Languages & Cultural characteristics in behaviors
As we all know, different countries have different cultures. It is inevitable that the cultural difference has impact on business. As follows, I will introduce the cultures in India, which contains languages, cultural characteristics in behaviors. Business people can't change or solve the cultural difference. To avoid misunderstanding and bias, they should realize and understand the cultures in India, adapt themselves to fit into the business environment in order to best achievement in business.
English as a National Foreign Language in India
“India has two national languages for central administrative purposes, Hindi and English. Generally, English is used among Indians as a ‘link' language and it is the first language for many well-educated Indians.”(from website) The English language is a tie that helps bind the many segments of the society together. Also, it is a linguistic and business bridge between the major countries of the world and India. The impact of globalization and economic development has made English the 'language of opportunity'. As the main language of most of the world's largest companies and producers, it has emerged as an international language of commerce. “Those who can speak not only their own tongue but also English have a distinct advantage both at home and abroad as the businesses.”(from website) So no doubt English is an effective communicating tool in India.
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English spreads all over India's social and cultural life. Job interviews, without exceptions, are carried out in English. If one's and one's boss's languages different, their common language will often be English. People who do not have basic knowledge of English can't obtain good quality jobs, can't communicate efficiently with others, and they even can't help with their children's school homework everyday or decide their revenue options of the future.
Cultural characteristics in behaviors
●Roles, titles and positions are important in India
“Be clear about the roles, titles and positions of the people you are meeting and to make your own role, position and title clear. Roles, titles and positions are important in India.”(Dian Schaffhauser,published 2003from website) There is a high Power-Distance culture in India, they obey direction and discipline and look to management to provide order. It is a respect for hierarchical structure, rank and for position. People are not comfortable until everybody is clear on who they are.
●Establish a comfortable relationship before you get to business
“Avoid the American tendency to get straight to business. Take time to let the person get to know you and for you get to know him or her.”(Dian Schaffhauser,published 2003-from website) It's very important to establish a pleasant relationship. You need to show that you are interested in your colleagues and not just as business intention.
●Try to understand ambiguity
Indians love conversation, discussions and speech. Conversational topics include just about anything, politics, families, India, sports, etc. There is a low Uncertainty avoidance culture in India. They are keen on uncertainty things and want conflict in rules. So people prefer to discussion, even though unsafe topics.
“●Never point your feet at a person. Feet are considered unclean. If your shoes or feet touch another person, apologize.”(Patty Butle, rfrom website)
“●The head is considered the seat of the soul. Never touch someone else's head, not even to pat the hair of a child.”(Patty Butler, from website)
“ ●Business lunches are preferred to dinners. Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims do not eat pork. ”(Patty Butler, from website)