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Indian Business – Social Conversation

Aug 2, 2012 | atiq | Business India | 1 Comment

Though they are awkward in the first few seconds, Indian warm up quickly and are very chatty, once they get to know you.

Sports, especially cricket is a good topic. If you know the basic of cricket, you can easily catch up on the latest in the newspapers. Usually the national team or the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams are playing . A few Indians play golf.

Bollywood, food and culture are other conversation starters. Avoid being judgmental, even if your host is being critical about something in his or her own country. Do not rant about traffic or rub it in that the public infrastructure is a mess. Everybody knows that.

A basic tenet of Indian interactions whether in business or social settings, is to avoid confrontation or embarrassment. So don’t mention any hot button special topics like Caste, Politics or the country’s economic or religious divisions. If you bring up and of these, you could meet silence or denial.

Caste, the social stratification of India’s Population, is officially outlawed, although it still plays a role in society.

As a foreigner, one is removed from such typecasting and it is relatively easy to interact with people from variety of backgrounds.

India has any number of political and conversational minefields: the country’s problem with corruption: Pakistan, India’s neighbor and nuclear rival; the disputed areas of Jammu and Kashmir; and scores of Regional Issues.

Safer topics include yours colleagues children and asking where they go to school, a favorite topic with both men and women. You also could ask the meaning of name, which shows warmth and a personal interest.

But be prepared for what you might consider intrusive questions, like when and how you met your spouse or even how much you earn. Learn to deflect or treat such questions with Humor.