The diversity of India and its natural beauty has made it a nation that tops several bucket lists. Even though Indians are hospitable and amiable, it’s often advisable to abide by social customs and local rules to avoid offending someone. For a delightful and safe trip, here are things not to do in India.
13 THINGS NOT TO DO IN INDIA
- Don’t Wear Shoes into a Home or temple in India.
It’s customary to take off your footwear while going into the religious places. Also, if a person or a friend invites you to their home, remove your shoes before entering. But if the host says you shouldn’t, then you can wear it in.
Some Indians usually put on slippers while going inside, but those are mostly for the indoor purpose and on no occasion worn outside. This practice is adopted in most shops too. Therefore, if you find shoes at the doorway, it’s nice to take off yours also.
- Do Not Take or Give Things with Your Left Hand.
In India, the left hand is unclean because it’s only used typically for carrying out unsavory activities, like cleaning your legs, wearing or removing your clogs, tidying yourself after visiting the toilet, etc.
Especially within religious areas, giving alms or collecting Prasad using the left hand is not acceptable and is considered inauspicious. Thus, all examples, including contact with cuisine, taking or passing objects, or interacting with individuals, should be carried out by the right hand. Though, for southpaws, this is not compulsory!
- Don’t Point Your Finger Or Use Your Feet To Touch Anything.
Another custom rule is not to point using your finger. This is said to be rude. If you have to attract a person’s attention to something or somebody, use your entire thumb or hand. Also, touching objects (such as educational gadgets and books) or people with your feet is said to be genuinely disrespectful. If it takes place unintentionally, Indians respectfully use their hands to touch the object and apologize by bringing their hands near their eyes.
- Don’t Put on Skimpy Clothes.
India is a combination of conservative and modern minds, and women’s clothing differs from one region to another. In metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, or Goa, you can wear whatever you wish to wear.
But, in little cities and towns, especially within countryside India, dressing decently and not overexposing your skin is much recommended. It’ll not just prevent unwanted glares, but would also help you fit in with the citizens. Ensure you throw on a scarf or stole when going to religious areas.
- Don’t Expect Punctuality.
Have you come across IST before? I bet you know what it means. It means Indian Standard Time, globally, but Indians know it as Indian Stretchable Time. The way Indians view time is different. For example, if a person says, “I am on my way,” just know that the person has not even left his or her place yet.
Usually, 5 minutes is equal to 30 minutes, and thirty minutes is equivalent to 1 or even 2 hours. It’s merely the culture for not keeping to time – whether it’s social events, gatherings, meetings, or public transportation networks. Therefore, when next you’re invited to an occasion at 5:00 pm, you could show up in less than 25 or 35 minutes later. It won’t be regarded as rude.
- Don’t Show Affection Publicly.
Public Display of Affection, abbreviated to PDA, is moped upon and, whether you like it or you don’t, it may even send you to jail for about three months (even though there are some caveats). Therefore, it is best to steer off all public display of affection (even holding hands at certain places), so you don’t need to face unhappy stares or moral policing.
This rule is strictly monitored, and failure to comply could land you to prison, so you must note that hand-holding, or love portrayal in some places is part of the things not to do in India.
- Don’t Strike up Religious or Political Conversations.
Do not criticize or discuss Indian politics. Do not insult any specific ethnic or religious group. Even though India is a democratic nation with the free will of the expression, and several Indians are outspoken about what they see, you should stay away from being the first person to start the conversation on any political or religious matter.
These topics often get heated, can be penalized. So you should discuss other exciting stuff like movies, drama, fashion, and so on. Out of the several things not to do in India, you must never talk about India’s political or religious issues.
- Don’t Be Upset by Inquisitive Questions.
Indian citizens are very good at asking inquisitive questions. They’ll question your family; marriage, income, and job, sometimes even in the course of your initial meeting! This is their method of breaking the ice. Therefore, don’t be offended or surprised if someone throws so many questions at you immediately.
All you have to do is dance to the tune. You are also free to ask your questions. This is not a difficult task. So you can put it in your list of things not to do in India.
- Don’t Stick to Famous Tourist Destinations.
Mumbai, Delhi, as well as Goa, are among the most famous tourist regions – and for an ideal reason. However, there’s a superfluity of unexplored areas in this great diversity and vast country that is entirely worthy of being visited.
- Don’t Insult Cricket.
In India, Cricket is a religious conviction. Therefore, insulting it would surely raise some eyebrows. Saying negative things concerning the cricket team of India would never be esteemed either.
The best thing you must do is just to enjoy the game like you’re a citizen. However, do not make negative comments about the team.
- Don’t Consider Beef.
Since the cow is very sacred in the city, eating beef is seen as a taboo in Hindus. Furthermore, killing cows is unlawful in numerous regions of India. Killing cow has resulted in violent protests, so foreign tourists have been made to understand the case in a generally clear way. Therefore, you are advised to check the legality before asking for a beef dish! You should know that not all citizens could speak English.
In this case, learning little of their language is vital. India is linguistically as well as culturally different! There exist many language usages in the country as well as mini-dialects which vary in the diverse regions! However, some places will have people who can speak and understand English, tripping outside any urban region will require learning a few local phrases and words. You get local friends and it will make them know you have respect for their culture.
- Don’t ever think of drinking or smoking in public.
Here, you are not permitted to smoke or drink in the public. It is prohibited and an offense worthy of punishment. The government of the country hates that and could lead you to jail. To enjoy this stuff, you could go-ahead to do it at home and not in public places. Other places to smoke and drink are in licensed places!
Other things that are prohibited are possession, consumption, as well as distribution or sales of drugs. If you are going there to do these things, you will be convicted and jailed for the act. Therefore ensure that you don’t get involved in such activity!
- Don’t drink tap water!
Once you get to this country in question, go for bottled water only! Whenever you drink some water from the tap you are at great risk of catching bacterium or bacteria! Therefore desist from drinking water from the tap in India! Tap water in the country has Escherichia coli which is a kind of bacteria that could make someone sick!
For your safety, always go with some mineral water cans every time. Indians drink either boiled water from their tap, pipe born water, or they’ll make sure they take drinkable and germ-free water! You have to stick to very cheap bottled water! Even when in their restaurants, ask for mineral water and don’t ask for regular water! Avoid taking any risk with your health!
Going to India could be very interesting if you could keep to their legal rules and regulation, according to these listed things not to do India! We have been able to give you most of the things you should think of doing once you’re in India! Never forget that in India, the ultimate in command is cash! If you could keep all these laws and also have your cash, you will surely make everything memorable.
Furthermore, using ATM might be so easy inside the town sectors but within small villages as well as towns, they will not help you. Therefore, ensure that you go along with much cash to depend on! Also, you could keep some cash for paying for your parking, buying, and tipping when getting necessities!