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What Not To Do In India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Alexandoy, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Member

    This is relative to the thread What Not To Wear in India by @Claire.

    Most buildings in Metro Manila are no smoking zones including the compound grounds. Some other places like churches forbid noise. How about in India, are there things not allowed to do like those I mentioned? Are there places where kids are not allowed?
    moondebi likes this.
  2. nomad

    nomad New Member

    I've never traveled to India with children so I'm not sure about that. One tip I would offer is regarding alcohol. Different states within India have varying laws regarding drinking alcohol, so if you are intending to have any it is a good idea to look up the regulations before you go. There are some days where alcohol is not sold also so it's a good idea to be aware of these.

    One of the cultural tips I was given before going is that men and women do not usually shake hands with each other. As a woman this was good information to be told beforehand. Most people do understand that you are a foreigner and have different customs at home, but I like to respect the culture I am visiting as much as possible.

    It's also important to be aware of the dress code in India. In New Zealand it is common for people to go out wearing clothing like singlets and shorts. In India conservative clothing is the standard - covering your shoulders and legs. As with the above, people do realize you're a tourist, but it's much more polite to respect the country you are in (in my opinion).
    Chahal likes this.
  3. btalivny

    btalivny Member

    Although I will admit that many parts of india are conservative, recently, there has been a western boom in fashion. Many modern cities have individuals who have similar clothing to what most westerners are used to. I would still heed in caution and bring clothes to fit both scenarios as you should be safe rather than sorry.
  4. turtledove

    turtledove Member

    As previously mentioned, a unique thing about India is different laws about alcohol in different states, and many visitors don't realise this until they visit a state.
    Another thing to avoid in India would definitely be going out late at night and going to deserted areas. Most places in India are quite safe during the day, and a few are quite safe during the night (for example Mumbai is relatively safe at night, since so many people are out and security does stay out); however many places in India are not safe at night.

    Surprisingly, some restaurants in India don't allow children. It's not really common, but if you plan to visit any specific restaurant and they're a little posh, be sure to check that they allow children. You may be surprised!

    When it comes to clothing, generally Western clothing is alright in the more populous cities (e,g, Mumbai,, Bangalore, Chennai). But, if you're visiting more rural areas, then Western clothing probably isn't the best idea.
  5. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I think going to any country, not just India, it's always a good idea to try and check any customs they might have, and its good to have a basic understanding of what not to do.

    As others have said, recently India as become more of a popular tourist destination than what it's ever been before, and while a lot of the country is still conservative and traditional, tourists are now becoming more and more accepted and I can only think that trend will continue to grow in the future.
  6. nomad

    nomad New Member

    Another thing I find particularly helpful when travelling to a different country, is to ask the locals about anything you don't understand. Things like what to tip for can often be confusing in a different culture but local residents are usually more than happy to give you some advice. It shows you have a genuine interest in learning about the culture also.
  7. btalivny

    btalivny Member

    If you approach individuals respectfully as if you were in your native country, then they will show you equal respect. India is full of many friendly, sometimes over friendly people. If you get lost, just go up to a group of people and they will simultaneously tell you the correct direction so you have assurance that the answer was right.
  8. moondebi

    moondebi New Member

    India has no major restriction for the tourists.

    There are a few no smoking zones, which is obvious for the safety. Other than that, you may not be allowed to carry a camera in some places, as clicking the picture is restricted.

    I, personally, have not found any place where children are not allowed. Even if it is there, it would be a rarity.
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I think a lot of the time people can worry a little too much about what they can and can't do, and at the end of the day you'll end up ruining your trip if you think about it to much.

    Anything your not sure about then just ask, I'm sure people will be more than happy to help if your not sure about something, abd as a tourist in a foreign country, your not going to be expected to know what all of the local customs are, and exceptions will be made.
  10. travelguide

    travelguide Active Member

    I never saw a restaurant that has restrictions for kids. I don't know why they should do so as it will only hamper their business. In fact I have seen restaurants having separate rooms for families to have some privacy.

    But I can say, people in most part of India is conservative in public display of affection. Another thing is that Indians consider head as the most auspicious part of the body and feet as the most inferior. So, try not to touch anything important with your feet because that may be considered as inauspicious. Usually for things like eating, giving gifts /money right hand is used. Using your left hand is not common here.
  11. nomad

    nomad New Member

    That's a really good point I had forgotten about. You can get some strange looks sometimes if you are out in public and use your left hand for selecting things fruit and vegetables at the market. It's something to keep in mind if you are left-handed and therefore more likely to do so.
  12. Gabydi

    Gabydi Member

    Wow this is an interesting thread. I had an idea about the clothing but the left hand thing is completely new to me. What if I’m left handed? Is it truly terrible to use my left hand? Also, should I cover my feet? As a general rule then I must avoid stretching hands with people and all that stuff, right? Well this is all new to me, but good thing you all mentioned this.
  13. nomad

    nomad New Member

    To my knowledge it is related to the hand used when toileting. The custom is to use your left hand for cleaning, and therefore your right hand should be used for other (more hygienic) tasks. Even with the use of western toilets I believe the custom has stuck around a little.
  14. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I also wasn't aware that it wasn't polite to use your left hand either, so I guess there's quite a few people learning new things thanks to this forum.

