The cultural differences can cause serious misunderstanding and hamper the way towards building healthy professional and business relationships. Thus it is highly important that before initiating any cross cultural relationship that the differences are understood and respected.
The purpose of this paper is to gain awareness and skills in dealing with global diversity. The objective was achieved by doing research about an international country and interviewing a person from that place. A lot of information was gained about the country's location, its people, culture, economy and lifestyle. The country chosen in this case is India.
India occupies a strategic position in Asia. It is the seventh largest country in the world by area and second largest by population. It lies in the Southern part of Asia with Arabian Sea on its West, Bay of Bengal to its East and Indian Ocean in South. The country shares borders with China (north-east), Pakistan (west), Bangladesh (in east), Nepal (north-east), and Sri Lanka (south). The Himalayas with highest mountain peak in the world also line the northern part of India. The two important rivers that originate from Himalayas and flow through India are River Indus and Ganges. The River Ganges is the largest in India and has an important cultural and religious value attached to it. (Kwintessential)
Culture and Customs
India has a rich and diverse culture which has been shaped by its interesting history. Starting from the Indus Valley Civilization to the British Rule, India has been a land to many ancient civilizations each with their unique culture and traditions. This history makes India diverse in terms of religions, languages, cultural practices and customs.
The Indian culture consists of strict social hierarchy commonly known as caste system. This caste system which separates people into communities based on their family background, education and income, is deeply rooted in India. In India the family system carries great value with many living as extended families. The extended family system creates a hierarchy of relationships with the most elder member as the head of the family making all important decisions and requires deep respect of elders. That is why the when the young greets an elder person of the society, they touch their feet as a symbol of respect and blessing. (Kwintessential) Also when meeting each other, Indians greet by saying "Namaste" accompanied by slightly bowed gesture with hands pressed together vertically in front of chest. Moreover Arranged marriages are preferred in India with the parents and other family members planning the marriage. Mostly the marriages are planned among the same communities. Indians have great concern for their families and relatives and tend to adjust their plans and goals that would satisfy the people around them. They have strong family values and engage in long term relationships with true commitment.
Weddings are a grand affair in India lasting for weeks and even months for some families. Birth and death ceremonies are also held with great fervor consisting of various rituals that last for many days.