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Old 10th August 2019, 08:55   #31
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Some thoughts on this:

1) On theft: I donít think Indians are more prone to stealing stuff than folks from other countries. We are an increasing share of worldwide tourists and hence will form an increasing share of thieves
2) Noisy Families - I donít think we are worse than the Chinese or English Yob gangs or Australian groups of guys either. While staying in Central Sydney in an AirBNB, one couldnít sleep with gangs of folks making a noise at 1 am on the streets. And letís remember that a noisy Indian family (or Chinese family) will always be noticed and labelled as Indian (or Chinese) while Noisy Whites will be considered as noisy individuals, not as part of a noisy group.
3) Kids - I frankly will plead guilty as part of the group that lets kids run around and make a noise. My then 2.5 year old son was shocked and traumatised when we went for our first trip to the UK in 2010 - and he saw kids of his age tied like dogs on leashes to their parents. I really think the idea that kids should be seen and not heard is bullshit and will always give a lot of latitude to families with children, whether on planes or anywhere else.
4) Food - Of course many Indians are vegetarian. Which is unique to us. I donít see why that is wrong or Indians should not focus on getting the kind of food they like. Virtually every airport in the world has ďmulti faithĒ prayer rooms, designed to meet the need for Muslims to pray 5 times a day. And almost every food you get in Western supermarkets meets Kosher rules. So why canít Indian vegetarians want food that meets their religious beliefs?

So letís stop this self flagellation and recognise that whenever a new, visually distinct group of tourists emerges, the locals (who very often owe their livelihood to this group) will resent it and mock them. We all accept that the Japanese are perfectly behaved. But go back to the 1980s and you will see plenty of articles about photo obsessed Japanese tourists ďmessing up the LouvreĒ. 10 years from now, we will be part of the scenery and people will criticise the African tourists who are ďcompletely unculturedĒ.
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Old 10th August 2019, 09:29   #32
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

I think It's got to do with the mindset - A majority of Indians (and folks most third world countries) are survivors - Most of them didnt get rich by being kind and generous. Anyone who can afford to travel abroad, got there by hook or crook, kicking and screaming.

Living in the US, the entire society seems to be built on trust. It's almost unreal to someone who is not used to it. You leave something at on office desk, you can come back a week later to find it at that exact spot. You swipe a card or share account details, money gets debited by default, and most people take you at your word.

India is a broad enough culture that we do have some societies which are indeed like that, but for the majority of us, trust is a luxury. I have worked in MNC offices all my life, and if you forget something at office, consider it lost when you come the next day. I once left a phone at the canteen, and by the time i climbed a flight of stairs, realized i forgot and came back, it was already missing and switched off. You want to send money, you have multiple loops of fraud prevention at both ends. Someone tells you something, your first thought is scrutiny and to evaluate that person with extreme prejudice.

In a world where the have nots are more than the haves, we have rationalized taking what is not ours so much, to the extent that it has been institutionalized and called socialism by now. Finders keepers is almost legit.

If you live in a culture of plenty, you understand that all your needs will be taken care of, and that appearances are more important. When you live in a culture of scarcity - you take what you can, when you can, and worry about the risks later. While some of us have progressed economically, our instincts die hard.

I was at a church here, and they were asking for funds to change the cushions in the seats, for a new recreation centre. They had glossy color printouts of the next week's program they were handing out. And they were asking for my donations. it felt somewhat ironic for a body to be begging for money when my church back in india - they are still campaigning for money to fix a leaky roof and chairs. I'm sure the money spent on those color bulletins that nobody read would easily keep a bunch of orphanages in India fed for quite a while.

To a lot of us, Foreign concepts such as personal space, manners, etiquette - seem inneficient - while they make it more pleasant, it comes at a cost - a cost many will find pointless or extravagant given our backgrounds.

Take for example greeting. An average american greeting goes like this
How are you?
I'm good - How are you ?
I'm good too ...

An average Indian greeting goes
Hi - Hi
and its the end. No fake concern for each other, no need to fake happinnes. We understand the world sucks, everybody is dealing with their own headaches. we keep our greetings curt and to the point - I have a job that keeps me in office 12 hours a day. Colleagues and bosses who are out to stab you the moment you are not watching. I have to put up with traffic jams that keep me on a 10 Km commute for an hour. I do not have time to spend faking happiness to random strangers and concern about them in india. You're waiting for a bus, you better squeeze into the next bus that comes because the next one may not come, or it might be even more overloaded.

