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Observed Social Customs


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Title: Observed Social Customs

Observed Social Customs
Observed Social Customs
Lighting Lamp In many Hindu homes a lamp is lit
daily before the altar of the Lord. In some
houses it is lit at dawn.  All auspicious
functions and moments like daily worship, rituals
and festivals and even many social occasions like
inaugurations commence with the lightning of
lamp. Light symbolizes knowledge and darkness,
ignorance. Knowledge removes ignorance, just as
light removes darkness.Also knowledge is a
lasting inner wealth by which all outer
achievements can be accomplished. Hence we light
the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest
of all forms of wealth. 
NAMASTE OR NAMASKAR Namaskar or Namaste is the
most popular form of greeting in India. It is a
general salutation that is used to greet or
welcome somebody and also for bidding farewell.
While doing Namaskar, both the palms are placed
together and raised below the face to greet a
person. It is believed that both the hands
symbolise one mind, or the self meeting the self.
While the right hand represents higher nature,
the left hand denotes worldly or lower nature. It
has also a spiritual significance of negating or
reducing one's ego in the presence of another. 
GWU School of Business India Trip Travel
Guide 2006/2007
Observed Social Customs CLOTHING
Observed Social Customs MARRIAGE
Observed Social Customs CLOTHING
WOMEN Indian Dresses Beauty of Indian women lies
in the clothes she wears. Very traditional and
ethnic yet contemporary Indian Saris are famous
worldwide. It is worn with a blouse that covers
the upper part of the body. In rural parts a
version of sari, called ghagara -choli is very
much popular. Choli is like a short blouse that
covers the upper part of the body and ghagara is
like a long skirt.
MEN For the men, there is no dearth of variety.
gtFrom dhoti kurta to shirt pants, an Indian man
prefers Everything that fits well and looks good.
But, traditionally you can see north Indians
wearing kurta pajama, dhoti kurta or sherwani on
formal celebrations whereas south Indian men
prefer lungi with shirt.
Time has changed but the lavishness has always
been an integral and indispensable part of Indian
marriages. In India, marriage is still taken as
an institution where not two people but two
families get united. So, it always calls for
boisterous celebrations full of music and dance.
Within India, every caste and community has its
own way of performing the rituals of marriage. In
Hindu marriages, while Punjabis perform the
Roka ceremony in weddings, Sindhis perform the
Berana. But most common of all is the ritual of
Hast Milap ceremony popularly called Paanigrahan
Observed Social Customs CLOTHING
WOMEN In order to have a graceful and complete
look, women folk carry a duppatta, which is a
soft and delicate material of reasonable length
thrown over the shoulder. Though with slight
variations, Salwar kameez is a dress that is
famous in every part of India. This attire
contains two pieces-kameez, which is a like a
long top covering upper part of the body and
salwar is like trousers. Like ghagara choli,
salwar kameez is also complemented by dupatta.

Common and Useful Hindi Phrases
"How much does this cost?" -- YEH KIT-NE KA HAI
How are you?" -- KYA HAAL HAI, or KAISE
HO/HAIN, or KYA CHAL RAHA HAI, "Where's the
phone?" -- PHONE KA-HAAN HAI? what time is it
KYA SA-MAY HAI "Where are you?" -- KAHAN HAIN AAP
here?" (If you are male, then say) --KYA MEIN
YA-HAN BAYTE SAK-TA HOON "Can I sit here?" (If
you are female, then say) --KYA MEIN YA-HAN BAYTE
"Goodbye." -- ACH-HA, CHALTA HOON "Please enter."
-- PADHARIYE "See you again." --PHIR MI-LEN-GAE
"Thank you." -- DHAN-YA-VAD or SHUK-RIYA "It is
nice to meet you." -- AAP SE MIL KE KHU-SHI HUI,
or AAP SE MIL KE ACH-CHA LAGA "Please take me
to my hotel." -- KRIP-YA MUJ-HE MAY-RAY HO-TEL LE
CHA-LI-YE "here is the bathroom?" SHAU-CHALAY
Hello.- NA-MA-SKAAR or NA-MA-STAY Please.-KRIP
-YA Water. PAA-NEE Can I please have some
HAIN? Help! BA-CHA-O (literally means save
me, but thats what people shout out when in
trouble) Call police. POLICE KO BU-LA-AIYE.

