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Important Cultural Differences

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by tomservo, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. tomservo

    tomservo New Member

    I'm wondering what some of the important cultural differences between the U.S. and India are. Not necessarily what some of the major, or obvious differences are, but what are some of the differences that are important to know as a first time traveler going to India? Thanks!

  2. swalia

    swalia Guest

    • Indians are family oriented and believe in the institution of marriage. Though divorce rate is increasing nowadays but still far less as compared to that in U.S.
    • People in the West are open to working at any level and even teenagers work to sustain themselves. However Indians prefer white-collared jobs and frown upon menial jobs.
    • Kids are on their own in U.S. once they are grown up. Some even work to pay for their higher education. But in India, kids are parents' responsibility till they complete their education and are well-settled in their jobs.
    • Indian society is not very liberal in talking openly about sexuality. Indians are a bit conservative when it comes to sex.
    • Skin show in dressing is still frowned upon in India. People tend to dress a bit conservatively.

  3. Ritika Sharma

    Ritika Sharma Member

    In my opininon,Dressing is one of the major cultural differences best US and India and one should keep it mind before travelling to India
  4. Elaine

    Elaine Member

    Thank you for sharing this information, Swalia. It is really important to be aware of the cultural differences of the country one is planning to visit in order to know how t behave once there.
  5. Aidan

    Aidan New Member

    Wow I had no idea I had to take all these things into consideration when visiting India. It seems that it's a very different place from home. However, I love exploring new places :)
    Ritika Sharma likes this.
  6. swalia

    swalia Guest

    It's quite different than the West but Indians are very warm and welcoming. Indians believe in 'Atithi Devo Bhava'. That means that they consider their guest equivalent to God.
  7. Dina

    Dina New Member

    These are some interesting differences that are posted here. I have also heard that wishing a stranger may be considered odd in India while in the US one would tend to wish a stranger sometimes if there is eye contact and the person does not look lost in thought.
  8. Vinaya

    Vinaya Member

    Sex is taboo in India, however, India is also a home of Vatsayana the author of Kamasutra.
    Honoring elders is a part of Indian culture. You are nos supposed to talk loud before elders.
    Most of the marriages in India happen from parents consent.
  9. sara.nm

    sara.nm New Member

    Indians care a lot about their family and believe in traditional marriage, and as mentioned above they have a conservative approach toward sex. the women don't let their bodies be exposed so be extra careful when communicating with their women.
  10. AlapanB

    AlapanB Member

    The most notable cultural differences would be:
    1. Dress code in India and the US are different. It has been already discussed, but it needs to be mentioned.
    2. Indians are very family-oriented, and believe kids until they're settled are a parent's responsibility, after which the parents are the kid's responsibility. So don't be weirded out if you see grown men and women living with their parents.
    3. Indians don't wear shoes in their houses or any sacred places. BE careful and always keep your shoes outside when entering a temple or somebody's home. Unless specifically told not to. Not only it will create goodwill towards you, the people there will open up to you pretty quickly.
    4. Indians frown upon supposedly 'menial' jobs (that includes, but is not limited to dentistry, IT engineering and clerical jobs). So beware of that.
  11. cecejailer

    cecejailer New Member

    Tradition is way more important in India than it is in the US, so cultural differences can include the kind of clothing they wear, the way they feel about sexuality (and sex in general), subjects they talk about in general, etc. Don't walk into someone else's house wearing shoes! Never! At least that's what I've heard. They frown upon menial jobs too, but I don't think that's important if you're only going there for a trip.
  12. vegito12

    vegito12 Member

    Tradition is a big thing in families and also in the rural areas and worshipping their gods and there was a case where an Australian man had a tattoo of an Indian Goddess on leg and did not know it was sacred to the people had to write an apology letter and it is important to know about the local area and anything sacred to the people. There is the caste system in some places as the wealthy people may look down on people who do jobs which pay little, and it can depend on also which man the girl will marry as marriage between a person who has a low paying job and a high paying one does not usually happen unless both parents agree to it. Dating be a big issue and some parents can break up the relationship when they see that the other person is not equal to them in status which is kind of sad in this modern world, and parents seem to make choices for children till they show they are ready to move ahead in life.
  13. Danny Luke

    Danny Luke Member

    There are dozens of cultural differences between India and Western countries. The space here won't be enough to accommodate all of these differences. It's highly recommended that before you fly to India, you should take the time to learn more about the country's culture and traditions. This way, you won't experience culture shock when you arrive in the country. There are tons of resources online that you can use to educate yourself about India's culture and traditions.

    KAREN MARTIN New Member

    Visiting India has certain rules and regulations from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to obide by, but after you get yourself prepared for India's first timers visit it is like no other! India has so many features from electrifying buildings and views, to food, to drinks, or cities to visit and more! India is breathe taking, overwelming, beautiful, fantastic, crazy and intoxicating all in one!
  15. Linda Nyabundi

    Linda Nyabundi New Member

    Indians are very spiritual people and this a very different culture from that of the U.S where spirituality is not mandatory and is a personal choice.
    Indians are generally a conservative bunch which is totally different from U.S where people are open minded. This is with regards to dressing and perception of social issues such as sexuality
    Indian men are dominant of their women which is totally different from the culture in the U.S where men and women are equal and sometimes women dominate men. This might work for you and not against you since you are a man :)
    Indians are not as trusting as people in the U.S and you will have to be patient with them before they get to trust you or accommodate you.
    The foods and drinks in India are definitely different from those in the U.S and comes with a lot of chilies.
    Indians are generally traditional and adore their traditions and cultures unlike the U.S. It is important to research more and learn more about their traditions and cultures so that you know how to conduct yourself in a way that you don't abuse or disrespect their culture and traditions.
  16. GammaRay

    GammaRay Member

    For one thing traditional clothing is common wear in India whilst I suppose there's no such in the States as the country is a boiling pot of different cultures. South Asians and Asians in general really are quite family-oriented and politics and sex isn't openly talked about. Asians are quite conservative.