In the US, I have giant freeways, a 9-5 work culture and plenty of leisure time. People are chilled. I can spend as much time as i want faking all the concern and happiness that they want. If this bus is full, you can be 100% sure another one will be along in exactly 20 minutes, and there is no need to squeeze yourself into the one that just came. But you have to be here to get it. Until then, the culture gap will always exist.

Last edited by greenhorn : 10th August 2019 at 09:55.
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Old 10th August 2019, 09:50   #33
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Hayek has said it very well. Let me add my two cents.

It is all true. We suck as tourists, we act in an entitled manner, we take more than our equal share and we are loud! Part of it is attributable to scarcity mentality and another part is pure ignorance. Face it, culturally India and the West are miles apart, and not necessarily in a bad way. My Canadian friends were delighted when we took them to a a restaurant where the kids had an entire outdoor section designed for them to play and run about while the adults could relax over a drink till the food arrived, for example. Unthinkable in the West, where kids are discouraged or even banned from high end restaurants.

What we tend to forget in all this is that prosperity and exposure to the “civilised” world has come late to the subcontinent. The West conveniently forgets that it was in the very place that we are now, and not that long ago. Victorian London was a “cesspool” teeming with unwashed masses sneered at by a small but powerful elite.

Give it time. For every noisy “vernacular” group tour of Kesari Travels, there is a well-heeled family doing drive vacays through South Island or flying business class to the French Riviera. We don’t have to flagellate ourselves at every opportunity. Instead, educate.
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Old 10th August 2019, 12:46   #34
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Most Indians, by default lack courtesy, discipline and concern for others. Just look at how people drive, throw trash, park or do practically anything in India. The same people travel abroad. No doubt there are unruly travellers from all nations but the percentage is higher from India. Ten percent of European travellers might be ill mannered. Forty percent of the Chinese could fit in this category but at least ninety percent Indians will fit as they are used to not exhibiting discipline and courtesy. Instead of being defensive, we need to introspect and try to improve.

Last edited by ajmat : 10th August 2019 at 14:05.
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Old 10th August 2019, 13:19   #35
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Needless to say but eventually it all boils down to population. There are so many of us and so limites resources that people are taught that unless you fight for it and push and shove, you wont get the resource. Someone else will take it and hence civic sense goes out of the window.
And I have seen people develop a tendency that if others dont care about civic sense why should they (no matter how educated they are).
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Old 10th August 2019, 13:29   #36
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

1. A friend of mine owns a resort in a most happening tourist spot near the city. But, they never accepts Indian guests. Reason - a bad experience with an Indian family, where the family ordered food on room service and have used the sheets and curtains to wipe their hands.

2. Loud - Yes! I was at the basilica on the hill of Montmartre, Paris. While I was enjoying the scenic beauty of Paris. I heard a couple fighting in my local language which made me turn around and the entire crowd was watching them without understanding a word, except me. It was only when I explained them in their language that the entire crowd is watching them they stopped and looked around.

Last edited by ajmat : 10th August 2019 at 14:04.
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Old 10th August 2019, 14:00   #37
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Atleast we dont pose naked at religious places or behave as if our skin colour automatically entitles us to preferential treatment.

If any restaurant or establishment doesnt want Indian tourists, then its their loss. There will be 1000 others that accept us because, admit it, we will soon be the next big nation that will contribute to tourism. So either accept it or don't. The same establishments that talk about rules and etiquettes will bend over backwards to cater to specific groups from the so called western advanced societies.

The problem with us Indians is that we dont need tourists from others countries to look down upon us. Our own brethren will be more than happy to do this.

Not that I support behaviours like that happened at Bali, however saying that most or all 'Indian' tourists are like that is unacceptable. Talk of stereotyping at its best.
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Old 10th August 2019, 14:29   #38
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Few examples why Indians get the bad rep - I am not saying all are bad , but as a groups Indians are easily noticeable and tagged (all personal firsthand experiences):

Battery park, NY, circa 2007 - a group of indians eating rice/curry and then washing hands & rinsing mouth in the courtyard fountain where the kids are playing.

