walking into the house without knocking

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#1 Feb 9th, 2009, 11:48
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  • carlaeb is offline
#1
OK... So do you guys have trouble with this too?

My first few days in India I learned that it is impossible to ignore someone who knocks on your door. If you do, they will keep knocking or start shouting at you or they will knock on your window, and the people who know you will simply WALK IN uninvited.

Usually I keep the door locked, but if it is unlocked for some reason, my landlord, neighbor and the lady who comes to wash my clothes will simply walk in whenever they want. The first few times this happened, I told my landlord to knock first. Then, he knocked AS he was walking in. He doesn't understand the concept of waiting until I answer the door. So it has happened that I'm in my kitchen cooking when I hear my landlord calling my name, only to turn around and see him standing there right behind me. Or I'm in the bedroom studying when suddenly the lady who washes my clothes appears. So easy solution- I keep the door locked as frequently as I can remember to.

Anyway, doesn't anyone here take showers or have sex in the middle of the day? Doesn't anyone walk around their house in their underwear? I just can't imagine walking into someone's house in the middle of the day because I'd be really afraid to disturb them. And I'm from Texas so I'm also afraid they'd shoot me.


So does this happen to you too?
#2 Feb 9th, 2009, 11:54
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#2
If the maid is within the house, she will not knock to enter another room. But my neighbors would knock before entering and wait till someone answers the door.
#3 Feb 9th, 2009, 12:30
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#3
carlaeb i guess you should know India better. Some basic etiquette are missing in the less educated class. They find it completely natural to invade on someone's privacy, if i knock on somones door, they would go like "oh why don't you just walk in" I am like "yeah i know you would have done that" So i close my door all the time. Even my own rooms door, with all the respect i have for my family, i have to say Indian parents also don't respect their child's privacy.

So i guess you have to deal with all this smartly.
#4 Feb 9th, 2009, 13:31
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlaeb View Post I just can't imagine walking into someone's house in the middle of the day because I'd be really afraid to disturb them.
IKWYM A large # of Indians don't quite "get" the concept of privacy. Always drove me nuts as a kid (I'm Indian BTW) b/c relatives would just show up w/o calling first.

Just came back from a visit home, and I see not much has changed I don't get it, but that's just the way it is

Kitty, who *hates* the pop-in (yeah, a Seinfeld fan LOL)
#5 Feb 9th, 2009, 13:49
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by namaste_cat View Post IKWYM A large # of Indians don't quite "get" the concept of privacy. Always drove me nuts as a kid (I'm Indian BTW) b/c relatives would just show up w/o calling first.

Just came back from a visit home, and I see not much has changed I don't get it, but that's just the way it is

Kitty, who *hates* the pop-in (yeah, a Seinfeld fan LOL)
As i said , Deal with it, It will not change for a long long time.
Live in or leave. (meant it in a nice way, i guess in the leaver)
#6 Feb 9th, 2009, 14:12
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#6
i dont think its generic, and is localized to people and personalities , i would never do that , and all the places i have stayed at , be it the maid , or the neighbors...have not encountered it..
Last edited by puchoo; Feb 9th, 2009 at 15:23..
#7 Feb 9th, 2009, 15:22
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I don't think it's a matter of "more" or "less" etiquette, just a matter of different perspectives.

In a (not even very) rural area in The Netherlands where I lived (don't know about today, more innocent times perhaps) it was the norm to have your back door open all day, and neighbors and friends would just step in for a chat or to borrow some sugar or whatever yes. I'm sure many of us who lived in similar areas will know the idea. I guess people just weren't so obsessed there, or not yet, about notions of "privacy." I don't imagine they'd have barged into your bedroom, and had they not found you, they'd probably have left again to return later, not helping themselves to your kitchen cabinet so to speak.

The Caribbean where I lived was not dissimilar, in notions of your house is my house. Looking at it a little differently, maybe one can consider it jovial or gregarious, I certainly appreciate it in general as a livelier and more social lifestyle, more solidarious even if you will. Although there, too (as in that Dutch smalltown, and in villages and small towns all over the world perhaps), one definite downside was indeed a sometimes overpowering sense of lack of privacy, they're probably two sides of the same coin. Where everyone knows what you're up to and such, or even if they don't, they'll be sure to make something up. (That same social mechanism and hence effect does in fact still exist, albeit fast disappearing, among traditional residents in areas of my city below btw. The upside again being that they are in fact and indeed often more solidarious, and will watch after your back too, contrary to the often fully anonymized lives many more modern people live.)

