ADB warns delegates against conservative, curious Indians

Indians are conservative, curious and women here are expected to dress modestly to avoid sexual harassment.

Greater Noida: Indians are conservative, curious and women here are expected to dress modestly to avoid sexual harassment. This is the advice given out by ADB to all its delegates visiting India for the annual meeting beginning here today.

The elaborate advisory comes at a time when spate of rape cases are reported from across the country. There were also incidents of outraging modesty of foreign travellers in the recent past.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) also suggested to stay away from public display of affection. "Kissing and embracing are regarded in India as part of sex: do not do them in public. It is not even a good idea for couples to hold hands," the ADB advisory read.

"Women are expected to dress modestly, with legs and shoulders covered. Trousers are acceptable, but shorts and short skirts are offensive to many. Men should always wear a shirt in public, and avoid shorts away from beach areas...

"Indians find it hard to understand why rich Western sahibs should wander round in ragged clothes or imitate the lowest ranks of Indian society, who would love to have something more decent to wear.

"Staying well groomed and dressing "respectably" vastly improves the impression you make on local people, and reduces sexual harassment too," said the `general information` on the ADB website.

The 46th annual board meeting of the ADB will be attended by 4,400 delegates from over 60 countries. The four day conference which will have high level officials from Asia and the Pacific along with industry leaders will join other delegates to discuss a range of topics central to the region`s sustainable growth and development.

The information provided by the ADB further advised that when "eating or drinking lips should not touch other people`s food ‘jutha’ or sullied food is strictly taboo.
"When drinking out of a cup or bottle to be shared with others, don`t let it touch your lips, but rather pour it directly into your mouth. This custom also protects you from things like hepatitis".

It also said Indians as generally "curious" and family, job, even income, are not considered "personal" subjects.

"It is completely normal to ask people about them. Asking the same questions back will not be taken amiss far from it. Being curious does not have the "nosey" stigma in India that it has in the West," it said.