AI 102, circa 2009 - Air India's most premier flight JFK-DEL has visual guides on how to use the toilet. I watch in amazement, while another guy near me (short height - maybe 5'2") argues with the stewardess that it's her duty to put his cabin baggage (god knows how he got that deadweight onboard). I help and put the luggage in the overhead bin. The stewardess heaves a sigh of relief. At the fag end of that 15-16 hr flight, when the seatbelt sign is on and we are descending, that fella climbs onto the handrests and opens the overhead bin to grab his bag and creates a commotion in the process.

My fellow traveler, colleague and roommate for a while, circa 2010 - asks me where he can get some water in a McD. When I show him the soda fountain, he goes there and rises his mouth ! Mind it he asked for water, not a sink or basin or restroom.

Last edited by blackasta : 10th August 2019 at 14:31.
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Old 10th August 2019, 14:53   #39
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Rather pointless discussion I feel. It all boils down to who has the money and who needs the money. If a restaurant in UK finds Indian tourists noisy they may ask them to leave which they will do if they have others waiting in queue for their services. If there are rules put them up on the wall and also consequences of not obeying. Don't do anything illegal.

If that Swiss hotel or that Bali hotel believed all Indian guests are like that they may as well say "Sorry, all rooms full". But they don't as they want the money. Hotels, airlines, tour companies are all for profit businesses most listed on stock exchanges who have investors and are looking to maximize their revenue, profits etc. They don't want to lose out on revenue because Indian tourists are not courteous, they don't exchange pleasantries, they don't tell Thank You for every little service.

Last edited by bharatbits : 10th August 2019 at 15:04.
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Old 10th August 2019, 15:05   #40
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Most westerns can't tell the difference between indians, pakistanis , bangaladeshis and sri lankans. Lets face it , even we can't tell the difference.

Not all wild animal attacks are attributed to lions .

Going , what would you say to Goras who come here and complain about everything. I've had quite my fill of them too.
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Old 10th August 2019, 15:54   #41
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

After reading the thread, I think very often we just too hard on ourselves. It is just different cultures & norms. Why does one need to conform to someone else's norms (obviously not disturbing or harming others or breaking the local laws in any way)?? For e.g. we like to eat with our hands instead of cutlery, share our dishes instead or ordering individual plates, etc.

It is a normal evolutionary process where one is used to certain things.

1. One important aspect is also the level of service we demand - since we generally believe in 'atithi devo bhava' (of course to different levels and degrees), we expect others to be similarly 'extra nice' to us when go elsewhere. Again, it is more of a 'norm' for us unlike many others.

2. Generally, people are especially loud when they are traveling - this is their normal volume that they have to talk to during their daily lives - perhaps due to the population, etc. And I think most of us are very conscious and if someone asks them even once, they would reduce the volume.

3. Unlike typical western tourists, we like food to our tastes. Period. There is an oft-repeated saying, 'kuch bhi khao , pet toh roti-sabji-daal-chawal se hi bharta hai' Meaning, whatever you eat, you will feel satiated only with your staple diet of roti, sabji, dal, rice.

While we try to try the local cuisine, most of the times we are unable to for various reasons - most important being confirmation with regards to ingredients. For e.g. vegetarian or not? In fact, most people who consume non-veg here also consume only a few items like chicken, mutton, eggs, fish. They would not like to try oysters, caviar, beef, pork, etc.

So we play safe and look for Indian food - no wonder you can find an Indian restaurant in practically any part of the world (run by South Asians of different nationalities).

A friend of mine told me some time ago, when he had visited a South East Asian country - "I normally eat non-veg, but going there even I became veg for most of my trip".

4. I think more than the fact that we do not like bland food, we do not like cold, pre-cooked / pre-packed & reheated food. We prefer freshly cooked items, psychologically.

5. It is uniform, just like they crib about the spicy food smell, we crib about the fishy/weird food smell and how they eat almost anything, etc.

6. End of the day, Business is Business. You should not curse the hand that feeds you.

For eg. as you start going northwards in Goa, you will find all name plates / boards etc in English and Russian (as they were the biggest customer base). At Mt. Titlis and Jungfrau, I think the only restaurant on the mountain serves Indian food as part of their buffet. You get the drift.
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Old 10th August 2019, 16:55   #42
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Well written OP! I don't have much to add as the thread is already discussing everything in detail. However I'd like to point out that we are still not number 1 on the worst tourists list. That honor goes to our northern neighbour. An entire generation of isolated rural Chinese has been lifted out of rural poverty and are now first-time international tourists. They wreak havoc wherever they go. We are not there yet.

