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  1. 1. Click to edit Master subtitle style India Sara S., Kristina U., Charlene Y., Mariaa W. November 5, 2010 CMST&101 Instructor Sonandre
  2. 2. India This presentation is designed to overview the basics of Indian culture. India is a very fast growing culture, Americans find themselves working with more and more Indians regularly. We, as a group, intend on educating each of you about certain aspects of this vast and complicated culture, shedding light on the intricacies of daily communication. In this slideshow you will see information on verbal and nonverbal communications used in greetings and salutations, provided by Mariaa W. You will also learn about weddings and other ceremonies from the research done by Sara S. Kristina U. will take you through the cultural values of music in Indian culture and Charlene Y. has a large amount of information on Indian religions.
  3. 3. 1/30/2015 General Information The Republic of India is called Bharat in Hindi. The capitol is New Delhi The population is 913,000,000 The official languages are Hindi and English There are 22 official languages and 325 recognized dialects used throughout India Most Indians are bi-lingual or multi-lingual (Joshi & Szerlip, 2008) New Delhi
  4. 4. Names and Titles in India Your surname is the first name said, and your given name follows (ie. Wheeler Mariaa) Ji is a title used for both sexes (ie. Mariaa-Ji) Sahab is used to show deep respect (ie. Doctor-Sahab) teens and younger people commonly call anyone over the age of 35 Uncle-Ji or Aunty-Ji, in imitation of America Teachers are always called Sir or Ma’am Doctor is the title given to anyone with a doctorate, no matter what it is in. Shri and Shrimati is used instead of Mrs. or Mr. for all government officials.(Joshi & Szerlip, 2008) Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Smt. is the same as shortening Missus to Mrs. Shrimati Patil is the President of India shown here on Nov. 8, 2010 with US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama ( In 2010, Beebe, Beebe, and Ivy noted that Intercultural communication “Occurs when individuals or groups from different cultures communicate.” (p.151) When one participates in intercultural communication, one should recognize the differences between cultures and attempt to adapt to them. Names are very important in Indian culture, and insults can be given quickly and in ignorance.
  5. 5. Greeting Styles Namaste is said while holding your hands together beneath your chin as if in prayer and your eyes downcast In business, a firm handshake is the most acceptable form of greeting In formal or traditional homes, a Hindu persona will bow very low, touching the other person’s feet, and then touch their own forehead. This is common for children to parents Muslims will say “A Salaam A Leikum” while raising their right hand, palm in, as a salute (Joshi & Szerlip, 2008) As Beebe et al. (2010) describes, “The cultural context of any communication consists of the nonverbal cues that surround and give added meaning to the message.” (p.151). In India, honor, humbleness, and respect are of utmost importance in non-verbal cues in greetings. You should show respect to your receiver and give them honor.
  6. 6. Just Don’t Do It in India Do not gesture with your left hand (it is considered unclean) Never participate in public displays of affection Don’t eat in public (it’s considered ‘trashy’) Never touch your feet to another persons feet, even if they are sitting beside you Don’t cross your legs in a way that points your toes or the soles of your shoes at another person Never place a book on the floor, or allow your foot to touch a book. Do not discuss religion A foreigner should never call someone by the title of Sahab, it is considered an insult Don’t offer to shake hands with a woman, if she wants to, she will extend her hand first Never touch a stranger, it makes them uncomfortable and can be insulting. (Joshi & Szerlip, 2008) Beebe et al. (2010) describes nonverbal communication: “Nonverbal communication is communication by means other than written or spoken language that creates meaning for someone.” (p.20). Some forms of nonverbal communication can be unintentionally insulting to people of Indian culture, as Americans do not view many of the actions as deliberately insulting. The rules of even nonverbal communication can vary from culture to culture, even from subculture to subculture.
  7. 7. 1/30/2015 Arranged Marriages ●The parents of the future bride and groom arrange the marriage ●Marriage is treated like an institution, which teaches the value of life ●Weddings involve the entire community not just the family(Yasmin Khan. 2008) ●By Having arranged marriages the couple has no communication before the wedding to see if they even click with each other. Communication is the most important role in a relationship and without it the relationship most likely will not be as strong as those who communicate before settling down.