Hotel Embassy Info MUMBAI, India
Hotel Embassy Info NEW DELHI, India
Hotel Embassy Info BANGALORE, India
Taj Lands End Band Stand, Bandra (West), Mumbai
400 050, Tel No. (91-22) 6668 1234 Fax
((91-22) 6699 4488Emaillandsend.mumbai_at_tajhotels
Le Méridien New Delhi Windsor Place New Delhi
Phone (91)(11) 23710101
Le Méridien Bangalore 28 Sankey Road PB No 174
Bangalore, Karnataka 560 052 Phone (91)(80)
2226 2233
U.S. Embassy Shantipath, ChanakyapuriNew Delhi -
110021Tel 91-11-2419-8000Fax
91-11-2419-0017 Email ndcentral_at_state.gov
Consulate Information American Corner Bharatiya
Vidya Bhavan Race Course Road Bangalore 560 001
Phone 080 - 2226 5746/7303 Fax 080 - 2228 7373
Unit Consulate Information American Citizen
Services General Mumbai 78, Bhulabhai Desai
Rd.Mumbai, Maharashtra 400-026 Phone (91-22)
2363 3611,4306/4134/4237 mmbajacs_at_state.gov
Sightseeing Ideas and Options in New Delhi
Purana Qila (Old Fort), Delhi the ruins of the
fort are located on a small hill which once
stood on the banks of the river Yamuna. Legend
has it that the fort marked the site of
Indraprastha, the magnificent capital of the
pandavas, though the construction was carried out
by Sher Shah Suri sometime between 1538 to 1545
AD. The structure houses a mosque which has a
double storeyed octagonal tower. At the foot of
the hill is a lake where the Delhi Tourism has
arrangements for boating.
Connaught PlaceOne of Delhi's most popular
shopping centres built as early as 1931 there is
nothing that one cannot buy here and it also has
several eating houses. The state emporia
buildings are also located in this area so are
the head offices of major banks, airlines and
other such things of importance to the tourist.
The complex popularly referred to as CP is an
important meeting points for all sections of
people and is something which no tourist should
miss if for nothing else then for its
architecture and the humdrum of everyday life.
Chandni Chowk It was the eyes and ears of the
Mughal's commercial instincts and is today one of
the country's best known wholesale markets for
textiles, electronic goods and watches. The
entire area was designed by Jahanara Begum, Shah
Jahan's favourite daughter and was then inhabited
by the well-to-do families of that time. There is
however a word of caution and that is that there
are several elements who are believed to be
selling duplicate goods and the tourist needs to
be careful about this.
Sightseeing Ideas and Options in Bangalore,
Lal Bagh Gardens Lal Bagh is a must see while
visiting Bangalore. The name Lal Bagh has been
given to it for the wonderfully bloomed red roses
that remain blooming all through the year in this
garden. The garden has also a collection of
famous Botanical species. Though the flow of
visitors to the park is a regular affair, the
garden gets a festive look during the Republic
Day and on the days of flower shows that are held
Sightseeing Ideas and Options in Mumbai,
Sightseeing Ideas and Options in Mumbai
Fashion Street refers to a cluster of about 130
to 140 clothing shops on MG Road in South Mumbai,
India. Ready made garments are one of Mumbai's
chief exports, so the same clothes sold at
leading US European retail stores can be
purchased on Fashion Street for a fraction of
their price abroad. Furthermore, many proprietors
haggle over bargain prices. There are also
several shoe and jewelry shops. It is a very
popular area with college students and teenagers,
and, since Fashion Street is little known to
those outside of Mumbai, tourists only rarely
venture there. Bollywood celebrities are also
known to patronize Fashion Street.
The Bombay Stock Exchange LTD -the oldest stock
exchange in Asia. It is located at Dalal Street,
Mumbai. Bombay Stock Exchange was established in
1875. There are around 3,500 Indian companies
listed with the stock exchange. As of October
2006, the market capitalization of the BSE was
about Rs. 33.4 trillion (US 730 billion). The
BSE SENSEX (SENSitive indEX), also called the BSE
30, is a widely used market index in India and
Asia. It is among the 5 biggest stock exchanges
in the world in terms of transactions volume.
Kamala Nehru Park Hanging Gardens The giant
Old woman's shoe in the Kamala Nehru Park  is
very popular with children to play in.  One gets
a panoramic view of parts of the city  from these
parks situated at the height of Malabar Hill. At
night, the view of street lights of Marine Drive
resemble a dazzling bejeweled "Queen's
Necklace". At sunset, the waterfall and fountains
in the park are lit with colorful lights which
are worth seeing. The Hanging Gardens surrounded
by beautiful flower beds and lush green lawns
are very popular as picnic spots.
Hospital Information Mumbai
Hospital Information New Delhi
Hospital Information Mumbai
All India Institute of Medical Sciences,
(AIIMS)Ansari Nagar, tel. 6864851. Apollo
Hospital,Sarita ViharMathura Rd,Tel.
6925858/01 Escorts Heart Institute Research
Centre, Okhla Rd, tel. 6844820, 6833641. Holy
Family Hospital, Okhla Tel. 6845900-09. Ram
Manohar Lohia Hospital,Wellingdon Crescent.
Tel.3365933, 3365525. Safdarjung Gen.
HospitalAIIMS Crossing, Tel. 665060,
Mumbai Asian Heart Institute G/N Block Bandra
Kurla Complex Bandra East Mumbai 400051 Tel
5698-6666 Fax 5698-6506 Email info_at_ahirc.com
Website www.ahirc.com Mumbai Blue Cross
Medicheck Centre 506 Doctor Hs. 5th fl., Pedder
Road Opp. Jaslok Hospital Mumbai 400 026 Tel
23867079 Tele-fax 23872776
Mumbai Dalvi Hospital 38 Nyayamurti Sitaram
Patkar Marg Gamdevi Mumbai 400007 Tel
56022848 Mumbai Dalvi Hospital Pharmacy Pvt.
Ltd. (Day and Night) 38 Nyayamurti Sitaram
Patkar Marg Gamdevi Mumbai 400 007 Tel 5602
2848 Tel 23692454
Hospital Information New Delhi
Mumbai Asian Heart Institute G/N Block Bandra
Kurla Complex Bandra East Mumbai 400051 Tel
5698-6666 Fax 5698-6506 Email
info_at_ahirc.com Website www.ahirc.com Mumbai
Blue Cross Medicheck Centre 506 Doctor Hs. 5th
fl., Pedder Road Opp. Jaslok Hospital Mumbai 400
026 Tel 23867079 Tele-fax 23872776