    I'm right handed anyway so wouldn't be to much of an issue for me anyway, but if I was left I'd be very conscious having found that out.
  15. travelguide

    travelguide Active Member

    I think there is nothing to worry if you are left handed. The most important point is that usually we never use our left hand for eating. Yes, as @nomad has already mentioned left hand is meant for cleaning. Even if you use your left hand nothing is going to happen. It would be better if you can use your right hand for things like eating. There are a lot of left handed persons in India too. Nothing to worry about.
  16. vegito12

    vegito12 Member

    It is important to learn about any customs or public display of affection with your spouse as in some areas, it may be considered as wrong or offensive so need to be aware of that, and need to be respectful of any area which does not allow alcohol or smoking. I think that it is amazing to learn that the right hand is used more then the left hand and it is something to know when travelling around the country and think asking the locals can be a good thing as you may learn more than you know. I reckon that it is important to know about the area you are visiting and the modern cities have developed more and the people there don't mind the clothes the foreigner wears in most areas just in the rural areas you will have to be more careful.
  17. GammaRay

    GammaRay Member

    This is advice I've shared to friends and fellow travelers about entering countries with vastly different cultures than yours and number one is to always dress conservatively especially in an Asian country. You don't know who you're going to offend it's just a matter of respect guys especially when you're visiting temples, churches and such. Another is to never speak out of terms-- some countries have patriarchy-dominated societies that isn't very enabling to women like me, safe advice is to always go with a guide, group or translator so they know where you're coming from because you're a tourist essentially people never expect you to shake the foundations of their socio-political society unless you're a journalist. I've encountered these journalists in my trips and they generally have good intentions in mind but what they do is very dangerous.
  18. innaf93

    innaf93 Member

    It really depends in the area you are going to visit. If you are in a developed, modern city then of course much more less to pay attention too, but if you are visiting an an underdeveloped area then you have to treat with as much respect as you would your own country's traditions.
  19. bharat soni

    bharat soni New Member

    firstly i will say that try to select a best local guide who can easily help you in various things and he will also guide you if you are doing something wrong which could have negative effect and he can easily solve the language problem which is faced by most of the tourist. and try not to eat food from roadside carts. don't try to drive in crowded cities cause it will be very difficult for you. and at the end do not even try to fall in the trap of drugs it will definitely lead you in serious problems.
  20. sillyllucy

    sillyllucy Member

    I try to not to display any public affection in front of people or in religious areas. I think that it is disrespectful and the locals will give you some looks. I also abide by the no smoking in public areas and just save if for your hotel. It is just being courteous if you do that.
  21. SirJoe

    SirJoe New Member

    So far there haven't been a great deal of restrictions mentioned or rather the ones that have been mentioned aren't that different form the majority of the countries. This is the idea that I had of India, due to it's great mix of people and religions it's understandable that there wouldn't be very strict rules in conduct. If you look at a country like Japan, that has a mono culture you have the exact opposite to India. japan has a huge amount of restrictions in conduct.
  22. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Member

    A respectful attitude towards those you meet in your travels, particularly those who are employed in your hotel or eating place should always be displayed by the visitor to India. Common sense and courtesy will ensure you have few negative interactions in this wonderful country. A small amount of research into the customs of the area you are visiting should help you out, but India is a massively diverse country, comprising of many different cultures and religions and there is no single point that would apply to the whole country.
  23. knitmehere

    knitmehere Member

    It pays to do your research before you visit a certain area. Talk to the locals to get a feel for what the area is like and what different actions they will find to be disrespectful.

    It's always my biggest fear while visiting other countries that I will end up doing something that's normal to me but that will disrespect them without me knowing it.
  24. comlink

    comlink New Member

    Be mindful of where you are at all times, do not assume that if one area is nice, the other one will follow the same procedures, try to scope out an area beforehand for anything that doesn't seem right, as most times it is. Again shady places that seem to offer cheap services are suspect to scams, try to avoid them if you don't know the area well
  25. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    Every country is an entity by itself. For instance in Serbia you can do almost what ever you want. People will judge you all the time, however, and for everything you do. That doesn't mean you will have to be careful about too many things. I understand that in India there are few rules you should respect and some thing you should avoid doing. This is all a part of a culture and it is that specific culture what makes the difference. I know i would like to see some things in India that are forbidden for strangers and i do not feel good about it but still i respect that something is still sacred to someone. It is not for everyone's eyes and the very fact that Indian government did not use those places to attract even more tourists is making me believe in moral and pure goodness in human beings.
  26. oneself

    oneself New Member

    The beautiful backwater sceneries in Kerala and the story of Taj Mahal- the symbol of love may make you romantic. But think twice before performing any acts of love in public since the people around you in India is very conservative and doesn't want to watch or do public displays of affection.
  27. Ankisha

    Ankisha New Member

    It totally depends on the area you are planning to visit. Some areas are very conservative and some are quite modern and westernized. But the 'modern and westernized' in India doesn't mean that you get all the freedoms. You are always expected to follow and respect the local culture and dress up conservatively. You should avoid wearing anything too revealing.
  28. arthnel

    arthnel Member

    On my visit I dressed like how a tourist would but I was very respectful of culture as many said before. Indians, like many people from different countries are eager to share so I was happy to ask directly on my trip about customs. I found the story a few recent months ago about the boy with the tattoo of the goddess that offended many Indians in a restaurant who demanded an apology. Even the police got involved. I thought that should have been okay as he wasn't wearing the tattoo disrespectfully. But it goes to show you just can't be too comfortable to do anything you want. It's good to ask, and apologize, if the need arises.

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