And I for one am thankful that despite all our ills we do not use public streets and sidewalks as loos when abroad (ironic, given the open defecation problem in India). I've seen and heard horror stories of Chinese (mainland, not Hong Kong or Taiwan) simply dropping a deuce in the middle of the road. So widespread is the problem that places like the Louvre have had to put up signs and such.

Also, we generally do not waste food to the extent that the Chinese do. Pizza Hut had to close off their unlimited crab legs buffet because people were building towers (yes literally towers) on their plates by stacking cucumbers and such, and then pouring heaps of shrimp, crabs etc in the hollow place inside the tower. And almost all of that food was being thrown away because they simply couldn't eat so much.

https://kotaku.com/how-chinese-ingen...-hut-834835079

Thankfully we are not so bad, yet

Last edited by digitalnirvana : 10th August 2019 at 17:04.
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Old 10th August 2019, 17:18   #43
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Many posts here are defending the way Indian tourists have behaved abroad to culture differences. I am sorry, but there is a difference between culture and behavior. Some posts suggest as if foreigners are someone who have no sensitivity to outside culture. On the contrary, I have always found people everywhere - be it Europe, Japan or NA - to have greater appreciation and knowledge of our (traditional)culture than we have of theirs. And, on average our behavior is no longer moored to our traditional culture, which is the root problem. As one post from a Bhpian suggested, unfortunately its selfishness that is becoming the defining attribute of our behavior.

And sorry to be blunt, the worst people I encounter are the well heeled, well educated, corporatiz-ed ready to dish gyaan in English, eager to prove the goodness of Indian culture, how India is a major world power now (especially post 2014), but would turn a blind eye to fellow countrymen who may not be as suave or as educated as them. I frequent the Delhi - Tokyo route often. Its also a connecting flight for people transiting from Canada/ West Coast to Delhi. It has a lot of folks from villages of Punjab returning after visiting kith and kin. Its just appalling, how the seemingly more educated ignore them when they need guidance/assistance.
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Old 10th August 2019, 17:33   #44
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

OTOH I think many posts here are confusing behaviour and culture to portray us in poor light. Some even went to the extent of saying Indians eat with hands, open pickle bottles and wear saris in places with snowfall and somehow show that these are behavioural problems. All these are cultural aspects and nothing to do with behaviour. What harm does it do when an elderly woman travelling abroad for the first time wears a sari? Or do we expect them to suddenly don western outfits and be comfortable? And I have been near food from other cultures that smells even worse than mere pickle bottles. Why suddenly we have problems with everything Indian? And the matter of eating with hands, many other foods require hands to eat them as well. Try eating a burger with cutlery.
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Old 10th August 2019, 18:10   #45
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
Most westerns can't tell the difference between indians, pakistanis , bangaladeshis and sri lankans. Lets face it , even we can't tell the difference.

Not all wild animal attacks are attributed to lions .

Going , what would you say to Goras who come here and complain about everything. I've had quite my fill of them too.
There actually isn't any, a Sindhi from PK looks like a Sindhi from IN, a Bengali from BD looks like a Bengali from IN and similarly with other communities too. The only difference is the passport and the nationality. And that is why all of us TAGGED. Just like the desis still suffering from colonial hangover in the sub continent treat a Polish/German/US/Canadian etc gora with utmost respect and will ill treat and pass racist remark to Blacks from Africa and other countries.

That Bali incident was indeed shameful, but the civilized goras behave in uncivilized manner too; like filling up their plates with food during a buffet, stingy tipping, making a beeline for free coke and pizza. We ignore these incidents while publicly shame all that is done by desis.

Just wanted to add the most crucial point to this desi mindset, we like things for free, and in the end what matter is whether this particular thing (vacation, flight, car, food etc) was 'PAISA VASOOL' or not. It is because of this Paisa vasool mentality only that when buying cars we still ask 'Kitna deti hai?', be it an Outlander, a Bentley or an Alto.

Last edited by desiaztec : 10th August 2019 at 18:37.
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