In the Dutch city where I now live, my Caribbean neighbors have people coming and going all the time, and they don't think much of ringing the wrong doorbell either. (Come to think of it, they also have a habit of leaving both their and/or the front door open, the latter I arguably don't appreciate so much, with a view to the rate of burglary here.) Would drive most Dutchies up the wall no doubt, it does me sometimes, but again at least I sort of know the idea. People from some other cultures, too, will indeed keep ringing your doorbell (or any doorbell for the whole block they can lay their hands on, indeed) or knock at your windows forever, apparently the concept that you're not there to answer or simply don't feel like it (nor know what your neighbors are up to if you were to answer a wrong call) is hard for them to grasp.

(And then of course most of us Dutchies in contrast, or city dwellers at least, like to live with the doors firmly bolted and suspicious of what any strangers might be up to, and expect friends to make announced -- and punctual! -- visits at designated civilized times only.)

So I don't know. Different perspectives indeed; I also understand how if one hails from e.g. some Turkish village where people may not have any doorbells or even house numbers to begin with, and live a more communal as well as more outdoors life in general perhaps, one may become more lax at such things.

But in short it doesn't surprise me to hear it works similarly in (parts of) India; if there's much to do about it I don't know.
#8 Feb 9th, 2009, 15:25
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#8
I would agree with you Mach , the same applies for Shimla..we used to have our doors open throughout the day etc , but like you mentioned - more innocent times perhaps

Other than very close friends , i dont think i would like someone coming in without knocking , but on the other than the logic that would suffice would be that if one is doing something that you dont want someone to accidentally see....then lock the door!
#9 Feb 9th, 2009, 16:02
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#9
Open Door Policy and all ! Some people consider it warm, i totally think its intrusion of personal space and yes, i live in an apartment and my neighbor is not ill educated yet she does that.

Its common in India, someone has to be living in a fairy tale not to notice this. I have not been living in one. By the way i will also add that this part of the warm culture that India is known for, some like it some don't. I have better things to like about my culture.
#10 Feb 9th, 2009, 16:06
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#10
Especially thieves..

Quote:
Originally Posted by artisticanurag View Post Open Door Policy and all ! Some people consider it warm,
#11 Feb 9th, 2009, 16:06
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mridula View Post If the maid is within the house, she will not knock to enter another room. But my neighbors would knock before entering and wait till someone answers the door.
yes.

Other than that, most anybody walking in without knocking or ringing the bell (unless maybe a real close friend) is taking advantage of the OP being presumably a foreigner, and should be told off.

It is not a cultural thing.
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This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#12 Feb 9th, 2009, 16:18
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by puchoo View Post Especially thieves..
May be.
#13 Feb 9th, 2009, 16:20
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#13
Its a fact...most thieves would be highly appreciative if you could leave the door open....

Quote:
Originally Posted by artisticanurag View Post May be.
#14 Feb 9th, 2009, 16:20
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#14
It has less to do with education and etiquettes and more with the culture. Although its changing now, Indian's are one of the least formal people (and that includes me) in this world.

It's not that the maid or your landlady doesn't respect you. It's a case of "anything goes, what is the big deal?".

It is very common for people to show up at friends and families home without any notice, not even a fleeting suggestion. Mind you, the host wouldn't flinch one bit.

So I burp loudly, or clear my throat in the middle of a quiet cinema and never excuse myself. What's the big deal? Don't be a touch me not.

Most Indian's are unaware of the western senitivities, and vice versa I might add. I can never get use to people blowing their noses and then folding the tissue paper and placing it nicely in their pockets for future use.
#15 Feb 9th, 2009, 16:23
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#15
Quote:
It is very common for people to show up at friends and families home without any notice, not even a fleeting suggestion.
True. But the OP is talking about acquaintances walking into the house without warning.
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