Etiquette in India

India is, undoubtedly, one of the most mystical and diverse countries in the world. It is also a country full of stark contrasts in many ways, between the rich and the poor, the modern and the traditional.

While it is sophisticated and modern, at the same time it is home to many primitive tribes and millions of people who are deeply in need. There is a wide gap between the fortunate and the impoverished, and this gap has been made even wider by the caste system. This system has created a culture that emphasizes firmly established hierarchical relationships.

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Indian cultural dance

The caste system has made the Indians very conscious of social order and their status to other people. In fact, all relationships involve hierarchies. There is always the presence of a leader in any organization or family. In schools, teachers are called gurus and are regarded as the source of all knowledge, and students have a deep respect for them. A family will have its own leader and is usually the father. The Indians observe this hierarchy so that social order will always be maintained. Continue reading “Etiquette in India”

Part II: Planning Your Trip to India

So you’ve made all the arrangements—you got your Indian visa all sorted out, you picked the right time to visit the country, you managed to book a fabulous place to stay in, and your suitcase is packed with all the essentials to make your stay nice and comfortable.

However, as the plane touches down on the landing strip of the airport, you start having mixed feelings.

Since it’s your first time in India, you can’t help but feel a bit apprehensive about a lot of things. Having that feeling is perfectly normal, since Indian culture can give newbies quite a jolt upon arrival. However, knowing what to expect can help lessen the impact of culture shock, and it can help you to adjust much quicker so you can focus on what you came for, which is to have fun.

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Upon arrival in India

India can give quite a first impression

Be prepared for a disorienting experience once you step out of the airport. The heat is the very first thing that will assert itself upon arrival. If you’re wearing warm clothing during the flight, plan on storing a lightweight cotton shirt in your carry-on luggage and change into it a few hours before the plane lands. India is a hot and humid country, so leave the flannels at home and always stash a bottle of water in your bag whenever you leave your hotel room. Another way to deal with the heat is to carry a foldable paper or fabric fan, and if you plan on staying out in the sun, you might need a folding umbrella to protect you from the harsh rays and also from sudden downpours. Continue reading “Part II: Planning Your Trip to India”

Planning Your Trip to India

You’ve been dreaming about going to India for ages and ages. And now that you have the time to do so, you can’t wait to just hop on a plane and enjoy the country’s sights and sounds. Not so fast though. For you to have a worry-free and truly relaxing vacation, planning ahead and making an itinerary should be the first thing you should do before you pack. Here’s a step by step guide on how to plan your trip to India.

Step 1 – Get an Indian Visa

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Acquire your Indian Visa

All visitors need a visa for India, If you’re staying for less than 72 hours, a transit visa will do. However, if you’re planning on staying longer than that, then you’ll need a tourist visa. Tourist visas are usually good for six months, depending on your nationality. Some countries issue visas for only three months, while some have longer durations such as one year. If you’re a holder of a tourist visa, you’re allowed to remain in India no longer than six months at a time. To apply for a visa, you need to complete an online application form. You’ll also need to submit a valid passport, a recent passport-sized photo and details of your itinerary (see why it’s so important to plan ahead?). Continue reading “Planning Your Trip to India”