Being asked about your salary

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#1 May 18th, 2007, 16:06
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  • jbird is offline
#1
Hi guys, love the site. This is my first post. Heading to India in September.

Quick question:

What's the most polite and diplomatic way of dodging the "How much do you earn question" while in India?
#2 May 18th, 2007, 16:08
Macha Doabout Nothing Member
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#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbird View Post Hi guys, love the site. This is my first post. Heading to India in September.

Quick question:

What's the most polite and diplomatic way of dodging the "How much do you earn question" while in India?
Tell them your Euro figure, but say it's rupees.
"After the battle, many new ghosts cry. The solitary old man murmurs in his grief." Du Fu
#3 May 18th, 2007, 16:15
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#3
Welcome jbird.

On a good day I might say 'How much do you earn?'

On a bad day its more like 'thats none of your business' with a smile.

To be honest, its more the 'Are you married?', 'Where is your husband?', 'Why are you so old (a geriatric 30!) and not married?' that gets to me.

G1
#4 May 18th, 2007, 16:26
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#4
In the temple at Hampi -

Kid - How old are you?
Me - 52.
Kid - How many children?
Me - None.
Kid - Where is your wife?
Me - I haven't got one.
Kid - How many brothers?
Me - None.
Kid - How many sisters?
Me - None.
Kid - I am very sorry for you.

Bless - made my day!
#5 May 18th, 2007, 16:43
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbird View Post Hi guys, love the site. This is my first post. Heading to India in September.

Quick question:

What's the most polite and diplomatic way of dodging the "How much do you earn question" while in India?
Lolz..this is funny..lemme tell what Indians use for an answer..

Q : How much do you earn ?
A : God gives me enough to feed my family and myself. I lead a happy and dignified life.
Foodiye - If you are looking for Indian Recipes and Eating out suggestions.
#6 May 18th, 2007, 16:57
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#6
If I'm in a bad enough mood, which is frequently ;-), I do the Indian Thing: act extREEEMly offended.

"In MY culture, we consider such questions to be very, very rude!"

which elicits a quick apology.

To the one impudent 20 year old who retorted "you are not in your native place," I countered - "If you should come to my country we would not ask you questions YOu consider offensive." That shut him up.
"Why do people go to India to find themselves? India is where you go to lose yourself."
Feringhee: The India Diaries
#7 May 18th, 2007, 17:23
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#7
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Originally Posted by sirensongs View Post If I'm in a bad enough mood, which is frequently ;-),
Is that right.

OP: Just say something that doesnt answer the question but they get to hear something. Few examples: I am unemployed. Not enough. I like monkeys etc etc...

Indian people construe that all foreigner people are very wealthy. (Which is true in exchange rate terms) And since they have never seen any place else they dont know that there are income disparities in 'foreign' places.
I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.
#8 May 18th, 2007, 17:28
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#8
I'd generally go "so much" (astonishment all around), but then add well a bread is so many rupees, the rent is so many rupees, etc. Would be quickly understood, I've had people inviting me over after such conversations because of my obvious poverty (And yes, it would drive home the point that Westerners, too, aren't all rich.)
#9 May 18th, 2007, 17:34
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#9
Quote:
Kid - How old are you?
Me - 52.
Kid - How many children?
Me - None.
Kid - Where is your wife?
Me - I haven't got one.
Kid - How many brothers?
Me - None.
Kid - How many sisters?
Me - None.
Kid - I am very sorry for you.


How about... What does your wife's dad do for a living?
a'mar kono chinta nei
#10 May 18th, 2007, 17:37
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post I'd generally go "so much" (astonishment all around), but then add well a bread is so many rupees, the rent is so many rupees, etc. Would be quickly understood, I've had people inviting me over after such conversations because of my obvious poverty (And yes, it would drive home the point that Westerners, too, aren't all rich.)
I do the same.

We need to remember that the person asking the questions is doing so out of friendliness and isn't trying to offend you; they think it's OK to ask those sorts of questions.
#11 May 18th, 2007, 17:44
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post I'd generally go "so much" (astonishment all around), but then add well a bread is so many rupees, the rent is so many rupees, etc. Would be quickly understood, I've had people inviting me over after such conversations because of my obvious poverty (And yes, it would drive home the point that Westerners, too, aren't all rich.)
same for me, and when they realize going out for dinner in europe does not cost less than 1800 rs , seem to understand not all foreigners are rich.
#12 May 18th, 2007, 19:09
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.aggarwal View Post Lolz..this is funny..lemme tell what Indians use for an answer..

Q : How much do you earn ?
A : God gives me enough to feed my family and myself. I lead a happy and dignified life.
Clever. Very clever

My wife has all kinds of ways of cleverly sidestepping these intrusive Indian questions. Must be something to do with being Indian! Even cleverer is that she often comes away from these conversations able to tell me what the other person does, earns, etc etc. Must be something to do with being Indian

TBH, I don't see the point in acting offended, though, being human, the seventy-sixth time might be once too often! Nobody means to offend or annoy with these questions.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
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#13 May 18th, 2007, 19:10
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#13
Moo, Here's wishing you, at the very least, one sister!
#14 May 18th, 2007, 19:19
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#14
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Originally Posted by Indojingai View Post Few examples: I am unemployed. Not enough. .
Those are good. I would say not enough also and tell them how expensive it is to live here.

I also get the "where are you from" question all the time, and alot of times I say, "My mother".
#15 May 18th, 2007, 19:23
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#15
Can I just say that it a middle class educated urban professional Indian would find the salary question impolite, but then we/they have more westernised standards of propriety.

The other guys asking you, like steven says are not trying to be rude. After you tell them that (like sirensongs, mach and others ) most will stop.

The rest will now be rude.
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