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Old 12th August 2019, 14:44   #76
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Just stepping out of the country doesn't change one's behaviour. For those who know the right etiquette, how long can they keep their guard up?

In our country, the behaviour is something left to the responsibility of parents and influenced by the local environment.

There is no 'right way to do' manual in our country. So what is the norm in some other place is left to the individuals to figure out and they may not find the right way.

Unless the right way is taught in schools, the more things change (more travel, exposure), the more they stay the same !! (rudeness, impatience)
Originally Posted by Avenger_123 View Post
* Patience - we are always in a hurry, not sure why. Right from the signal to wait in the queue. On a recent trip to India, I was pissed off when the uncle behind me kept on pushing me, even though the line was not moving, this is to board an aircraft !!

* Absolute disregard for personal space- For most cases, we don't mind barging into other's personal space. As someone told - complete paisa vasool is our mindset in everything.

* Personal Hygiene - This is relative, most of us have strong body odor, I believe driven by the food we are used to. But we need to make sure it is controlled. I remember when my company set up the India development center, people were coming to Canada for training . After the first batch we had a mail coming from the VP to Indian counterpart about importance of personal hygiene - like use deodrants etc. There were also pictures from the resort showing hair blocked Jacuzzi tubs and all - needless to say highly embarrassing.
Originally Posted by MandarMax View Post
1. Lack of patience / civic sense: We Indians are an impatient lot. It's ironical that on one hand, most Indians do not value their own (or others) time but they act as if they are in a hurry all the time especially when they are on the road or in a public place. For example, people honk incessantly, they take short-cuts by breaking rules such as driving on the wrong side instead of taking a U-turn, not following lane discipline and blocking the oncoming traffic, ignoring the red signal etc. At toll booths, people forcefully jump the queue. When they are waiting for a lift or a train or a bus, they don't let people disembark and then they push and shove and try to get ahead. I have seen the same behaviour on domestic and international flights as well. They want to board first as if the plane will leave without taking them. The same pattern repeats again and again in every walk of life. So, naturally, when these people go abroad, they don't think that they are doing anything wrong.

2. Playing unfair / Gaming the system: I will tell you a story. I used to go to a restaurant in Melbourne, in the St. Kilda area. It was a vegetarian restaurant with some Indian options. It was run by a white person who had spent a few years in India learning Yoga (in an Ashram, I think in Rishikesh). He was very friendly and used to go by an Indian name given by his Guru. The restaurant had no fixed price menu. You paid what you felt like and the owner accepted the money without complaining. I had been to the place a few times and I found the food so good that I didn't mind paying a little extra. Most people did the same and I think it was a good business model (until the Indians found out ). On one weekend, I happened to meet a group of software developers through a friend. I told them about this place and on one Sunday afternoon, we all went there together. After having a grand lunch, it was the time to pay. I paid for myself. But the entire group paid just 10-15 dollars. Mind you, the same food would have cost more than $50 elsewhere. I could see the look on the face of the owner, but he didn't say anything. I added another ten dollars from my pocket because I felt sad. I never went back to the place, neither did I meet that group again, who by the way were all working for Satyam (I am just saying, not stereotyping ). I have seen a similar pattern of people buying from supermarkets - expensive items such as clothes, electronics etc. and then after using the stuff for some time, they used to return them and get a refund, taking advantage of the friendly return policies. I have seen people taking sachets of sugar, salt, pepper, ketchup from fast-food restaurants and cafes. Again, this happens because people think that their behaviour is acceptable.
Well captured. These are the reasons for poor perception and not just foreigners are affected but also fellow Indians.
Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
"Are Indian tourists terrible?"


"Are Indians terrible?".
Very apt summary.
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Old 12th August 2019, 14:52   #77
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Indians and Chinese usually have a reputation for being terrible traveller. I have not witnessed such behaviour from the Chinese traveller, therefore I'll not comment on that.

However, I have seen disgusting behaviour from Indians who live abroad and who travel. I live in Germany and I've had trouble finding a place to live because Indians are known to keep the place dirty. Once, a lady had apprehension renting the place to be because her previous Indian tenants were not respectful of women. Although, she was okay with renting the place after my previous landlord vouched for my good behaviour, it made me feel disgust towards the Indian people living abroad.

Indians in general just take things for granted. It would be great if they had some civic sense.

Even when I travelled and stayed at AirBnBs, they usually point out that I left the place clean, unlike my fellow countrymen. I didn't know if I should feel happy or ashamed.

