriage (or why you aren’t married, if you are single), your job, your education, your home, your income, where you are staying, why you are in India, how you like India, your religion, etc. Don’t take offense. This is not considered impolite, as it might be in other cultures. You don’t necessarily have to answer, though. If you are asked an uncomfortable question, you can always reply with a question of your own to try to change the direction of the conversation. Or you can smile and be politely vague. To bluntly tell someone that it’s none of his business would be extremely rude. Also Visit — Luxury Tours in India
On the other hand, Indians will expect you to ask such questions of them as well, and if you don’t, many people may feel you are impolite or have no real interest in who they are. They know all these sorts of things about the people around them, but the only way they can find out about you as is to ask.
Questions about art, culture, religion, history, food, and the local region are good conversation topics because people are naturally inclined to appreciate any effort to understand their country better. Since cricket is an obsession with many Indians, learning a little about the game and the top players will nearly always give you something to talk about. Indian cinema, if you are fond of it, is also a good topic of conversation. It is always good to mention the things that you love about India.
When talking about life in your own country, make an effort to present a balanced picture. Don’t just glorify the culture and life-style; also mention the realities of inflationary prices, stress, pollution and other problems. Many Indians idolize the West in an unrealistic way, thinking that if they could only get to America, for instance, they could make lots of money and their problems would be over. This is certainly not true for the vast majority of Indians, so it’s more helpful to disillusion them a little. Indians who emigrate are often so unhappy being away from their own culture that all they want to do is to come home.
Since Indian society is exceptionally hierarchical, if you are in a group where there is any significant inequality in terms of age or social standing, you may notice a certain amount of avoidance of one sort or another, while in a group of peers, you usually won’t see this. For instance, as a sign of respect, Indians typically don’t make eye contact when talking to someone who is older or of a higher status. On the other hand, Indians often stare quite openly when they are not talking to you, especially if they are not used to foreigners. You really can’t do anything but smile and ignore it.
Indians tend to show much more appreciation for each other than Westerners do, so make a point of expressing your appreciation for your Indian friends — not thanking them exactly, but telling them how wonderful or kind they are, how much you enjoy being with them, or how much you like anything about them. Also Visit — India tour packages
Most Indians are extremely reluctant to express disagreement overtly — except with close, trusted friends or people who are lower in the hierarchy — because doing so would be regarded as rude or even aggressive. Disagreements are usually expressed indirectly, so it’s best if you try to do likewise.
For the most part, at least in casual conversation, it’s best to avoid topics like poverty, dowry, widows, foreign aid and anything that shows India in a bad light. If an Indian starts the conversation, you can join in, but on the whole it’s better to mostly listen and keep your opinions to yourself.
When visitors start a discussion on sensitive topics, their comments are likely to be seen as criticism. It’s also best to avoid discussing anything to do with the military, even if you happen to be really interested in it, or you could find yourself suspected of spying. Indian politics can also be a touchy subject, especially if you are with people who have diverse views and allegiances, though many people will be interested in your views of foreign politics. Pakistan and Kashmir are particularly sensitive subjects. Avoid getting into discussions about sex. And try not to mention the weather. Those of us who have grown up in milder climates tend to complain far too much about India’s weather.
You will also find that Indians are prone to giving advice on just about everything, which you should acknowledge politely, whether it seems useful to you or not.
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