A Dinner Guest from India

A British colleague, not long in India, invited an Indian dignitary to her home for dinner. I was there, too, and being an Indian myself, noticed that while she was sincere in her hospitality, we had a few awkward moments. Over some tea and cookies the next day, I gently gave her some suggestions for the next time she invited an Indian to dinner.

Learn a bit about India
Before inviting an Indian guest over, it would be rather nice to know a bit about India, its customs and traditions. Sometimes a guest can feel like a foreigner amongst strangers who look upon India as a mysterious nation. Empowered with some knowledge about India, a host can honor a guest by sharing interest in the guest's home country.

Invite like-minded guests
To help an Indian guest feel at home, invite guests with common interests who can strike up interesting conversations. Be careful not to invite people who have challenges with people unlike themselves.

Greet your guest
A host is sure to snuggle deep in the heart of an Indian guest when greeting him or her with the traditional greeting, Namaste, and holding both palms together.  This greeting breaks the ice and gives instant respect and warmth to the visitor. A “Namaste” even while parting ways is a sure way to be thought well of by an Indian.

Offer some Indian cuisine
Apart from the host's own culinary spread, it would be very thoughtful to serve some Indian cuisine. For example, Indians often do not indulge in beef, as it would be committing an unforgivable sin according to their customs. An alternative poultry dish may be much appreciated.

Play Indian music
Some traditional Indian music, playing softly in the background, could encourage an Indian guest to feel warm in the ambience. Later of course, you can change the music and dance away!

When entertaining Indian guests for either personal or business reasons, these suggestions may help a host feel more comfortable and confident.  My friend found herself readily inviting each Indian family in her neighborhood to dine, greeting them, "Namaste!"

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Preeti Singh is a freelance creative/content writer with 15 years writing experience and a zest to live life to the fullest.  Based in Chandigarh, India, she can be reached at www.writingnaturally.com.

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