Etiquette and Taboo in India

The customs and habits of a place will be different from one to another. India is also a multi-ethnic country, with more than 100 ethnic groups. Moreover, there are many religions and sects are even different. Thus, we can see that the customs in India vary from region to region. What are the taboos of customs and practices in India? This article will help you get to know about the etiquette and taboo in India.


General Etiquettes in India

Indians are very polite when meeting friends, usually with their hands together to show their compliments. When you put your hands together, you should be high for the elders, flat for your peers, and low for the younger generations to show respect, mutuality, and care.


If you're invited to someone's home, you can take some sweets or fruits as gifts. You have to take off your shoes when entering an Indian home. To welcome the guests, they give garlands to express their warm welcome.





It is worth noting that Indians often shake their heads instead of nodding when they agree with the other side's opinions.


Orthodox Sikh believers wear turbans. And they do not smoke, do not eat beef, and do not cut their hair.


Table Manners in India

According to the canon, Hindus and Sikhs do not eat beef, Muslims do not eat pork, and Jainists avoid killing animals and eating meat. Hindus regard cattle as a god, and they will worship before eating. Some people worship dogs, snakes, mice, and so on.


If you banquet Indian merchants, you should know in advance whether they are vegetarian. 60% of the people in Mumbai are vegetarians.


When you visit an Indian home, you need to rinse your mouth and wash your hands before meals.


In traditional Indian homes and rural areas, guests typically eat with men, the elderly, and children first, while women eat after guests' meals. People of different sexes eat at the same time and cannot speak to the opposite sex.


At the Indian table, the host will usually serve the guests in a friendly manner, and the guests cannot pick up the dishes themselves. At the same time, guests cannot refuse food and drinks that have been given to them. Food is considered a gift from God, and it is ungrateful to God to refuse it. You cannot pass the food on the plate to others. Once you come into contact with this food, it becomes contaminated. Many Indians have to find out before eating whether unbelievers have touched their food.


Never use your left hand to deliver things. Indians think the left hand is dirty, and the right hand is clean. Reaching your left hand is an insult to others. Reach for food with your right hand. Not only can you grab rice by hand, but porridge can also be packed by hand.


Table Manners in India

Eat with Hands


Puja Ceremony

Puja is a ritual to worship the gods in Hinduism, and the puja ceremony must be performed by a priest. During the ceremony, the faithful decorate the statues and carry them out of the temple to celebrate. They offer offerings like flowers and coconuts. Finally, the priest held the oil lamp and performed "Arati" in front of the statue. During the process, the believer gently covered the lamp in the priest's hand with his hand and then touched it with his own eyes, which is the power to receive the gods.


In India, believers can usually share some sacrificed flowers or water called "Prasada" after the puja ceremony. As long as Indians come out of the temple to worship in India, almost everyone is smeared with red or white powder.


Taboos in India

1. In the hearts of Hindus, cattle are the mounts of God Shiva, so cowhide or cowhide leather products are prohibited. But Muslims in India don't eat pork, so it is best for tourists to eat chicken or lamb.


2. In India, you should avoid handing things over to the locals with your left hand, as your left hand is considered unclean.


3. Do not touch a child's head in India because Indians consider the head to be sacred.


4. In India, you have to take off your shoes when entering religious temples and historical sites.


5. When visiting Hindu temples, it is best not to wear shorts and short skirts.


6. When special religious ceremonies are held in India, never despise or criticize them so as not to cause problems.


7. Men cannot shake hands with women. Many housewives are taboo to meet strange men and do not easily come into contact with outsiders. However, if you invite men to social events, ask them to come with their wives. Men and women in general relationships cannot speak alone.


8. Indians taboo white color, and it is common to use lilies as mourning products. They make the half-moon pattern taboo and regard 1, 3, and 7 as unfortunate numbers.

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