India is a sizable country with a variety of cultural traditions. All races, castes, and religions are welcome in India. Additionally, you will experience India’s diverse cultures, innumerable languages, delectable cuisines, festive occasions, and rich traditions. The cultural differences in this place are amazing and highly interesting. Friendly folks can be found here. However, there are several things that Western visitors to India should avoid doing in order to avoid offending anyone, regardless of caste, ethnicity, or religion. Let’s look at a few dos and don’ts that are not advised in India.
Here are 15 things you should never do in India
1. Do not wear shoes to religious places or homes
Avoid wearing shoes in homes or places of worship, since all places of worship are highly sacred. Thus, it is normal to take your shoes off before entering. Wearing your shoes is unacceptable since you are disrespecting them. Additionally, you must take off your shoes or slippers before entering a residence, if you see them at the entrance when you are there.
2. Do not expect everyone to converse in English
You shouldn’t assume that everyone will speak English because India is so large and that each state has its own language and dialect. In rural areas and small towns, the languages differ as well. So don’t assume that everyone in this place speaks English. Most people in urban areas and large metropolitan areas speak English.
3. Eating beef is a taboo
It is forbidden to eat beef in India because cows are regarded as a holy and sacred animal. As it is prohibited, they do slaughter them for beef. If people are found to be eating beef, there can be a social uproar. If they discover that the cow was killed for beef, there is also violent protest in some areas. Foreigners ordering beef should confirm their legal authorization.
4. Do not address an elder by their first name
Indians value their elders highly. Don’t ever use their first name. It might be viewed as disrespectful. The older siblings should likewise not be addressed by their first names; instead, they should be referred to as didi or bhaiya. If a person is really elderly, they are referred to as Dadaji or Dadi. The younger or middle-aged are addressed by aunts or uncles. Modern society addresses males as Sir and women as Madam.
5. Eating with left hand is not acceptable
Eating with the left hand is improper since the left hand is used for cleansing after using the restroom, so it is regarded as dirty. Therefore, using your left hand to eat could be seen as impolite or undesirable.
6. Using your left hand to take or give something is improper
In India, it is considered rude to extend your left hand in response to an offer of money. With the left hand, you should not offer, touch God, or shake hands. People will feel offended if offerings are taken with the left hand in religious settings or during special occasions.
7. Do not take it personally if someone inquiries about your personal matters
This is a fascinating fact about Indians. Do not be insulted if an Indian tries to pry into your personal life; Indians will not hesitate to question about your finances, marriage, employment, and other details. If they ask you such questions even at your initial encounter, don’t be surprised or offended.
8. Avoid kissing in public
It is improper to display affection in a public setting. When such an act is observed, the folks in the vicinity may raise an eyebrow. However, depending on the circumstances, doing so may result you up to a three-month sentence in jail. Hence public displays of affection should be avoided.
9. Do not expect punctuality
Do not expect Indians to be on time. We are well aware of IST, or Indian Standard Time. Ironically, Indians refer to this as Indian Stretching Time. People are not very punctual, so you do not accept punctuality from them. The buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation frequently arrive late. Additionally, individuals take it for granted to arrive late at social gatherings. The fact that waiting for someone can take five minutes or an hour is also amusing. Thus, being late is acceptable.
10. Don’t shake hands with ladies
People in many Indian cities still avoid shaking hands with women today. As an alternative, they clasp hands and say “Namaste.” However, modernization has partially changed things, and at big businesses and global enterprises, men can now be seen shaking hands with women.
11. Do not become overly close with strangers
Indian ladies, in particular, always try to keep their distance from strangers and any local guys. Overly cordial behavior toward strangers will be regarded negatively, and people may speculate about the woman’s character. Indians also forbid their children from taking anything or speaking to strangers.
12. Refrain from touching books and food with your feet
It will be viewed as extremely rude if food is dropped and you try to pick it up or set it aside with your feet. Additionally, it will be viewed negatively if you shove your books or any other study materials. If you accidentally touch something like food or a book by your feet, you should apologize by touching it reverently and bringing it near to your eyes.
13. Smoking by women in public is not acceptable
In India, smoking by women is frowned upon. Those who see a woman smoking in public, judge her. People will openly criticize her character, and think of her as a harmful influence on other people.
14. Avoid sitting with your soles facing to the other person
People often sit cross-legged on the floor, but they shouldn’t do so. This will treat others with a great deal of disdain. They may experience offense, because the soles of the feet are filthy, they are unclean.
15. Possession of drugs is forbidden
Possession of drugs is forbidden in India. Additionally, it is illegal to sell drugs, which is another offense. If someone is caught using narcotics, they may go to jail. However, despite the ban, narcotics buying and selling are still illegal and still occur in secret.
The greatest treasure of any country is its culture. India is extremely diverse, with numerous ethnicities, castes, creeds, and religions, each deeply rooted in its own culture and values. To maintain unity and peace, all laws and traditions must be strictly followed to prevent any disrespect for any Indian, regardless of caste or religion. However, it is always a good idea to be aware of cultural cues and the fundamentals.
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