Abuse of Hospitality or Culture Difference?

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#1 Apr 15th, 2009, 17:02
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#1
I would like to share a recent experience and hope some of you will add your comments.

We had some English guests staying in our home recently, a family of 4 - couple and 2 girls, 18 and 14. The man is a business associate of my husband whom I had met once before. He was on a holiday visit, this time with his family.

They were friendly and seemed nice enough, except for the way they treated our home - like a PIGSTY - caps intentional.

We gave them 2 rooms which they left in an unimaginable mess every day when they went out, with rubbish thrown on the floor, bed linen crumpled and thrown on the floor, filthy shoes kept in the clothes cupboard [absolute no no in Indian homes], empty beer cans and open cartons of juice on the floor .... I could go on and on but this much will suffice ..

Not a word of apology was forthcoming throughout their stay. My husband promised to never have them in our house again provided I kept my peace!

On the last day before they were leaving, it was just too much for me and I asked in a half joking tone, out of sheer curiosity, if this is the way they live in their own home. The response was an arrogant "this is the way we are" !!!

Not surprisingly, there was no apology whatsoever, although they did thank us for our hospitality.

I am left with an overwhelming feeling that my hospitality has been badly abused. Apart from the general mess, it is absolutely unthinkable to keep diry footwear inside a clothes cupboard in India.

Do you think I was over reacting, is this a cultural difference or what? We have had foreign guests before and they were always respectful of our house and our hospitality.

I have not yet got over this unbelievable experience.
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#2 Apr 15th, 2009, 18:13
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#2
Thats a shocker. It must have been a big effort from your side to keep cool.

I dont think this has anything to do with culture - just a bunch of really insensitive people I guess.

Hope you will put this behind you and cheer up soon
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#3 Apr 15th, 2009, 18:26
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I don't think it's normal behavior.....
Must be a crazy family.......
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#4 Apr 15th, 2009, 18:31
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#4
Wow snonymous - they sound like really unpleasant, rude, selfish people - I hope your husband rewarded you for your patience with more than just a promise!

I don't know about putting dirty footwear in the cupboard. In my own home, I keep my dirty footwear next to the front door - unless I'm staying in a hotel, where it just might possibly go in the cupboard, if there's nowhere else to put it (and if it's not really dirty).

I would be very sorry if I stayed in someone's home, and unintentionally upset them by putting my shoes in the cupboard, because I didn't realise it was such a no-no - I would hope that someone would tell me quickly that I should put my shoes somewhere else. That particular bit sounds to me like something of a cultural difference, maybe. But then, I wouldn't dream of leaving the room I stayed in like a pigsty. (I'm likely to tidy my hotel room before I leave )
#5 Apr 15th, 2009, 19:34
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#5
Too bad.

Any English I ever had kept the place tidy. If they were English via India ... well that explains a lot.
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#6 Apr 15th, 2009, 19:44
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#6
Sorry to reverse the picture here, I am not intending to offend anyone with my small addition. Your description is in similar terms, but the very same scenario, what Hotel owneres say in Switzerland --- about Indians visiting. (Except no shoes in the cupboard, I hope). In fact, Indians are the most hated tourists in Switzerland for the mess they make every day in Hotel rooms.

Okay, you talk about a private place, that is different; except for water splashed around the toilet there probably would not be much traces visible from an Indian guest in a private home. The kitchen aside, which will smell some weeks from excessive use of onions and curry.

I do think it is a culture thing. Indians are able to behave absolutely irresponsible outside their own home (top cleanliness inside, filth outside), while Westerners are able to do so everywhere, including their own home.

Now you can vent your ire...
#7 Apr 15th, 2009, 19:49
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But, I heard that Switzerland is heavily wooing Indian tourists..

Swiss tourism has even named a lake on a famous film personality in India..

Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post Sorry to reverse the picture here, I am not intending to offend anyone with my small addition. Your description is in similar terms, but the very same scenario, what Hotel owneres say in Switzerland --- about Indians visiting. (Except no shoes in the cupboard, I hope). In fact, Indians are the most hated tourists in Switzerland for the mess they make every day in Hotel rooms.
#8 Apr 15th, 2009, 20:07
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Since Switzerland has become too expensive for American and British tourists, the Asian market is an important substitute. About 50.000 Indians visit Switzerland every year and are a welcome group of customers for standard destinations. The problem with them is that they travel in tight groups, on fast moving tours, staying only one or two nights in one place. Europe in 10 days for one lakh Rupees, this sort of thing, that you see advertized in Indian papers a lot.

They have zero time to adapt.
#9 Apr 15th, 2009, 20:27
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#9
Sounds like certain groups of British, American, Japanese, German, Chinese, Taiwanese, blah blah tourists ???
#10 Apr 15th, 2009, 20:57
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Quote:
Paradise is worth the price
Switzerland expensive? That may be true, but who wouldn’t be willing to hand over their life savings for a week in paradise?

That’s the opinion of the growing number of Indian tourists not turned off by Swiss prices. If the tourist board could only convince the dwindling Germans, Americans and Japanese...

"It’s the kind of place I see in my dreams," says Sangeeta Chopra. Despite a seductive smile, Chopra is not a film star playing hard-to-get in the latest Bollywood love story, but an Indian tourist enjoying the alpine scenery.

...


Off the record, many Swiss managers and directors complain about the behaviour of Indian guests, who they say fail to respect Swiss culture – they often bring their own cooks, leave food lying around and generally "trash" the hotel rooms.

"Hotels should be more cooperative in accepting Indian groups," counters Ravishankar of the travel company, Thomas Cook India

Ravishankar adds that quite a few people in the Swiss tourist industry "do not really want to understand the requirements of the Indian traveller". Despite the reluctance, he says his company’s Swiss business is growing by 30-40 per cent.

Most of the business is going to the few Swiss resorts and mountain railways which welcome Indians with open arms.

The Jungfrau Railways as well as the companies operating the restaurants atop the Schilthorn and Titlis mountains have been especially eager to please by employing Indian cooks.
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/search/R...st&sid=5920023
#11 Apr 15th, 2009, 21:39
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Although, I agree, the ordeal sounds like a nightmare, I'm a bit embarrased/perplexed/concerned about what kind of 'testing' or 'judging' of one's guest shoes might go one behind the scenes in India. (I remember my Mom telling me that her female inlaws would arrive at the family home and procede to give it a thorough 'white glove' test to see if she was keeping up on her dusting duties - Ow!)

Anyway, I hope my shoes are as clean as they can be in India with all the dust, grime, sandstorms, poo-on-the-shoe scams, wayward betel spit, & street urinal discharge. Somehow I doubt they are though.

Here at our home, we have one of those hedgehog type bristle shoe cleaners outside the front & back door where you can clean/grind your shoes free of any 'particulate'. In India, I have not seen many of these devices at private home doors.

On the otherhand, it seems like every third or fourth street kid is a shoeshiner so there really is no excuse for dirty shoes in India.
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#12 Apr 15th, 2009, 22:01
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post I do think it is a culture thing. Indians are able to behave absolutely irresponsible outside their own home (top cleanliness inside, filth outside), while Westerners are able to do so everywhere, including their own home.
Well I cannot comment on westerners here, however I tend agree on the Indian behavior.
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#13 Apr 15th, 2009, 22:05
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#13
How is a thread about the behaviour of some English people in India turning into one on the behaviour of Indians generally
#14 Apr 15th, 2009, 22:50
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#14
It makes me ashamed to be British!However I dont think you can generalise by nationality,its all down to the individuals.
Its a cliche but true"good and bad in every country".
I would like to apologise on their behalf.
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#15 Apr 15th, 2009, 22:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingstonian View Post How is a thread about the behaviour of some English people in India turning into one on the behaviour of Indians generally
It puts things into perspective. People have all sorts of different expectations and conditions which make them do things. I am sure no IMer present would behave in the ways pointed out, neither Westerners in an Indian home, nor Indians anywhere in the West.
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