Slowly slowly I’m learning more about the culture and behaviors in India. It’s so different and all the unspoken rules are never gonna be clear to me. Just to list a couple of things; people don’t really always say hello or thank you or you’re welcome here. They might not say anything at all, which confuses me. But it’s not rude or anything, that’s just how it is. Which is fine by me as in Finland, we’re not too keen on formalities either. But they will always be polite and address you as Sir or Ma’am.
Other thing here very different to my country is being nice. My boyfriend always says to me “stop being so nice!”. In Finland, being nice and polite is the way to get things done your way usually. But here it’s like the more bitchy and demanding you get, the more likely you’re gonna get your way! Usually in hotels and restaurants people just complain about everything to get some perks or benefits. It’s the culture here. Even the way you speak makes a huge difference. So better to be quite demanding if you want to survive here 😀 And note: There is no such thing as “queuing” or “waiting for your own turn”. You push people aside and take your turn.
This one thing really bugs me as a former sales person. If you go shopping, there are like 5 sales clerks on you constantly trying to sell you something. As a Finn I really know what I want and will get it on my own when I go shopping. And even telling them that doesn’t help. Their job is to sell and only sell, and I don’t think honesty is their key selling point. They will say what they think you want to hear. It’s like you go to buy a lipstick and end up with 3 lipsticks, lip gloss, nail polish and lip liner!
One huge difference here also is the patronizing. In Finland we are brought up to be very independent all our life. But here, there is always a person to do the smallest thing for you. Like pressing a button or placing a napkin on your lap. It’s a good thing but also a bad thing. You dont really have to do anything by yourself here. In a hotel, there’s a breakfast buffet. Don’t bother getting up from your chair, there are still 2-4 waiters getting what you want from the buffet onto your table. Wanna try on some cute shoes in a shop? Just take a seat and let the sales clerk put them on your feet for you. Whatever you wanna do, there’s someone to help. Sometimes it turns against you though, as they treat you as you’re a moron or incapable of doing things on your own. Especially if you’re a woman here, you can just lay back and be treated. Whenever I’m with my boyfriend, I might not be noticed at all. He will be asked all the questions about food, drink etc, and sometimes even about my choices, he will be addressed. Then I usually interrupt and say my opinion. But never show aggression in India, as it’s considered very, very rude.
This list could go on and on, but it’s monday and I have to do some other work too 🙂 Have a great week!