One has to comprehend the fact that cultural traditions and customs vary from one country to another as the communities and cultural roots of two different geographical lands are mostly different from one another. Thus, it is a very interesting quest to gauge the differences as well as similarities in the customs and traditions of different nations or communities. In the age of globalization and cultural communication, comprehension of such etiquettes and traditions becomes all the more necessary. One can take into perspective the customs and traditions that are prevalent in countries like India and Japan.
The Indians are known for their rich culture and heritage that dates back to centuries in the pages of history. Thus, one can understand that the customs and etiquettes of the nation also have their roots in the past years of history. It is etiquette in India to touch the feet of the people who are elder to an individual. This is supposed to signify showing respect for the elders, while the gesture seeks the blessings of the elders at the same time. However, in the United States of America, there are no such customs. Even elders embrace or shake hands with young people. On the other hand, the Japanese people have their own way of showing respect to the elders of the Japanese society. In a social situation, the elders get served first and drinks are poured for them to devour. Utmost importance is given to their honor and respect.
One can gauge the similarities between the customs of etiquettes of the two countries in context. Both the counties pay utmost importance to the respect and honor of the elder people of the society. The schools in Japan indoctrinate the students of the society with the message of cooperation and respect. The Japanese children are taught to work together. In India the custom is the same. The Indian children are indoctrinated with the message of love and cooperation for the people of the society. Both the Japanese and Indian people emphasize on the harmonious relationship among the people in the society. (Sanghani) Apart from this, both the communities give utmost importance to religion and religious beliefs. Many of the customs of the society are directed by the religious beliefs of the people of the respective countries.
However, there are several differences in the customs of etiquettes of the two countries in context as well. In Japan, it is a custom to call people by their surname as calling by the first name is considered offensive. However, in India, the practice involves calling people by their first names. The Japanese people greet each other by bowing, and also use the handshake for greeting others. (Fodor.com) However, in India, the people do not bow as a mark of greeting. Rather, the people fold their hands together as a greeting gesture. Also, there are no strict dress codes while going to the temples in Japan. In India, the people have to follow a dress code while visiting the holy places.
While the Americans are direct in their approach during business dealings, the scenario is a different in Japan and India. Being succinct or direct is not accepted in Japan. It is not acceptable if people express their agitation or anger directly. In India also people are expected to be polite and calm, and not express agitation in their business setting. In both India and Japan, the private lives ought to be kept private from the business setting. While there is room for informality and amiability in America, the people in India and Japan are expected to be formal in their approach. Thus, there are basic differences in approach when it comes to business setting.
“Customs and Etiquette in Japan: 15 Things Every Visitor Should Know.” In Fodor’s
Travel. Fodor.com, 4 May 2010. Web. 29 June 2015.
Sanghani, Sreya. “10 Indian customs to know before visiting India.” In Matador
Network. Matadornetwork.com, 14 May 2009. Web. 29 June 2015.