  8. 8. 1/30/2015 Order Of the Wedding ●1st- Parents pick the couple ●2nd- The local priest will suggest the engagement date ●3rd-Mehndi party- Signifies the essence of love ●4th- Cleansing ceremony- Bride and groom are pasted with turmeric powder in each of their homes. ●5th- Ghari Puja- Religious ceremony performed on the eve of the wedding day ●6th- Saptapadi- The couple circles a fire which is symbolic to God
  9. 9. 1/30/2015 Interesting India Wedding Facts ●In many communities in the Hindu Religion, there is a wedding ritual in which the sisters-in-law hide the shoes of their jija or brother-in-law and return them only in exchange for money. It's a very fun filled and enjoying ritual. ●In some communities, there are rituals where the hands of the couple are covered with a sacred cloth to ward off ill omen and evil eye during the pheras. ●In Gujarati custom the groom's mother-in-law tries to catch his nose on arrival of the baraat, as a reminder of the fact that he is taking away their daughter and is now responsible for her happiness.(John Keay. 2001)
  10. 10. 1/30/2015 Summary In India, the weddings are arranged and few communication is present between the bride and groom. The wedding itself however is full of communication. It involves not only the bride, groom, and family, but the whole community. The ceremony is an all day celebration with song and dance. Even though the communication between the bride and groom is not there, there is plenty of communication going on throughout the community to make such a beautiful ceremony possible.
  11. 11. Indian classical music is based on the ragas or colors, which are scales and melodies that provide the foundation. The main instrument of the ragas is the sitar, although historically the vina zither was of equal importance. Music of India Sitar (Pakrashi& Co.) Vina Zither (Pakrashi & Co.)
  12. 12. 1/30/2015 History Each genre has its own history, evolution and performance style, such as the music you hear in the temple dance tradition of the far eastern India doesn't sound like the music you would hear a Rajasthani brass band play for a wedding in the northwest. The two main branches of classical music, Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian) music are distinctly different, though both are built on the twin principles of raga/ragam (melody) and tala/talam (rhythm) (Music Fraternity).
  13. 13. 1/30/2015 Modern Music Today in India there are few who enjoy Indian classical music because they feel it is too slow or boring. Keeping with times and demands, today, most music composers have shifted from the classical to newer forms consisting of the Indian melody combined with western beats. The modern music of India comprises remixes, where old tunes are blended with faster beats making them popular amongst the younger generation. These are generally played at discos and parties. Fusion is the term given to music where Indian classical music is combined with the western music forms to create a musical mix of east and west Film music is extremely popular amongst people of all ages. In fact an Indian film is considered incomplete without songs with the heroes and heroines dancing. Indi pop is basically the Indian version of the western pop music. There are number of young artists who sign up with music companies to cut an album of pop songs in Hindi and other regional languages. Modern Indian music , even the basics of classical Indian music, raga and taal, have been removed from the latest compositions with composers using the western scale and tones. In fact the new music being generated brings in the older styles and blend them into the western chords. (Tsioulcas).
  15. 15. WHAT IS HINDUISM? ● Hinduism is believed to be the 3rd largest religion in the world and is said to be the world’s oldest known religion. ● The religion is based from the Vedic principles and scriptures. ● Throughout, the significant historic times of Hinduism various Saints, as well as, Sages created laws that make up the general collection of Hindu scriptures. Which is also known as “Shastras”. ● It is a religion with the strong belief in reincarnation and a host of gods and goddesses. (Lal, 2005) “Beliefs are the way in which you structure your understanding of what is true and false.” et al Beebe
  16. 16. BELIEFS AND BASIS OF HINDUISM ● Brahman is the only believed supreme being within the Hindu religion. ● Hindus worship a variety of deities from spirits, to trees and even animals, etc. ● The Hindu religion does not dictate any one set standard as to who or what the deity maybe. ● Therefore, within the religion beliefs and customs may vary throughout sects, location, and caste. (Lal, 2005) Beebe et al states, “Your spiritual self is a mixture of your beliefs and your sense of who you are in relationship to other forces in the universe. Note that this aspect of the self is termed “spiritual,” not religious. People who consider themselves religious most likely also consider themselves spiritual; however, many people view themselves as spiritual but not religious. The term religious implies adherence to a specific religion or faith, typically accompanied by a belief in a supreme being or creator.”
