India is really filled with really hospitable people. For those who have visited India before, you will know what I mean. Many of them would offer you warm food and smiles although they have very little themselves. Yes, it’s a difficult country to travel but that doesn’t mean you should put it off your mind nonetheless.
However, India, like Japan, has it’s own customs as well. Read more on Japan’s customs here. There are things in India which you should not do and this list serves as a reminder for those who are planning to set out on an adventure time in India.
1. Do not wear revealing clothing: It is considered inappropriate to wear revealing clothing in India except in the major cities. This could mean miniskirts for women and shorts for men. Women (especially those with white skin) may receive “stares” from men and even more so when skimpily dressed. It’s a way for girls to protect yourselves as well considering how some news has popped up regarding sexual harassment cases.
2. Do not wear your shoes indoors: Indians generally do not wear footwear worn outside the house indoors. If you do so, you might make your host uncomfortable. The streets of India might not be the cleanest place in the world and that is why your host would prefer not to bring the filth back to somewhere where they sleep.
3. Do not ask for beef: Most Indians do not eat beef. In fact, cow slaughter is banned in the country and the only beef you can legally buy is buffalo meat. The cow is a sacred animal so try not to be disrespectful to the animal or you could hurt sentiments (the people’s, not the cow’s).
4. Don’t forget to carry toilet tissue with you. Indian toilets rarely have paper. Indians use water to clean themselves. Also, don’t frown on such activity. It’s their culture. Just use your own toilet tissue and get it over with.
5. Don’t trust people blindly. Con artists are quick to spot a foreigner and will do all they can to make a quick buck. They could lead you to a drinking place and trying to even get a bottle or two of free drinks from you. Keep an eye on that. However, most Indians are honest people who are eager to go the extra mile to help a newcomer out. It’s the bad apple that you need to be aware of.
6. Do not drink out of the tap. Most Indians do not because the water may be contaminated. Buy and drink bottled water. And make sure the bottled water is new and sealed. It is very common at some places to sell bottles of water that are pipe-filled and hand-sealed.
7. Do not assume that the food is not spicy: Be aware that Indian food is spicy and they generally are that way, so explicitly state your intolerance to spice at restaurants or eateries.
8. Do not let the cab and autorickshaw drivers overcharge you. Ask a local for the approximate fares and do not pay a penny more. If the cab driver insists on the higher price, you know what to do. Take a walk. Usually, they will come running at you accepting your offering. There are too many cabs in India to begin with, so don’t worry.
9. Do not kiss in public: Kissing in public can be quite offensive, it’s best to avoid it.
10. Don’t expect an Indian to show up on time. Indians are notorious for not being punctual. A common joke goes, IST (Indian Standard Time) is actually Indian Stretchable Time. Being late for a party is fashionable and arriving late for a date is common.
Overall, Indians are very hospitable (especially to foreigners) and there are very few things that can get you in serious trouble. Indians may easily be offended but they will rarely ever get violent. So relax and enjoy your visit to the beautiful country.
P/S: Did I miss out on something? Add it in the comment section below! If you like our content, join our PTT Outdoor Facebook Group, where we share a lot of good, valuable information for free: Malaysia Outdoor Community