Last edited by puneeth2 : 12th August 2019 at 14:55.
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Old 12th August 2019, 14:52   #78
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Forget us being civilized in a foreign country, we are not civilized, patient and courteous in our own country and to our own people. Everybody does things as they please and think they are entitled to do so. We seem to have missed one complete step of evolution where morality, being considerate and learning to blend with other nationalities and cultures were taught. Everybody is in a hurry to go some place, God only knows where.
In my experience we may count for the top position of unruly travelers but we are not alone.
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Old 12th August 2019, 15:06   #79
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

The nuance is not limited to international travel only. A resort in Himachal has recently come up with a policy that they will not allow guests from a particular state in North India to stay in their property. Apparently, the resort management had a horrid experience when a bunch of drunken buffoons from this state had tried to create bonfire in their wooden floored room in the property. No matter which part of India you go to, you will always find ugly signs that Indian tourists leave behind. Be it an empty packet of chips or a bottle of mineral water. In places of solitude, like Triund, groups carry speakers and play loud music at night, when you can easily listen to the nature whispering in silence. Then there are the groups in train journeys, who keep playing one games after another, even if the clock is well past midnight, giving a damn about fellow travelers.

Maybe, as a society, our selfishness has grown with our quest for materialism. We are becoming more brash, more pompous and more shallow. Respect, Rules, Sympathy, Culture are becoming alien to our society.

Until we accept this and address the root cause of the issue, we will continue going downhill, as tourists and as a society. The next generation might turn out to be even worse.
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Old 12th August 2019, 15:10   #80
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

I've traveled a bit and here's my contribution to the notorious Indian traveller.
1) There was this Indian family staying in the same hotel. This aunty in the group was really keen on getting into the pool but being the shy Indian that she is, she got in salwar kameez and all straight into this nice swanky European pool to the utter shock of everyone
2) While exiting Bhutan on our motorcycles, we thanked all the officers at the Bhutanese exit gate after stamping out our documents. The office fell silent and all were looking at us. Reason: They had never seen such civilized Indians
3) Bhutan is hyper sensitive about its forests, natural beauty etc. There comes this big Indian group in a tempo traveller, gas stove and all and start elaborate cooking inside their forest for the fellow TT travellers. When questioned they didn't understand what wrong they had done??
4) My mum stayed at a hotel in Jordan which was b&b. There were many nationalites. The Indians pounced on breakfast and filled their bags with all remaining fruits, eggs etc etc so they don't need to spend anything for the rest of the day. Naturally all food ran out and many guests got nothing. Result was that next day, the hotel divided the restaurant and put a board where Indians should sit, kind of segregation like a zoo.
There are many more but I'm quite tired typing...

Last edited by Aditya : 12th August 2019 at 18:20. Reason: Let's not body shame anyone
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Old 12th August 2019, 15:56   #81
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Should I be surprised that this thread has garnered so many comments in few days and we are already on the 6th Page? Not.

I have read through this thread, like each comment about every members experience. The bashing does not surprise me as I have experienced this bad behavior myself. I am not bothered about what tourists from other nations/ethnicity do, as I do not think it is ok to be wrong just because someone else is as well. This is the same when we complain if we get caught by the Traffic Police and we say to them that you haven't caught the other offenders. The fish that have been caught should not complain to the Fishermen why others are swimming freely (this is just what one one of the Traffic Cops had to say, just an analogy).

I was travelling in France with my wife and as many tourists do had gone to Disneyland. We were waiting in a queue to get on a ride and there was an Indian family ahead of us. We were separated by two Spanish girls. For some reason the middle aged man wanted to get as close to the Spanish girls as he could. I pointed this out to my wife. I do not get this disgusting behavior when he was with his kids and wife and he should be ashamed regardless of him being with his family. Then this guy calls the other Indian family who were way down the queue to come ahead(buying tickets and thinking he owns the place issue syndrome as highlighted in many comments in this thread). The kid from this other family tells him that other people won't allow them to go ahead and still this guy insists that they come ahead. If at all that would have happened I myself would not have let them get ahead of me and would have told him to go back to join them if he was that desperate to be together.

This guy doesn't stop there. Once we finish the ride he waits and lets everyone past and then walks fast to join his family from behind. In the process, brushes his body past my side as I was aware to keep my wife on the other side so he does not get past her the same way. Does not acknowledge anything, no sorry, no nothing. Does the same with the Spanish girls. I just did not shout at him as I did not want to create a scene in a foreign county.

The point is the kids are going to learn the same thing that it is ok to behave like this. I saw the same family the next day at the Eiffel Tower displaying the same loudness. Similar experience in Marseille where an Indian guy was very loud on his phone speaking in Marathi(my native tongue) at one of the hotels. I could hear him from 5 tables across and could easily make out every piece of his conversation.

