No kissing, carry tissues: CWG to tourists
New Delhi: No hugging and kissing, no wearing short clothes and no discussion on religion in India. Public toilets are very few and filthy, so carry your own tissues papers here and always take your shoes off before entering a house in India.
These lessons on etiquettes and a plethora of travel tips is what the Commonwealth Games Organising committee has put up in its website for the tourists who are planning to travel to India during the Delhi Games from October 3-14.
In its ‘travellers zone’ section, the OC have given a list of tips on 18 varied topics ranging from Visa to Toilets, besides a separate point on ‘some important dos and don’ts’.
“The Western practice of a peck on the cheek as a form of greeting a lady or a grown up girl is JUST NOT DONE when you are in India unless you happen to be in ‘Westernized Indian’ circles ... If you find the lady is not extending a hand shake, go for the Namastey,” reads one of the advisory.
“Be aware that public displays of affection (hugging, kissing) are generally not appreciated. However, it is common to see men showing affection and camaraderie on the roads and in villages throughout the country,” it added.
The website also gives tips on a dress code and what one should do if one visits a house in India.
“Modesty in dress is an important aspect of Indian life and, away from beaches, one should respect the local customs. This is especially important when visiting temples and religious sites, where trousers or full-length skirts should be worn and shoulders should be covered and in Sikh temples, your head must also be covered.
“If somebody has invited you home for dinner, carry with you a bottle of wine accompanied by a bouquet of flowers or at least a box of sweets or chocolate bar for the children ... People usually take their shoes off before entering a house and putting feet on the furniture is considered bad manners,” it reads.
There are also tips of eating behaviour and what to discuss in public.
“Politics can be freely discussed in India and most people will have an opinion which they will not mind being contradicted, but avoid discussing religion.”
“If eating Indian style, with the hands, it is useful to remember that it is considered impolite to use the left hand for eating,” it says.
But of all the tips, one that takes the cake is lessons on Indian toilets for the travellers.
“In India, public toilet facilities are few and far between and outside of the hotels and restaurants can be of dubious cleanliness. We recommend taking every opportunity you can to use a clean toilet in hotels and restaurants and that you carry tissues/wet wipes with you,” it read.
Also if you thought of driving in the Indian roads, think twice because it is India and traffic congestion here can give you a torrid time.
“For your safety, we suggest that you do not hire transportation from unlicensed or unapproved operators. We can provide you all types of transportation at very reasonable prices. Self-drive cars though available are not recommended as it is not advisable for you to drive on the Indian roads with all the traffic,” it read.
Indians are curious by nature, so if you are stared at, please don’t mind. It is just curiosity, says another tips.
“Even in the most cosmopolitan of cities in India the chances are that your different appearance might mean that you will be stared at, though this especially happens in the smaller towns and more remote areas. Please do not be offended no harm is meant, it is just curiosity,” the advisory adds.