India: Cultural challenges expats face

December 13, 2021 |


India, being one of the world’s most varied countries, can provide particular hurdles to individuals seeking employment there. Expats with a better understanding of Indian customs have a better chance of succeeding in India.

In comparison to other countries, India has a greater diversity of ethnic and religious communities. There are eight ‘major’ religions and 22 recognized languages in addition to the nearly 2000 castes. With almost 1.2 billion inhabitants, 29 states, and seven union territories, it is the world’s second most populous country and biggest democracy.

India’s culture is diverse.

Expats may be surprised by the culture’s unrivaled diversity and opposing character, which may be both intriguing and baffling. India is a thriving multi-cultural country, as seen by its numerous historical sites, delectable foods, Bollywood films, yoga, and cricket devotion.

If expats are patient and give themselves time to adjust, they will most likely see the nation in a whole new light as time goes on.

In India, there are several possibilities to broaden one’s social horizons. Indians are kind and welcoming people. Hospitality is emphasized from a young age, and foreigners are sometimes shocked by how helpful and constantly willing to socialize Indians are.

Indians have long been portrayed as family-oriented, religious, impatient, group-dependent, time-insensitive, hierarchical, and status-conscious people. As Indians transition from traditional joint family structures to nuclear families and achieve leadership roles in global corporations, these preconceptions are being challenged.

It’s crucial to remember the country’s enormous variety in terms of society, religion, and language when engaging with natives.

The Constitution recognizes 22 additional languages in addition to Hindi, which is the official language. In India, English is widely spoken and is the primary business language.

India is a melting pot of regional languages, with the majority of Indians speaking more than one. If you see a group of people speaking in the local dialect, don’t take it personally; they aren’t talking about you. It’s simply their manner of interacting with others.

Unlike English, Indian languages distinguish between peers and those who are older and compel respect.

Cultural shocks expatriates might experience

Do not turn down invitations to dinners, visits to local temples, or any other significant cultural places or events. These are chances to establish connections, and they should be prioritized alongside transactional business activities.

Indians show their happiness in a unique way: with a smile or a head nod.

Be mindful of promises you acquire from people in India who suffer from the ‘yes’ syndrome. Indians aim to satisfy their superiors in a hierarchical culture, and this extends to the workplace. Indians may appear to over-commit and under-deliver to outsiders. You’ll often find them craving authority while avoiding accountability at work.

Source: IKAN Relocations

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