Another experience, was in a Hotel lift in Paris. The Indian family wanted to ask for directions for where the breakfast is served. Me, my wife and a French guy are in the lift along with this family. The Indian guy does not ask me for directions for some reason and asks the French guy in Hindi for directions. No, this is not a typo, he literally asked a Frenchman in Hindi. The Frenchman looks at me clueless and I tell him "ca va(Its ok)". I look at the Indian guy and tell him where he would find breakfast and unsurprisingly he did not thank me post my help. Would not say this is a bad experience but this left me wondering how far off are some Indian tourists from what goes on in the places that they visit.

The thing I want to make clear is people in foreign land are welcoming. They won't judge an entire nation/race based on one off experiences. The stereotype becomes prominent when there are loads of such bad experiences. Classic example of Switzerland shared here.

Slightly off topic, IMO the reason would be countless Indian tours offering Euro packages with no Tour organizers explaining how the people should behave once in a different nation albeit many would argue that civilized behavior need not be explained but still. My relatives had been on a Euro tour that offered 10 countries in 3 weeks! I cannot imagine the rush and impatience in sightseeing and travel. This maddening rush just won't allow for people to get the real experience of travel and rush causes issues with people leaving the place in a hurry, in the process causing other people think that we are an impatient lot.
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Old 12th August 2019, 16:08   #82
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

This language thing reminds me of an incident in a trek in Uttarakhand.

I was on my way alone, as usual, and i look back to see a Bengali family make their way up with remorse writ large on their faces. The lady of the group immediately accosted me in chaste Bengali asking me probably how much further along.

I was stunned. I wanted to reply in either Kannada or Tamil to give it right back, but humanity won over. Or maybe i look Bengali.

Also met another family who were babbling along the top of their voices through the uphill sections of a forest, complaining about how difficult it was. I had to walk past them and tell them that if they would just shut up and save their energy, the trek wouldn't be as difficult for them, and for the rest of us.

Last edited by Red Liner : 12th August 2019 at 16:10.
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Old 12th August 2019, 16:31   #83
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Very interesting thread, here are my two cents. I completely agree with the views that not all Indians are the same, but I suspect there are some things that affect us more than other country men/women.

I think two factors largely affect Indian tourists' behaviour overseas:

1. Patience
2. Trust

And these two are related. We don't trust others in our country. When we see that someone isn't pulling away from a green light, we don't trust that he/she will.

If we trust them, patience will automatically come. We'd wait for them to go because we trust that they're aware someone's waiting and they'll care.

Apply the same scenario in a queue situation at a bank/coffee shop. We're impatient because we don't trust anyone will speed up. Apply the same to flights - we like to hurry out of the flight, because we think others won't care. We don't trust anyone.

Over the years, I've trained myself to become more patient because I can't really honk at a guy who didn't pull away from a green light 3 seconds after.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:10   #84
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Originally Posted by aghate View Post
The Indian guy does not ask me for directions for some reason and asks the French guy in Hindi for directions. No, this is not a typo, he literally asked a Frenchman in Hindi. The Frenchman looks at me clueless and I tell him "ca va(Its ok)".
Sorry to go off topic a bit here - but if one works/worked in the software industry as an engineer, they would sort of relate to this. Its not uncommon for an engineer to reach out to the "poren" counterpart in a completely different timezone than reaching out to the engineer sitting right beside him and who would have the fullest knowledge of that relevant code. I don't understand this insatiable desire to impress the "poren" team members. I have lost count on the number of time in my past work place where the sensible folks in the US would respond curtly with a "xyz who sits in the same office as yours understands the code best, talk to him/her" & cc the knowledgeable engineer in the response
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:21   #85
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

During my trip to Europe last year, I was alone enjoying Belgian GP and a Heineken in a local pub, as my friends had gone for shopping. I happened to befriend an indian tour guide working for a reputable Tours & Travel Agency in India. He had traveled almost all of Europe & South East Asia as a tour guide. I just joked that he is so lucky to travel so much that to free of charge.

And he just slapped his palm on forehead and said its worst job handling Indian tourist on tours abroad. Sometimes its too embarrassing for him also as a tour guide with how Indians behave. Not all tourists are such, but mostly first timers and some who think they are just over-smart. According to him, the common annoying habits in Indian tourists are

- Ogling and hitting on foreign women, even when accompanied by their
- Demanding indian food in restaurants.
- Loading up on food from free breakfast buffets at hotels, often enough to
last through the day.
- Getting drunk on plane.
- Shoplifting & bargaining in places with fixed prices.
- Treating guides / hotel staff like their personal servants.
- Jumping queues; late for everything & throwing tantrums when they miss
an event.

