- India is the world’s largest democracy.
- The name “India” is derived from the river Indus.
- The Taj Mahal is the most photographed building in the world.
- The decimal numeral system was developed in 100 B.C. in India.
- India is one of the most ancient and still living civilizations (at least 10,000 years old).
- The largest employer in the world is the Indian railway system, employing over a million people.
- India has the most post offices in the world.
- Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind and was developed 2,500 years ago.
- The value of “pi” was first calculated by an Indian mathematician Budhayana in the 6th century.
- Chess was invented in India.
Indian business etiquette: Don’ts
- Don’t be late for meetings – although some people tell that Indians are routinely about 30 minutes late for everything.
- Don’t over-schedule yourself. It takes up to two hours to reach some offices because traffic is very heavy and unpredictable.
- Don’t show amusement at the different Indian accents and the choice of words. This does not take away from the fact that many Indians speak and write better English than many native English speakers.
- Don’t assume everyone eats meat and drinks alcohol. Many Indians are “veg” (eat only vegetarian foods) and don’t drink alcohol.
- Don’t be aggressive in your business negotiations – it shows disrespect.
- Don’t take large or expensive gifts as this may cause embarrassment. If you do take a gift make sure you present the gift with both hands.
- Don’t refuse any food or drink offered to you during business meetings as this may cause offence.
- Don’t discuss religion, especially with Muslims who form 11% of India’s population.
- Don’t show amusements if you witness Indians shaking their head in the course of conversation.
- Don’t make flashy displays of wealth or property – India is a developing country and foreigners stand out enough without flaunting themselves and their property.
Indian business etiquette: Do’s
- Do bring along lots of business cards – everyone will ask for one and everyone will offer you his or hers.
- Do start your conversation with “namastay”. That is the local form of greeting. Follow it up with “kaise hai”. (How are you?)
- Do try and remember the names of the people you meet and address them by name – most of the Indian businesspeople use the first name right away.
- Do study up on the companies you visit before you get there – it is very impolite if you are not well prepared.
- Do dress modestly if you are female – even when it’s hot! Form-fitting clothes on women are seen in nightclubs only.
- Do keep an open mind – you may be frustrated by the apparent contradictions you face every day, but this is an ancient country with a very complex history.
- Do carry with you a box of sweets or at least a chocolate bar for the children, if somebody has invited you home for dinner.
- Do wait for a female business colleague to initiate the greeting. Indian men do not generally shake hands with women out of respect.
- Do use titles wherever possible, such as “Professor” or “Doctor”. If your counterpart does not have a title, use “Mr.” or “Miss”.
- Do always remain polite and honest at all times in order to prove that your objectives are sincere.
Chronicle: Terrorism in India
India is like an outpost of the West in the East: global, modern, open, democratic, capitalist, a country of stock markets and the Bollywood dream factory. Terrorism in India apparently want to strike two enemies at once.
The terrorists want to strike a blow at modern India, to revenge their suppressed fellow Muslims. But they want also attack the West, as evidenced by targeting of famous luxury hotels where German, British and American citizens stay.
October 29, 2005
At least 58 people were killed and more than 250 people injured in a series of bombs in Delhi just three days before the popular Hindu festival of Diwali. (read more on Times Online)
July 11, 2006
Seven bombs exploded on packed commuter trains and railway stations in India’s financial capital Mumbai (Bombay). Nearly 200 people lost their lives and more than 600 were wounded in the repeated blasts. (read more on New York Times)
February 19, 2007
A terrorist attack on a train killed 66 passengers. The so-called “Peace Train” was travelling from Delhi to the Pakistani city Lahore. An estimated 80 people were injured by the two homemade bombs. (read more on The Age)
August 25, 2007
Two bombs exploded in a street restaurant and at a laser show in a popular city park, killing 42 people also injured a further 80 people in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. (read more on The Independent)
May 13, 2008
At least 80 people including 10 children were killed and another 200 injured during a terror attack Jaipur. Seven bombs were detonated within minutes in the city center of the popular north-western tourist destination. (read more on Telegraph)
July 26, 2008
Sixteen bombs exploded in Ahmedabad’s crowded old city dominated by its Muslim community killing at least 29 people and wounded 88. (read more on International Herald Tribune)
November 26, 2008
Terrorists killed at least 101 people and took hostages during a series of attacks in Mumbai. Hundreds of injured were sent to hospitals. The Islamist organization Deccan Mudjahideen claimed responsibility for the attack. (read more on The Times of India)
Le pot pourri de l’Inde
2009 ist schon fünf Tage alt und wie üblich stehen in den kommenden Wochen wieder Klausuren an. Von den Klausurvorbereitungen gibt es wenig spannendes zu berichten – abgesehen davon, dass es meine letzten sein werden.
Damit mein Blog währenddessen nicht verhungert, habe ich für euch noch ein paar Beiträge mit Wissenswertem über Indien aus der Schublade geholt:
- Chronicle: Terrorism in India
- Indian business etiquette: Do’s
- Indian business etiquette: Don’ts
- India’s interesting trivia
Das Material ist zwar auf englisch, aber who cares? 😉