Wishing everyone a very Happy & Prosperous New Year!
Writing this blog has been on my mind for a very long time but it took me some courage to publish it, especially when it comes to writing about your own country folks!
Do most of the Indian’s lack basic Etiquette?
If you answered ‘Yes’ then we are on the same page!
If you answered “what do you mean by that?” then you must continue reading this blog!
While most of us learn good manners at home & some at school, very few schools & homes will teach their children Etiquette. The purpose of this blog is not to belittle anyone, it’s my own observation & opinion. I believe that it’s imperative to bring about a change to see a better tomorrow & it has to start with our children.
Here are a few instances where we might wonder if there is anything like ‘Etiquette’
- Entering a lift/bus/train
If you ever thought education has anything to do with etiquette & manners then you will be in for a rude shock, when you see the way men & women enter a bus or train in Mumbai or for that matter anywhere in India. In the Mumbai locals you have to forget about etiquette!!!
- Driving Etiquette
Try driving anywhere in India, the traffic, the taxi drivers, the rikshawala’s & some rash drivers will either make you forget your driving etiquette or you will start swearing like you have had the worst fight in years! Jumping the signal, cutting a lady driver & honking like you switch FM channels is considered a part of everyday driving.
- Bathroom Etiquette
Using a public toilet is the biggest nightmare!! So if you are doing a long distance travel please avoid having too much of water. Some men were never taught to lift the toilet seat while using an ‘English toilet’ & some women don’t even know how to sit on an ‘English toilet’. “Please flush” has to be written so that people clean up after using!
- Cell phone Etiquette
Cell phones have just added to the misery, we can hear what will be cooked for dinner to what clothes someone will wear for the party to who has had a break-up & the reason for a fight with dear mom in law….everything which normally is spoken behind closed doors, is all out in the public. Talking loudly in public places is a thing of pride as people around you need to know how busy you are. If you have a cell phone you might as well use it!
- Audience Etiquette
Winners have to be applauded, this goes without saying, unfortunately if you watch any award functions our glamorous hosts have to repeatedly ask the audience to “please give a big hand” & I thought it was understood that anyone receiving an award deserves the appreciation & applaud even if he/she is your competitor (this is not just constraint to award functions). Talking loudly or speaking on the cell phone is a right, who cares if others are getting disturbed. As long as someone has paid for the ticket they think they can do whatever they like!
- Public Etiquette
People have so much money that you will find the best luxury cars on the road from BMW to the Merc but the driver/owner will still open the door & spit, yes it is ’Ycuk!!’ Please don’t get me wrong it’s not about uneducation it’s about the mindset & ‘Who cares’ attitude.
- Walking your pet Etiquette.
Walking your pet can be a way to relax or a chore, but in India its full of etiquette faux pas. Walk time means ensuring that your pet empties everything on the road, who cares about training the pet, the roadside is the best place to have your pets pooh. Picking up your own pets pooh is considered dirty & ‘not my job’ so what if people walk over it & get their shoes dirty
Making people wait is not just a fashion but a matter of pride. How can the chief guest arrive on time? They have such a busy schedule! The worst are our dear politicians, less said the better. An entire flight can also be held up by them, that is the extent of honour we give them, at the cost of everyone’s money & time.
- Dinning Etiquette
Eating with hands (without fork & spoon) is an Indian tradition & it’s also believed to satisfy your hunger. Fair enough but, at least when you are at a restaurant don’t sit on the chair with your legs up & close your mouth when you chew! These are a few things that will make you want to stop eating even if it’s your best dish or you are at one of the best restaurants
- Parliament Etiquette
The icing on the cake is when you see the members of the parliament. The least said the better. It only shows that the more money you have the more power you have you can just do what you please & get away. Who cares about etiquette & manners (not sure if they were ever taught).
Today India has progressed leaps & bounds, but not in the real sense. According to me we are far behind when it comes to discipline, etiquette & basic manners. It’s easy to become a software engineer in India get a job with a top IT firm & go abroad for a lucrative career opportunity, feel awesome about the foreign countries, their cleanliness, their way of living etc. But these same folks will come back & mess up the country by spitting, smoking & swearing.
Majority of us are well educated from reputed schools but unfortunately manners & etiquette has to be taught at home. Indian education is all about rote learning and scoring good in exams. Doesn’t matter if the concepts are not understood!
What needs to change is the mindset & attitude of the people, discipline & good manners have to be ingrained by proper upbringing for which the parents & to some extent even the teachers are responsible
Helping people make an impression from outside will only work when you can compliment it with good manners & etiquette!