How can you prevent people from stealing from you

#76 Jan 21st, 2007, 20:28
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Jun 2006
Hull, UK
  • Theoracleiseeall is offline
Seems to me that you are probably less likely to be robbed in India than most places. But crime and corruption is more likely within the organisations that foreigners would normally trust implicitly: The Police and Government for example.
With this as a given I have found that the advice contained on the following site is good for anyone travelling or visiting India:
#77 Feb 2nd, 2007, 15:15
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Sep 2006
Bangalore, India
  • smallsquirrel is offline
Originally Posted by TrinTrin HmLets face it, its the semi-illiterate villager that doesn't get it.
um... that makes no sense to me. I just watched a lovely documentary on a village school in Tamil Nadu where the 6 year olds were writing in Tamil with one hand and in another language with the other!

And are you implying that villagers are more likley to steal? hrmph.

If you're going to survive in India, these kinds of stereotypes have got to go. Not all villagers are ignorant. They might have a different learning system than you are used to. Or hell, they might be illiterate. But being prejudiced is not going to help you build rapport with the people you need help from.

Living and being successful in India means you need to adapt to how things work here. This is not the UK or US or Europe. India is what it is. Swalpa adjust maadi or pack up. It's not likely going to change.
#78 Feb 2nd, 2007, 15:33
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Nov 2006
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  • TrinTrin is offline
I'm not trying to change anything, just deal with it as best I can. I've more or less figured this out now. Thanks everyone.
#79 Feb 8th, 2007, 15:33
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Aug 2004
Mumbai presently, previously Canada
  • eater is offline
Originally Posted by TrinTrin I'm not trying to change anything, just deal with it as best I can. I've more or less figured this out now. Thanks everyone.

I got to add this.....and would be interested in Digital Drifter's "thoughts"......... me this explains people "stealing" your time.

In Hindu-Buddhist tradition, the concept of time is cyclic. We are born, we die. Depending on our karma, we temporarily go to heaven or hell. And then we are reborn. This is the sansara cycle.

In the Judaic Christian tradition, the concept of time is chronological, linear. You are born, you die. Point A to point B. One and only life. Then you go to heaven or hell, and you stay there eternally. This means that time is limited and hence requires management. However, for us Indians, since the time at our disposal is eternal, there is no question of managing it.

Due to this fundamental religio-cultural differences, you can impose the idea of time management on an Indian, but you will find it hard to make him feel guilty for being late.

Source: Times of India, Feb 7, 2007, Prof. Rooshikumar Pandya....master trainer communication and behavioural sciences..on Time Management and Indians.

Thank you Prof Pandya....
Just happy to be here.........
#80 Feb 8th, 2007, 17:14
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Sep 2004
  • Digital Drifter is offline
Interesting hypothesis.

Presumably, an Indian who wants to catch a train or flight in India is also suitably calm and does not worry whether he makes it to the station/airport on time?

More or less, I'd say, it's what people get out of the work. If I'm going to spend 8 hours doing grueling work and then get paid a pittance(in the worker's opinion) then being a slacker would make eminent sense.

If the worker has incentives to turn(incentives that mean something to him, not what you THINK means incentive) up on time, then may be they would.

I think "God makes me come late" excuse doesn't wash in India too.

I mean if that excuse works, I'd give up my non belief and start my own religion pronto!
#81 Feb 9th, 2007, 00:40
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bombay {mumbai}
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when it comes to your help you need to rule with an iron fist in a velvet glove the idea is as u pointed out the taxi ride for you 5 buck s right that s what they think to if u tip them just fifty rupees {memsahib ka 1 rupiya hee hota hai} its just 1 buck for madam
so they expect it from you !!
that does nt mean should tip em every time
that maybe harmful too remind s of a story coming to me from my elders there used to be a pandit in the village who used to go from houses abd take bhiksha {alms} and make his & families ends meet .Generally the alms would be like rice wheat potatoes oil salt sugar etc. and an ocassion anna or two {anna is 1/16 of a rupee}
one day a rich businessman generously gave him 5 rupees so before going home the poor brahmin went on a drinking spree and on his way home he hurt his foot when he reached home and told his wife about the whole thing about the tip and on a drinking spree and hurting his foot the brahmin and his wife instead of blessing the businessman cursed him for his over generosity !!!

so u have to know a balance between both
#82 Feb 9th, 2007, 02:44
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Aug 2006
  • palomnik is offline
One comment that nobody has ventured specifically here is the question of language.

My experience with the subcontinent is not nearly as extensive as most people on this site, but I've found that being able to speak some local language helps. True, most Indians speak some English, and some Indians speak a lot of English. But some knowledge of Hindi has made a considerable difference in the way I've been treated, frequently getting me preferred service, more attention, and - I suspect - lower prices quoted, at least on the odd occasion.

My next trip will be to Tamil Nadu, and I'm working on my Tamil now. God, India is paradise for a linguist!
#83 Feb 9th, 2007, 15:21
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Oct 2004
Chennai, India
  • Nick-H is offline
...a paradise indeed, and I envy you, being myself a mentally-blocked monoglot

But there is more to it than language.

The other day I was expecting a car salesman. He did not turn up until the following morning. Only when I asked he said that, sorry, but a colleague of his had sufferred an injury and he had to go to the hospital.

In his mind, that was not only an excuse, it was a reason --- and simply letting me know hadn't even occurred to him.

My wife said he would have seen me as being very rude and uncaring because I was more interested in his failure of service to me than the health of his colleague.

But I asked her if her son, a manager in the call centre trade trade, would have accepted such an excuse she said, no, of course not...
Life gets aadhar every day.
#84 Feb 10th, 2007, 21:05
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Mar 2005
New Delhi
  • tnog is offline

illiteracy and context

An interesting thread here.

I've been in Delhi for more than 2 years. Like a lot of hired help, Reenu the lady, who comes to clean and cook at my flat is a migrant. She hails from a village near Chennai.

While Hindi is her second language and her English is non-existent, she is honest and works very hard.

Honesty and english literacy are correlative? News to me.

In fact, we're both trying to communicate in a language that is not our first language. And for me, not anywhere near as good as hers.

In that sense, I'm probably more language illiterate than her.

To further some points made here, when it comes to how people interact and how they perceive each other in a city, we have to keep in mind, among other things, regional differences. Delhi has people from all over India as well as it's neighboring countries.

A S. Indian I met at a party the other day complained about always getting cheated when he went to shop in my neighborhood because of the overwhelming number of Punjabis here.

Punjabis have this reputation for being *ahem* very direct, shrewd in business, and showy. (no offence meant to my Punjabi neighbors. My g.f. keeps insisting that I'm going to become an honorary Punjabi soon!)

Learning even a little of the language does help. Knowledge of various cultural contexts and cues helps even more. Not just the down-low on the correct rates for things, but the low-down on body language, how and when to put pressure people and when to be more diplomatic.

And this will differ from place to place, context to context--but this is a given right?
Last edited by tnog; Feb 11th, 2007 at 02:54..

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