Indian Culture

Greetings

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  • In many parts of India and during formal occasions, it is common for people to greet with the traditional Hindu greeting of “Namaste” (‘I greet the divine within you’). This is accompanied with a nod of the head or a bow depending on the status of the person you are greeting.
  • A common gesture when greeting is pressing the palms together with the fingertips facing upwards (i.e. in a prayer position). This greeting is sometimes accompanied with a slight bow.
  • Verbal greetings vary between regions and also differ depending on people’s relationships. For example, a common Gujarati greeting is “Kem cho”, (‘How are you?’).
  • Muslims may greet by shaking the hand of their counterpart accompanied by the phrase, “Salaam”. 
  • It is generally appropriate for men and women to shake hands. However, it is advisable to wait for a woman to extend her hand first. Some Muslim or Hindu men and women may not wish to touch a person of the opposite gender.
  • Avoid greeting someone with a hug or a kiss unless you know the person well.
  • Indians expect people to greet the eldest or most senior person first. When greeting elders, some Indians may reach down and touch the ground or the elder’s feet as a sign of respect.
  • It is advisable to address people by their title (Mr, Mrs, etc.) and last name until they have indicated that you may move on to a first-name basis.
  • It is common to add the gender-neutral honorific suffix ‘-ji’ onto a first name to show respect towards a person, a group or inanimate objects (for example, ‘Madhavji’).
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India
  • Population
    1,266,883,598
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Hindi (41.03%)
    Bengali (8.11%)
    Telugu (7.19%
    Marathi (6.99%)
    Tamil (5.91%)
    Urdu (5.01%)
    Gurjarati (4.48%)
    Kannada (3.69%)
    Malayalam (3.21%)
    Odia (3.21%)
    Punjabi (2.83%)
    Other (8%)
    [2001 census]
  • Religions
    Hinduism (79.8%)
    Islam (14.2%)
    Christianity (2.3%)
    Sikhism (1.7%)
    Buddhism (0.7%)
    Jainism (0.37%)
    Other (0.66%)
    [2011 est.]
  • Ethnicities
    Ancestral North Indians [Indo-Aryan] (72%)
    Ancestral South Indians [Dravidian] (25%)
    Other (3%)
    [2000 est.]
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 77
    Individualism 48
    Masculinity 56
    Uncertainty Avoidance 40
    Long Term Orientation 51
    Indulgence 26
    What's this?
  • Australians with Indian Ancestry
    619,164 [2016 census]
Indians in Australia
  • Population
    455,389
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in India.
  • Average Age
    31
  • Gender
    Male (55.6%)
    Female (44.4%)
  • Religion
    Hinduism (47.3%)
    Sikhism (18.7%)
    Catholic Christianity (16.3%)
    Islam (3.4%)
    Other (14.2%)
  • Ancestry
    Indian (75.1%)
    English (7.35%)
    Punjabi (2.6%)
    Anglo-Indian (2.3%)
    Other (12.7%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    English (21.3%)
    Hindi (20%)
    Punjabi (19.3%)
    Gujarati (8.8%)
    Other (30.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 93.3% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (37.8%)
    New South Wales (32.3%)
    Queensland (10.2%)
    Western Australia (10.1%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (27.2%)
    2001-2006 (24.2%)
    2007-2011 (45.2%)
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