India is like no other country in the world, so if you’re considering moving to India, then you’re going to need to be prepared for all of the different social customs, culture and etiquette that you will come across. One of the things that you will need to be careful of is being to Westernised, and if this is the case, you may end up actually doing something that will offend the people you see or are with. Etiquette is also important particularly if you are working in India, as they may do things differently to what you are used to. Here, we’ve put together a quick guide of all of the social customs, culture and etiquette that you will need to know before you make your move.
Indian society was originally based around a caste system, which typically placed stringent social restriction. However, in modern India in a business content, and certainly within leading Indian and international companies, this is no longer the norm. Indian legislature over the last 50-60 years has passed laws to reinforce a more modern outlook which ultimately promotes and supports social welfare. In addition to this, family values are a hugely important part of Indian culture, and marriages are taken very seriously leading to an exceptionally low divorce rate in the country. Large families will often span generations, and a lot of smaller businesses will generally be family-run and owned, with preference to hire family members where possible.
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There is an unusual mixture of British and Asian influences, meaning some customs are familiar to westerners. However, in other ways they can differ greatly. Dining etiquette, in particular, can be very different, and in some places, if you are eating with the locals, it is considered proper to eat with your hands – meaning cutlery may not be provided. However, you may be able to ask for a spoon depending on the restaurant or situation. It is also typical that food is shared and it is very common in restaurants to order a number of dishes and share them between the entire table.
However, it is important to never share cutlery, drink from someone else’s glass or take food from someone’s personal plate as this is considered to be offensive. It is also frowned upon to say thank you at the end of the meal in some cases, and so showing your appreciation as you eat and praising the food is a better option.
If you have arranged a party, generally it is considered rude for Indian people to turn up on time. While this will depend on the region that you are planning to move to in India, it is generally considered appropriate to arrive 15 to 30 minutes late. It is also deemed acceptable for guests to bring additional guests with them such as friends and business colleagues, so if you are hosting a party or meal, then it is best to over-cater and provide a buffet rather than a served meal.
If you are considering moving to India, then you can be certain that the local team here at Santa Fe
can provide you with all of the information that you need to help you when it comes settling in