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Leave Your "personal Space" Home When You Come To India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by integrity101, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. integrity101

    integrity101 Member

    If you are first-time visitor to India, be warned that the concept of "personal space" is not quite popular here. Be prepared to be crammed in small spaces with a sea of humanity in lifts and public transport. You may also find the free and intrusive nature of the people a bit strange but this is a different culture from what you are used to. It is this loss of personal space and other culture-shock incidences that make your trip unforgettable.
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  2. Yes, this is a very important thing to remember, especially if you want to travel to the popular tourist places. I was surprised how some foriegners didn't like anyone getting too close to them, even if it was done inadvertently. I guess they would not be used to such crowded places back home.

  3. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    This really is a major problem. People have no respect for others personal space and this also applies on the roads where you will have other vehicles just inches behind you and on the sides if you happen to be in a middle lane. I am some one who doesn't like people getting anywhere within two metres and the norm in India is a few inches and no one would stop to apologise if they brush their shoulder against yours on a busy street.

    Mumbai and Kolkata are the worst when it comes to personal space invaders.
  4. Arianne

    Arianne Member

    Invasion of my personal space will be a difficult challenge. I have a hard time when people stick their faces two inches from mine to talk to me, never mind standing or leaning against me. It will give me a chance to work on this.
  5. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I've had that kind of experience in other countries that I've travelled to - and it's definitely overwhelming the first time. I remember in Japan and Korea when I vacationed there, getting onto already packed trains for instance - and then people kept piling in! I literally don't know how everyone fit, but it was like sardines in a can. It's not something I enjoy at all, but I guess I'm kind of used to it now and I just get into that headspace where I expect it - then if it's anything better than terrible I'm pleasantly surprised!
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  6. tabby

    tabby Member

    Oh, personal space! This makes me recall about my former American colleague who values his personal space too much that he often gets puzzled look from the people around him. The warning just made me think that my country, the Philippines, has apparently has this commonality with India. People crammed in elevators, jeepneys are not something foreign to us. So, I guess I won't be too culture-shocked if I visit India. But I definitely would agree with the original poster's suggestion to leave your 'personal space' idea home if you're like my former American colleague. It has nothing to do with you, it's just how things work. So go easy on being easily offended if someone stands less than a meter away next to you.
  7. violet

    violet New Member

    It bothers me when someone I don't know is so close I can see their pores. It will definitely be difficult for me to get used to it but I won't let it ruin my vacation.
  8. GinaMax

    GinaMax Member

    Sometimes I like culture shock. If there was one area where I needed a shock to bring me back to life, then this would be it. I am a staunch defender of my personal space. It is so much so that I struggle in social situations. I know that I need to loosen up, but being from the US means I do not have to. People love their personal space so much here that they don't notice when it has become absurd. I know that I do have an issue, and need to lighten up. Human touch is so important and healing, and I cant avoid it like the plague forever.
  9. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    It is the same all over SE Asia. The multitudes of people cramped into dense cities makes for an entirely different dynamic. As someone who grew up on a farm, I was accustomed to wide open ranges. I had all the room in the world, and had to go into town to see anything resembling a crowd. That just isn't the same in India and other Asian countries. But that does not mean everywhere else is afraid of getting close. I have some French friends who are very tactile, and get very close to have conversations and such. Not such a problem when it is an attractive woman, but a little odd when it is a guy.