Customs and Traditions of India
According to Countryaah, almost all Indians are deeply religious. On the territory of the country you will see Hindus (82%), Muslims (11%), Christians (2%), Sikhs (2%) and Buddhists (0.7%).
The richest religious community in India is Catholic. Catholics hold leadership positions in the leadership of the state, they are the most influential.
India is famous for freedom of religious beliefs, any discrimination on religious grounds is punishable by law.
Attitude towards tourists
The locals are quite friendly to tourists, but often take advantage of their kindness. Begging flourishes in India, some Indians are trying to sell some trifle for a price several times higher than the real value. Bargain. Often in the process of bargaining, you can get a discount on goods from 20 to 90%.
Important: Sanitary standards in India leave much to be desired. Wash your hands frequently or carry wet wipes with you. Do not abuse national dishes – you run the risk of getting an upset stomach out of habit. Check agooddir for recent history of India.
Rules of Conduct in India
In India, there are generally accepted norms of behavior. Here are some of them:
- Temples. You must take off your shoes before entering the temple. Women are allowed to enter only with their heads and shoulders covered, women’s legs must be covered with clothes (not tight!). In temples it is customary to donate money. Photography is allowed only with the permission of the minister. It is forbidden to bring leather goods into the temple. Bypass religious institutions should be on the left side.
- Photos. Filming and photographing Hindus must be done carefully. In India, there is a caste division, some representatives of the castes are forbidden to be photographed. You will have to pay for photography in the reserves.
- Relations. In India, any manifestation of tenderness and sympathy is prohibited. Kissing or hugging in public can put you in jail.
- Greetings. As a greeting, Hindus fold their palms with their fingers up and raise them so that the tips of the fingers touch the eyebrows.
- public institutions. When entering a temple, office, clinic, take off your shoes.
- Tea drinking. If tea is poured for you, then wait for the host’s invitation before starting to drink tea. You can leave only after you have drunk your tea to the end and put an empty cup on the table.
- Communication. During the conversation, do not raise your voice and do not wave your hands, otherwise they will not want to deal with you. You need to behave modestly, do not flirt with the Indians.
- Gestures. The right hand of the Hindus is considered clean. They bless her, take and give money and even eat. If you do not want to offend a Hindu, then you should not touch him with your left hand. The left hand of the Hindus is considered unclean, they wash themselves with it after the toilet (toilet paper is not accepted in India ). The maximum that you can do with your left hand is to hold your right hand at the moment when you are carrying something heavy.
- The feet of the Hindus are also considered unclean. When sitting, do not point your legs towards another person or religious institutions. It is better to sit on crossed legs, or tuck them under you.
- Clothing. Women in crowded places (buses, markets) are advised to cover their heads with a scarf. Avoid short skirts and open dresses – this will draw unnecessary attention to you. It is better to braid your hair or hide it under a headdress. Sari in India is worn only by married women, a European woman wrapped in this national dress often causes laughter or condemnation from local residents. European men should avoid wearing yellow, white or orange lungi.
- Religious objects in India are treated with great care. Do not throw books or rosaries anywhere. Be careful with money, do not wrinkle it or throw it away.
Major holidays and non-working days in India: May 26, May 14, Holy Week, October 2-3, October 23, November 7, December 25, as well as a number of local holidays dedicated to religious dates.
Most festivals in India are celebrated on the days of the new moon. The celebration is accompanied by festivals and processions. A lot of people come to large temples these days, so you risk spending the whole holiday sandwiched between Hindus.