Being invited into a home for dinner?

#1 Aug 16th, 2014, 01:26
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#1
I've read that people will often be invited to someones home for dinner while in India. I'm curious under what circumstances that opportunity usually arises from, and how to know if the invitation is genuine and safe or not? How often does this happen?
#2 Aug 16th, 2014, 01:34
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Tyler, There is no specific circumstances. People might try to be friendly with you all the times but you can not judge his/her genuinity. Therefore, my suggestion would be to better avoid such invitations.
#3 Aug 16th, 2014, 01:56
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On my first trip I was invited while walking through Madurai into a home for dinner. I had no fear, no not-fear . . . it "felt" good and I went . . . it turned out to be one of the true amazing experiences of my time in India. I remember, vividly and fondly still . . . it was 32 years ago.

You're going to have to develop your own radar for such things . . . things will/can happen (at times) so spontaneously in India that I trust my own first intuitive hit . . . don't get too far ahead of yourself . . . there are simply things you can't "plan" . . . by consistently being too wary, you might just lose an opportunity that will stick with you for the rest of your life . . .
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#4 Aug 16th, 2014, 01:56
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#4
What makes you think that an invitation to dinner would be a Scam and/or an Annoyance?
#5 Aug 16th, 2014, 02:29
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#5
The last time anybody that I had known for less than an hour invited me to dinner, it was part of his spiel about supporting his educational charity. He thought I was a tourist. Actually, I met the same guy again a couple of weeks ago and he again invited donations but did not, this time, offer food. I am not casting aspersions on his genuineness: no doubt everything he told me was true, but I pointed out that I have my charity budget, and it is used up.

So, yes, an invitation to dinner might well include, or lead up to, other requests ---which might or might not be scams or annoyances.

I would not accept such an invitation from a complete stranger. However, if there is a relationship already, eg someone who has driven, or guided, you for a week, then... why not? It will be stepping out off the tourist trail into a local reality.

Take your own water
#6 Aug 16th, 2014, 02:38
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I didn't get dinner but I got chai, biscuits and a motorbike ride back to my hotel when I was a bit stranded outside Gwalior. Nobody tried to sell me anything.
#7 Aug 16th, 2014, 08:18
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#7
Many years ago, when I bought a lot of paintings in Udaipur, and after they had been all paid up for, I was graciously and insistently invited by the gallery chappie to have lunch at his home. After repeated excuses, I relented and had the most wonderful meal in his home, cooked by his mother and elder sisters and we all ate the lovely home cooked Rajasthani food (kadhi, veggies and rotis) seated cross-legged on the kitchen floor with his four sisters and mother. I was served up garam garam chapattis. They were all warm and genuine.

A few days later he and two of his sisters also came to my hotel on the last day to bid me adieu. Nearly a decade later we still exchange greetings via email, whether it is Diwali or New Year or Holi. In fact, I have been remiss by not calling upon him the many times I have been to Udaipur since.

In Bombay, if I befriend a local, after a while it is a given that you will be invited. But you will know when the invite is matlabi (self-motivated) or dil se (from the heart).
#8 Aug 16th, 2014, 08:59
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#8
I was invited for dinner at a traditional home by my book agent and still fondly remember it..
#9 Aug 16th, 2014, 18:07
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post I didn't get dinner but I got chai, biscuits and a motorbike ride back to my hotel when I was a bit stranded outside Gwalior. Nobody tried to sell me anything.
It's a good thing you didn't make it to my house then!
#10 Aug 17th, 2014, 03:01
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post It's a good thing you didn't make it to my house then!
I thought you were more into buying than selling.
#11 Aug 17th, 2014, 14:28
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Still have fond memories, from 20 years,plus, back. This was at a young tuk-tuk riders home for lunch..it was in a very, very poor area in Delhi, among shacks, but the warmth and love by his wife, mother, family was most touching. My wife and myself really enjoyed the basic foods offered. We also enjoyed over an hour around the shacks in the area with their friends and neighbors. Krish
#12 Aug 17th, 2014, 14:44
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghAlongSA View Post tuk-tuk
'You mean "auto-rickshaw"! "Tuk-tuk" is strictly Pattaya or a term of endearment for Bengali girls.
#13 Aug 17th, 2014, 15:12
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#13
So we are hearing a lot of good stories and some so-so stories - are there any bad stories? (Where visitors have survived the experience .)

Maybe there should just be some precautions - make sure you are being taken to a populated area? Tell someone else that so-and-so has invited you to dinner? Maybe single female travelers should be slightly more weary of strangers inviting them back to theirs... (as anywhere else in the world.)

(I've never had anyone I met incidentally invite me to a lovely unique meal, boo hoo .)
#14 Aug 17th, 2014, 15:15
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#14
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Originally Posted by Rasika View Post (I've never had anyone I met incidentally invite me to a lovely unique meal, boo hoo .)
Maybe there is a 'don't mess with me' look accompanying you.
#15 Aug 17th, 2014, 15:43
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasika View Post So we are hearing a lot of good stories and some so-so stories - are there any bad stories? (Where visitors have survived the experience .)

Maybe there should just be some precautions - make sure you are being taken to a populated area? Tell someone else that so-and-so has invited you to dinner? Maybe single female travelers should be slightly more weary of strangers inviting them back to theirs... (as anywhere else in the world.)

(I've never had anyone I met incidentally invite me to a lovely unique meal, boo hoo .)
Very good points Rasika. Many of the Goa/Agra/Jaipur gem scam stories start with people making friends and being invited for dinner, even with the mother and sisters in attendance too.

I think I have the "don't mess with me" look too! The invitations I have had have only come after several days of getting to know a family.

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