I think a lack of exposure to the world and acceptable behavioral norms contribute significantly to this. A lot of Indian travellers that exhibit this behavior typically come from small towns and cities who have recently become affluent, and they genuinely donít see anything wrong with their behavior.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:23   #86
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Thanks for starting this thread.
I agree that we are terrible tourists.
Below are 2 examples:

During one of the short assignments in the US, me and another colleague were given 2 separate rooms which was equipped with Kitchen (and few utensils and stove and Microwave).
I made it a point that I cooked for us both, cleaned the utensils and put it back in the exact same manner as earlier.
Not just kitchen, I ensured to have the bed made, and since am a little particular about bathroom cleanliness, ensured that it is cleaned properly after my usage.
On the date of departure, the 'Care-taker' of the premises Thanked me immensely since the cleaning services had very little to 'Clean' in my room and he stated categorically that my colleague's room was quite the opposite. I had to agree, since, on couple of occasions, when I visited my colleague's room, it was really un-tidy in every aspect. When I casually asked about this to my colleague, he replied in arrogance that 'cleaning-services' are there for a purpose and its their duty to clean 'His' room; I left the argument at that.

Few months back, my elderly parents were on a trip to Europe and UK. An 'Educated' lady in her mid fifties was adamant to join the touring group on time, kept complaining on NOT getting 'proper' food, taking selfies everywhere, jumping queue at buffet, etc.; on one occasion, the tour guide had to leave her behind and she was never late from then on to board the bus..!

I think along with other things, Kids in schools have to be taught Etiquette, Patience, behavioral aspects and Compassion; the same have to be followed by Parents at home, since, Kids learn by imitating elders.
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:24   #87
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

I have never travelled abroad to put my points for Indians behaving miserably abroad. But have traveled enough within India to agree to most of it what is discussed already. We don't have to go too far to verify this. Go to any famous religious place and we will find how "well" behaved we are when in open.
//Apologies for upcoming long post//
Take Shirdi for an example (--absolutely NOM to anyone--). Am a regular visitor myself and was there some three weeks ago.
I have a year old daughter and elder one is five and a half. So it's evident younger one cannot be allowed to walk on her own in the line that leads upto Darshan and elder one cannot be held on to arms for entire duration of standing in the queue.
My younger one started crying after a while we were moving ahead in queue. I was terrified of her crying, as she is very patient and has never done this before. I even thought of giving up Darshan due to her behaviour and what happened next to ensure she is calm.
Those who have been to Shirdi will know, that people make two lines between the partitions. Which should ideally be suitable for single line due to zigzag seating arrangements within. Humans simply get squeezed like animals, with almost sticking themselves to the person in front.
There came a group of ladies from a particular region. And did they made a mockery of entire arrangements. They started moving ahead forming a third line, between the two existing lines, simply pushing everyone. I was already worried with my kid's crying and then this lot pushing and moving ahead made me irritated. They kept doing it even when line was stopped. They already had been scolded by few, but gave no ears to it. There was one who kept pushing my elder daughter to make way, while she held onto my hand as we moved ahead. My daughter did complaint to me on this. I turned and told that lady to be patient and follow the line. She told me the language that she speeks (won't mention it here). As if, giving me an excuse of not understanding what i am saying, or gestures that i used. There were some young ladies as well, whom I assumed were educated and understood. I simply told her that manners will be uniform across language and region. Can't you spare a kid as well. That Mahem was stopped momentorily. But started again after few minutes.
My father in this place would have allowed them to go ahead (sometimes with a taunt, which i eventually yelled at her), i let go off majority of the lot, but my daughter was suffering because of this. I moved her to other side and waited, as the lady crossed i hit her in the rib cage with my elbow as hard as possible and shouted to the peak of my voice "bhagwan ke ghar bhi jaldi jaana hai kya". She was in some pain, and i have no regret for this. Some people learn the hard way. The remaining lot was calm thereafter, only a few, but looked educated. Too late to realise though. Two hours of wait later and 10 minutes to Darshan.

From all this, I guess
1: we behave well only when forced to.
2: there is no respect for others as individuals or their personal spaces.
3: we want to utilise (read exploit) all resources available for our own without giving a thought for others.
4: most of all, we may have forgotten to share with others,
5: we live in such a hurry, as if there is no tomorrow.

