Are there Indians abroad who shame India?

Visiting India - Part 2: Guest Favors

After our last blog post dealt with general information about behavior as a guest in India, this week we will deal with the topic of "guest gifts". For example, you can find out which gifts are particularly popular and which ones should be avoided.

After you have greeted your Indian host, presumably with the greeting Namasté, which is common in India, and are allowed to enter the living room, it is time for your favors. Hand over your present If possible only after entering the living room and do not be surprised that your Indian counterpart will probably put the souvenir aside unopened.

Out of courtesy, Indians usually do not open their gifts in the presence of the person giving the gift, after all, your acquaintance might not like it, which he does not want you to see. If the recipient should know who the present is from, just add a business card! However, you should no thanks expect for your gift or a statement on how you liked the gift; that's just not common in India.

Namasté - Traditional Indian greeting

Favors play a very special role in building relationships. At Invitations So you should definitely think about appropriate presents [also for the children of your host]! But what do you have to consider? And what should you definitely not give as a present?

The following are suitable as gifts:

  • Chocolate, pralines and flowers [also red roses]
  • Specialties from your home country
  • Business gifts from your own company [for business partners]
  • At store openings the Elephant deity Ganesh as a lucky present
  • In addition, writing implements and Swiss wristwatches

The following are unsuitable as gifts:

  • Handkerchiefs, shoes and socks
  • Meat products and leather goods [many Indians are vegetarians]

When it comes to the subject of "guest favors", there are a few other Indian customs that you should keep in mind. The value of the gift shows how much Appreciation Bring it to the recipient. However, excessive expenses also put the host to shame. In the case of monetary gifts, you should also pay attention to an odd amount, e.g. B. 11 instead of 10 $.

Also, never give away three or 13 things of the same kind, e.g. B. Flowers. Bad luck in India! Also, do not use wrapping paper in the mourning colors white and black. Are good luck colorful colors like yellow, red or green.

The third article in this series will again be about tips for your stay in India. We will address etiquette at the table and in the restaurant. So look forward to numerous interesting tips.

Learn more: intercultural training + additional articles on India

Further helpful information for your business contacts in India can be found in our intercultural training courses on the target country India.

Our range of services also includes cross-border workshops, posting preparation or intercultural eLearning modules!

You can find all articles on the target country India under the following link.

Recommended literature on all aspects of intercultural training and the target country India

1 Kumbruck, Christl / Derboven, Wibke [2016]: "Intercultural Training: Training manual for promoting intercultural skills in work", Berlin / Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag

2 Kempen, Regina / Schumacher, Svenja / Engel, Anna Maria / Hollands, Lisa [2020]: “Planning and carrying out intercultural training: Basics and methods”, Göttingen: Hogrefe-Verlag

3 Ang-Stein, Claudia [2015]: "Intercultural Training: Systematisation, Analysis and Conceptual Design of Further Education", Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien-Verlag

4 Mazziotta, Agostino [2016]: "Intercultural training: A scientifically sound and practice-relevant overview [essentials]", Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien-Verlag

5 Reisch, Bernhard [2012]: "Intercultural Personnel Management: International Personnel Development, Foreign Assignments, Intercultural Training", Wiesbaden: Gabler


About Markus Eidam

After spending four years in various countries around the world, I have been managing director of the foreign experts at Eidam & Partner since 2004. In my younger years I studied intercultural communication, adult education and psychology and trained as a trainer, coach and HR specialist at the IHK. Our company offers you intercultural training, intercultural coaching, consulting and eLearning in 80 target countries.