Relocating to India: Important Cultural Differences to Consider |

Relocating to India: Important Cultural Differences to Consider

When it comes to relocating to India, it's important that you're wholly prepared for cultural differences that you'll encounter.

Posted on

12 March 2017

Last updated on 19 January 2020
Relocating to India: Important Cultural Differences to Consider
When it comes to relocating to India, it is important that you are wholly prepared for any cultural differences that you are very likely to face. This expansive country is exceptionally different to Western culture in particular, and because of this, it can take many expats a long time to adjust to the changes in the country – particularly if it is their first time relocating there. Whether you’re considering moving to India for a work placement, or for any other reason, you can be sure that Santa Fe will be there to support you every step of the way. Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the most important cultural differences for you to consider, so you are fully prepared when you make your move.

Relocating to India: Important Cultural Differences to Consider

About Indian Culture

Indian culture is ancient, and it is also one of the most popular cultures in the entire world. Known for its rich heritage, with a huge combination of customs, traditions, lifestyles, religion, languages, cuisine and more which varies across every area, there is a lot of unity amongst the diversity. Hindi is the most widely spoken language in the country, however there are up to 24 different languages that are spoken across the country. English however, is also widely spoken and is considered to be the business language of the country. Other languages include Telegu, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu and many more. However, with westernisation being thrown into the mix, Indian culture is now considered to be divided into two parts: traditional and modern.

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Traditional Culture

In traditional culture, society is of more importance, and community is said to come first. Arranged marriages are still common, however love marriages are beginning to be equally respected due to Western influences in the country. There are a number of festivals celebrated in the country, and the variety of clothing will depend on region. When you relocate, one of your biggest considerations should be your clothing. Indian women will prefer Saree or Salwar Kameez, and the traditional outfit for men in India is the Kurta Payjama, and tight, revealing and transparent clothing, particularly on women, is highly frowned upon. Religion is also as varied as the cuisine in India, with religions including Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity all being major religions that you will see in the country. 

Modern Culture

While most of India will still have traditional values, there may be a number of Westernised customs and cultural similarities that you will find in the country. This is generally focused in the major cities of India including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune but Western influence is set to grow in the country, leading to more equal rights for men and women. In addition to this, there have been significant advances in the country including in medicine and architecture. India is well known for its film industry, known as Bollywood, and its dance, music and theatre origins date back more than 2000 years. With major classical dance traditions, and a movie history dating back to 1896, you are certain to find very modern culture in many parts of the country.

If you need help when it comes to settling in due to the vast cultural differences in India, then get in touch with a member of our local team today. 

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