PS: i once stepped out of lift for a pregnant lady who just walked in, looked almost full term, clearly indicating her to walk in as i moved out, which was seen by most of the other people waiting as well. To everyone's surprise, before she could move a lady standing near the lift, filled the space vacated by me and started pressing the door close button as if somebody will pull her out. If a lady has no respect for a pregnant lady from her own organization, we know what all we need to cover in terms of behavioural improvement.

Last edited by saurabh2711 : 12th August 2019 at 17:32.
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Old 12th August 2019, 18:22   #88
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Oh dear.
Reading some of these experiences really makes me sad.

But this is not new.

Our behaviour within our own country itself can be horrible.

Ive seen how Ooty was getting slowly but surely spoilt right from the 1970's.

Now in the month of May if one makes the mistake of going to Ooty, one actually feels like one has never left Bangalore.

Munnar/ Anamallais in the 1970's and 1980's were pristine and clean. Just look at those places now.

We are a funny bunch of selfish people I think.

No sense of preservation and consideration. It is always I, Me, Myself all the time.
This is deeply ingrained from a
Societal perspective itself.

Right from childhood one is always urged to be 'First' and get to the top of the heap and the top of the queue and so on.

It is quite possibly born of an insecurity which in turn is born of the fear that one may never get anywhere without pushing and thrusting ahead on account of the simply frightfully large population and consequent competition in every walk and sphere of life.

With us, it is always Each Man for himself and the Devil take the Hindmost!

Teach your children well.

They are the ones that are going to ultimately inherit the mess that we create.
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Old 13th August 2019, 00:18   #89
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Originally Posted by MandarMax View Post
Since a lot has already been said, I will add my two points quickly:

1. Lack of patience / civic sense: We Indians are an impatient lot.
2. Playing unfair / Gaming the system:
Completely agree. I wanted to add something:

1. Indians in India as individuals - Generally behave well, stick to rules.
2. Indians behavior in India (group)- Complete lack of civic sense, loud obnoxious create noise wherever they go. I remember I had to stop people from playing loud music at a fort in Goa, where it became impossible to even hear the person next to me.
3. Indians behavior outside of India (individually) - Boy, these are white doves. You are alone, you are tipping, not bargaining, trying new things, getting along with others, following traffic rules!
4. Indians outside India in a group - Value for money and lets get it before it finishes.
Just yesterday, I was at a beach where there are tables for picnic, food etc. As a rule you should not block tables as they are in short supply and in any case a table is large enough for atleast 10 people. This Pakistani group had blocked 3 large tables, had one large canopy, were throwing disposable cups everywhere. Its only when I talked to one of the men, he started to shout on women within the group to clean up.

I cannot say enough about food. Yes given that our food has flavor while most of the 'so-called white food' has nothing in it or is just fried food but we are so terrified of trying new things. You go to the high end resorts in Canada and you will run into a group having Dhokla and Poha I suppose this still is fine, as it does not harm anyone but talking loudly is so ridiculously prevalent.

I just wonder why would someone steal stuff from the hotel? Although it is assumed that toiletries are for you, I still leave them behind as I can surely afford that teeny weeny bottle of moisturizer in the market.
Tipping is another crazy thing. Even the most well behaved people are bad tippers. I remember giving a $5 (which amounted to 25%) tip for Pizza Delivery (Dominos, which already charges for delivery) and he was looking at my face as if he never expected it.

You can substitute Indians with Pakistanis/Bangladeshis too for people abroad. On the other hand, I have met Pakistanis and Afgans who are amazingly well behaved but are in minority really. The less said about the Chinese the better.

For anyone new to US/CAN - You always tip 15-20% for any service, unless it's a pickup. That is the minimum. You tip more when you are in a group / with kids and for good service.
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Old 13th August 2019, 12:31   #90
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Originally Posted by RM Motorsports View Post
I think a lack of exposure to the world and acceptable behavioral norms contribute significantly to this. A lot of Indian travellers that exhibit this behavior typically come from small towns and cities who have recently become affluent, and they genuinely don’t see anything wrong with their behavior.

I agree with most of the points mentioned here by members. However, I'd like to stick my neck out and say that the above distinction is no longer valid. It is not about people from places that have become recently affluent. I'd say it is about people who have suddenly started experiencing so-called middle-class boom or acquired disposable income. I have seen folks who have been working in Bangalore/Hyd/Chennai for sometime (at least 3-4 years) exhibit a complete lack of manners/etiquette. Despite working in MNC environment, they simply don't bother to pick up the subtleties from clients and co-workers. Basically, I think people need either carrot or stick for being at their best. Else, they simply don't care.
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