Explaining the Lack of Privacy and the Lack of Verbal Manners in India

Explaining the Lack of Privacy and the Lack of Verbal Manners in India

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I have posted about lack of privacy culture-shock and about the lack of manners in India in point number 5 of this post.

And now I have explanations to both those things.

Amit from India taught me this:

“The culture here is more like a tribal kind which means people are much more connected to each other rather than an individual kind of culture. In this kind of culture it becomes very difficult to find personal space.

In India many people don’t say thank you and welcome to close ones because we think that when there is closeness it is not needed. You may have observed that in India many will say thank you for a good gesture by a stranger but if the same is done by a close one, they find no reason for this.

In india there is a saying in sanskrit “atithi devo bhava” it means “guest is equal to god”. This is the reason why we are bound to respect our guest and treat them well even if they come uninvited and at any time. In other sense it also means that a person can go to anyone’s house without invitation at any time and leave their house when they (guest) wishes to leave. It may also be the reason why you will not find personal space in India.

You should try this once i.e., going to one of your neighbor’s or friend’s house who knows you and strike up a conversation. I think you will enjoy that.

India is a very different country. It is a place where to communicate words are not always necessary. People read signs and emotions, heart and mind more often than words. Try to understand people’s feelings. It will help you to build your experience and understand people (it will give you the ability to distinguish between bad and good). In India it may happen that what you see cannot be true and what you may not be able to see will be true. Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Ajit from Mumbai taught me something also:

“Please and thank you equivalent words are not used automatically in Marathi [the local Maharashtrian language]. E.g. word for please is krupaya where Krupa means blessing. So “please give water” in Marathi is “bless me with water” sounds funny.

Marathi is my mother tongue and have stayed in Mumbai for last 40+ years of my life. I might still find it difficult to stay in rural Ahmednagar district. So kudos to you for staying there and wonder why God told you to stay there in first place. Western sensibilities regarding privacy, cleanliness, politeness will not work in Ahmednagar so please be safe. “

I told you guys, Ahmednagar ain’t an easy place to live. You heard it from an Indian.

So, what do you think? Very insightful and interesting information from people that know the deal. I think it’s just a matter of getting used to it. I also like that they say “bless me with” instead of “please give me”. I really wish I could learn Hindi and Marathi in a super fast way.

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