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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Wishing a stranger , will it be accepted in India?

    Recently one of my friend had been to US to visit his son. He was there in US for almost two Months. He was quite impressed with the discipline, cleanliness and other habits of people in US. One good quality he liked about the people in US was their socialization. Every person during the morning walk smile at each other and wish them even though they do not know each other.

    My friend after returning India started practicing this habit and after few days he was forced to stop. First day when he smiled at one unknown person, the other person started staring at him in a grim face. My friend did no venture to wish him further. Next day he smiled at another person and wished him. The other person replied : Pagal hai kya?.
  • #666720
    It is a common thing in many developed countries. In our country we have a particular culture where wishing to strangers is not considered a good trait and that is why people avoid it. It will take considerable time for us to reach that stage.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #666723
    I believe we do not take strangers heartily from the fear of being scammed. There are scammers and fraudsters everywhere who will take the opportunity of your nicety. Another reason may be the lingering effect of British (Victorian) etiquette which forbids smiling or talking to strangers; speaking when spoken to is the custom. For example, while it is common to have chitchats with co-passengers in a train, I felt the British people do not appreciate it. I found everyone glued to their books, magazines, newspapers, cellphones etc. in a train, thus cocooned in their own world, and hardly willing to socialize. This is my limited personal experience though, and I would be happy if it changes in future. However, these are very generalized views and opinions. In India as in UK there are jovial people who wish and greet strangers, and love when are greeted in return.
    Poulami Bakshi

  • #666724
    In many countries people as a courtesy wish the other person and smile at even though the other person was not known to them.I observed this habit with many people. Even when they come to our country they will try to wish us.
    But in our country people don't have this habit. If we try to talk to opposite gender they will take it very seriously. Two years back when I visited USA, I was travelling in a domestic flight in Colorado. A lady sat next to me and she herself started talking to me and she was almost talking something or other during the entire journey. Nothing personal. General issues and she was enquiring many points about India. I felt very happy to share the details she was asking about India.
    These days there is a change in the attitude of our people also. Particularly in Urban areas people are trying to become more courtesy with other people. A welcome change.

    always confident

  • #666726
    In my opinion, there is a culture difference between us and the western people. We have basically divided people into two groups one of the friends, acquaintance, colleagues, relatives, family etc and the strangers. We usually get happy when we come in contact with the first group of people and get conscious when in contact with the second group.

    It's because of the crimes in the country we don't easily believe in strangers as they may harm us. But just smiling when we see a stranger is not a bad idea. We should do that as it costs nothing. I don't know why people react differently when they see a stranger.


    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

  • #666767
    I think basically it would be inappropriate to expect this in India apart for small pockets in some localities. It would safer to follow the local etiquette wherever we are and not vice-versa ( India, US etc).

    Most of us when we come back from an overseas trip find this different in the level of civic awareness and public etiquette. If there is a senior citizen or a mother with a toddler going, they would get the right of way, cars would stop. If the bearer at a restaurant delivers food to you, you say thanks. While walking on the streets, we are acknowledge with a smile, a nod of the head or a pleasant wish.

    Back here, we find a stark difference due to various factors, the burden of over-population/area, people with various levels of education and awareness, mistrust and the potential danger of interacting with a stranger etc. Within gated communities or large apartment complexes people do acknowledge when you are out for a walk or in the garden etc.

  • #666795
    Yes, India many people do not accept wishing a stranger or wish from a stranger. If a stranger smiles or wishes someone, another person thinks that the stranger might be a thief or not a good person, and trying to distract me to do something wrong.

    Even when travelling in buses, trains etc. people try not to talk to strangers but some people share things with strangers while travelling and they share some personal things too if they like them and if they believe them after talking for some time. But many people do not believe strangers due to increase in crime rate in our country.


  • #666874
    It doesn't suit Indians for their typical mentality. Once inside a cinema theatre, I introduced myself to a stranger who was sitting adjacent to me by saying " I am Sun." His immediate response was "So what?" In India, a stranger is always a stranger. A stranger can become a friend if you offer or get something to benefit.
    No life without Sun

  • #667260
    That's quite bad thing here in advance, we should be more communicative with the strangers if we want to get some results in business and in something like that matter for example. What will you say about that ? I like the US attitude anyway.

  • #667263
    These are the things that we need to learn from developed countries. They make us feel like one of them but it may have another side also but it is always good to accept nice thing of others & hope people here too change for better.
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #667463
    Its not how you imagine it is. It's the community people in US that greet each other good morning at dawn or evening while walking a dog or pulling a car. I don't think world is too polite and cute to wish complete strangers. Even in US, if you greet a complete stranger you are given glances. Some can even call you creepy. I've heard of many such cases where being nice was misunderstood. Even in India metropolitan people living in closed community wish the fellow occupants. Even though they are strangers they belong to same community. So that is what I observed. No one wishes a complete stranger out of blue. People usually say "thank you" and "have nice day more".
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

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