Hospital Information Bangalore
Social Cultural FOOD
Most Indian cuisine are related by the similar
usage of spices and the use of a greater variety
of vegetables than many other cuisine. Religious
and caste restrictions, weather, geography and
the impact of foreigners have affected the eating
habits of Indians. For example, Brahmins (one of
the highest orders of caste) are strict
vegetarians usually, but in the coastal states of
West Bengal and Kerala, they consume a lot of
Bangalore Hospital 202, RV Road26562753/
26565494/ 26563477  Bangalore Institute of
Oncology Cancer Detection Centre, 44-45/2ND CRS
RM Roy extension 2225644/2267/2359/5698/2267/2359 
Bangalore Kidney Foundation No. 18762 Block
Padmanabha Nagar26690084  Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain
Heart Centre General Miller Road, V Nagar2267333
Social Cultural FOOD
Observed Social Customs MARRIAGE
Eating from a thali (a metal plate or banana
leaf) is quite common in most parts of India.
Both the North Indian and South Indian thali
contain small bowls arranged inside the rim of
the plate(or leaf), each filled with a different
sort of spiced vegetarian food, curd and sweet.
At the center of the thali you would find a heap
of rice, some puris(wheat bread rolled into small
circular shapes and deep-fried in hot oil) or
chapathis(wheat bread rolled out into large
circular shapes and shallow-fried over a hot
Muslims also have their own special way of
celebrating the marriage ceremony, popularly
called Nikaah. During the auspicious occasion,
the grooms family gives mehar (nuptial gift) to
the bride. Parsis plant a young mango tree in a
pot during the marriage ceremony. This ceremony
is famous as Madhavsaro ceremony. Every state
has its own special way of celebrating the
marriage ceremony.

Regionalism, religion, language and caste are all
factors that need to be taken into account when
doing business in India. Behavior, etiquette,
and approach are all modified depending on whom
you are addressing and the context in which they
are being addressed. HIERARCHY Hierarchy plays
the most important role of all cultural
influences that most influence Indian business
culture. With its roots in Hinduism and the
caste system, Indian society operates within a
framework of strict hierarchy that defines
peoples roles, status, and social order.
MEETING AND GREETING Meeting etiquette requires a
handshake. Indians themselves will use the
namaste. Using the namaste is a sign of your
understanding of the Indian etiquette. When
addressing an Indian whom you know personally,
always use the appropriate formal title, whether
Professor, Doctor, or Mrs. or if you do not know
their names use Sir or Madam. Business cards
should be exchanged at the first meeting. Be
sure to receive and give with your right hand.
Make sure the card you are given is put away
respectfully and not simply pushed in your
trouser pocket.
LANGUAGE Central government only recognizes Hindi
as the official language. When doing business in
India, English is the language of international
commerce. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Indians only
deal favorably with those they know and trust
even at the expense of lucrative deals. A good
working relationship must be founded upon
demonstrating strong business acumen and relating
to your partner.

  • Grasping ones own ears expresses sincerity.
  • Backslapping is not a sign of affection.
  • American men should not touch women in public,
    nor talk to a lone woman in public.
  • Whistling is considered impolite.
  • Bargain for goods and services.
  • The left hand is considered unclean. Use the
    right hand for eating with the fingers or
    accepting things.

later than the stated time for a dinner party. At
a social gathering, a garland of flowers is often
placed around a guests neck. Remove it after a
few minutes and carry it in your hand to show
humility. Allow hosts to serve you. Never refuse
food, but do not feel obligated to empty your
plate. If hosts eat with hands, assure them you
enjoy doing the same. If utensils are not used,
use your right hands first three fingers and
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