  17. 17. RELIGIOUS IMPACT ON DAILY LIFE ● Hinduism holds a great deal of influence on the day to day life of most it’s followers. Especially, in the areas of Birth, Death, Weddings, and so forth. ● The religion also impacts dietary beliefs of the Hindu’s. As there is a Hindu law against eating red meat. ● Most Hindu’s generally practice worship at home or at a shrine. Rituals and ceremonies are often held such as Pilgrimages to Holy cities like Puri, Ujjain and etc. (Axel, 2003) “Values are enduring concepts of good or bad, right and wrong. Your values can be difficult to identify because they are so central to who you are.” et al Beebe
  18. 18. IMPACT OF HINDUISM BEYOND INDIA ● There are spiritual aspects from other world religions that have originated from Hinduism such as the Baha’i faith and the Hare Krishna’s. ● Many Hindu practices and beliefs have become popular all over the world such as Yoga, Ayurveda, Divination, Vegetarianism, Karma and Reincarnation. (Lal, 2005) “Intercultural communication occurs when individuals or groups from different cultures communicate.” “Clearly, a global economy and the ease with which technology permits us to communicate with others around the world increase the likelihood that you will establish relationships with people who are different from you and who have cultural traditions different from your own. You need not travel abroad to encounter cultural differences; the world is here.”et al Beebe Courtesy of
  19. 19. Conclusion When communication occurs between cultures, this can be frustrating for both participants. The United States is such a huge conglomeration of so many different cultures, many have referred to it as the “giant salad bowl” rather than the “mixing pot”. The many cultures mix together and compliment one another without overpowering. Being culturally sensitive is never a bad thing. This presentation has shown you about the Indian culture, one of the largest and fastest growing on the planet!
  20. 20. Questions ● 1. President Obama visited India November 8th 2010. During his visit there are many pictures of him holding hands and putting his arm around the shoulders of the Prime Minister (who is a man) but only one picture of Obama shaking the hand of the (female) President of India. Do you think that this is an example of our president insulting India (which is an American view of lack of touch) or our president showing great respect to India (honoring the virtues of women in Indian culture)? Is it important that our nations leader understands the nuances of the cultures in other parts of the world? ● ● 2. What is the tradition or reasoning behind the woman of India wearing a bindi on their forehead? ● ● 3. How do weddings in India differ from those in the United States? ● ● 4. What have you learned about India that differs from what you know about American culture?
  21. 21. 1/30/2015 References Beebe, S., Beebe, S., Ivy, K. (2010) Communication: Principles for a Lifetime. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Blackwell, Fritz (2004), India: A Global Studies Handbook, United States of America: ABC-CLIO, Inc. "Infrastructure: S&T Education", Science and Technology in India edited by R.K. Suri and Kalapana Rajaram (2008), New Delhi: Spectrum, Joshi, M. & Szerlip, B. (2008) Passport India: Your Pocket Guide to Indian Business, Customs and Etiquette. New York: World Trade Press
  22. 22. 1/30/2015 References Scaruffi, P., (2002). The history of popular music, a brief summary of Indian music, Retrieved from Pakrashi & Co., Retrieved from sitar.html Music Fraternity., Fraternity for artists in musical professions. Retrieved from Tsioulcas, A., National Geographic, Retrieved from
  23. 23. 1/30/2015 References Keay, John. (2001) India: A History New York, Grove Publishing Khan, Yasmin. (2008) India London: Dk Publishing Photo One from:
  24. 24. References Lal, Vinay (2005) Introducing Hinduism [electronic resource] Palo Alto, CA ebrary, Inc. Michael, Axel (2003) Hinduism: Past and Present, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University