In many parts of India and during formal occasions, it is common for people to greet with the traditional Hindu greeting of “Namaste” (‘I greet the divine within you’). A common gesture when greeting is pressing the palms together with the fingertips facing upwards (i.e. in a prayer position).
Westerners may shake hands, however, greeting with ‘namaste’ (na-mas-TAY) (placing both hands together with a slight bow) is appreciated and shows respect for Indian customs. Men shake hands with men when meeting or leaving.
Nod or bow your head as a gesture of respect when initially meeting an Indian elder. It is not appropriate to touch or shake hands with an Indian woman, particularly a Muslim woman. Greet the eldest person first (generally male unless the eldest is female).
Do not step over a person sitting or lying on the floor, as it is offensive. Never touch anything with your feet, and don’t point the bottom of your feet at religious altars or toward people. To avoid this, sit cross-legged or kneel on the floor while in a temple or holy place.
The gesture is widely used throughout the Indian subcontinent, parts of Asia and beyond where people of South and Southeast Asian origins have migrated. Namaste or namaskar is used as a respectful form of greeting, acknowledging and welcoming a relative, guest or stranger.
Namaste is the customary Indian greeting that is not only used to welcome guests but also acknowledge strangers, working both as salutation and valediction. What’s more, the gesture is said to express courtesy, honor, gratitude, and hospitality to the other person.
In formal situations or with people they don’t know very well, Indians generally use ” Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Miss,” “Sir,” “Madam,” or use titles such as “Dr.” Sri is the Indian equivalent of Mr. Pandit is an honorific term that means teacher. Ustad is the Muslim equivalent of Pandit.
Squat toilets in India don’t use toilet paper but rather water to rinse areas that come into contact with wastes. Because toilet paper typically isn’t used, a spray hose or a bucket of water is the only source.
When you eat with your hands, you are supposed to do so by joining all fingers together. This is believed to improve our consciousness of the taste of the food we eat. Not only are you feeding your body but also your mind and spirit.
All Indians wash their hands thoroughly prior to dining, then eat with their fingers, with the use of minimum cutlery. Traditionally, the fingers are also used to feel the temperature of the food to one’s taste and to combine flavors.
Hindi, which has the largest number of first-language speakers in India today, serves as the lingua franca across much of North and Central India. Bengali is the second most spoken and understood language in the country with a significant amount of speakers in eastern and northeastern regions.
1) Om is the primordial sound of the universe Sound is made up of vibrations. The word Om is defined by Hindu scripture as being the primordial sound of creation. It is the original vibration of the universe. From this first vibration, all other vibrations are able to manifest.
Derived from the Sanskrit language, Namaste is formed by joining two words, namas and te. ‘Namas ‘ means ‘bow’, ‘adorations’, ‘obeisance’ and ‘salutation’; and ‘te’ means ‘to you’. Therefore, the literal meaning of Namaste is ‘bowing to you’.