If you are traveling to India for the first time, then you have the experience of a lifetime ahead of you. If you’ve been here before, then you already know the hustle and excitement that awaits you. Bustling markets will be filled with colorful goods and equally vivid people and personalities. Overall, Indian residents are friendly and hospitable and you should find that your interactions with local people will enhance your experience.
Urban towns will be full of activity as many will be present to see the historical heritage sites and spectacular palaces. Keep in mind that rural villages may be in varying stages of development. Tourists may encounter beggars from time to time as well as less extravagant living conditions in more rural areas. Even in areas where living conditions are simpler, people will still be curious about their new visitors.
You’re likely to encounter a lot of new people in your travels in both rural and urban areas. It’s a pleasant sign of respect when you do your best to respectfully display local customs. For example, you may be used to greeting new people with a firmly pressed handshake, but you may want to start your greetings by pressing your hands together in a prayer pose. Coupled with a slight nod, a respectful Namaste serves as a popular greeting in India, and a friendly greeting goes a long way. Local residents are happy to make new friends and tell you the things they love about their city.
Many Indians are deeply religious, so it is important to be mindful and respectful of the religious beliefs and customs of others, even if they do not align with your own. In addition to being respectful as a sign of courtesy, keeping an open and tolerant mind will help you to maximize your travel experience.
Thankfully, you don’t need to know all the rules and customs, because a good tour guide will help you navigate them.