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India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture Paperback – September 21, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.

About the Author

BECKY STEPHEN is a writer, management consultant, and cross-cultural trainer for businesses and nonprofit organizations in Dubai, the UK, and the USA. After graduating with a Masters in Cross Cultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, she developed and led cross-cultural and other training programs and events in the USA, India, Eurasia, and Europe, and led the US division of a nonprofit organization responsible for Americans on long-term international assignment. She has written articles and training materials in India, the USA, and Dubai on cross-cultural and spiritual issues.

Long fascinated by Indian culture and philosophy, Becky went to India in 1988 to study Hindi at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, and ended up living there for nearly five years. She currently lives in Dubai with her Indian husband and son.
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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Smart!
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; Revised edition (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857335252
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857335255
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had hoped for a book with a lot of cultural insights. Instead most of the book is written in "Wikipedia style". It mainly consists of facts. For instance it describes the religions and what the religions believe in. I could have found this on Wikipedia! I was hoping for a book describing the behavior of Indians. I did not get that.
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Format: Paperback
I have read quite a few Culture Smart books over the years and whilst they do tend to be rather formulaic, they also generally offer a fascinating insight into the country it chooses to focus on.

This book about India takes a brief look at the history of the country, before looking at values, customs, makings friends, family life, leisure time, travel, health and other travel tips, before finishing on chapters about business and communication. The chapters are broken up into bite sized chunks which makes this easy to read and dip in and out of. It also had various photos throughout, although rather frustratingly these aren't labelled so you know what you are looking at! This offers plenty of advice to dodge the most obvious social faux pas and should help you get the most out of your time in the country and in your relationships with its citizens.

This is pocket sized which makes it easy to carry and it is of a short enough length that makes it perfect to read through on your outward bound flight to India. I have always enjoyed the Culture Smart series for the insight into some amazing places around the world and this guide to India is no exception. Well worth a look in your India holiday/business trip preparations.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd lived in India a few years before running across this book. I was so excited when I first started reading it. Not for myself, but for the idea that this would be an easy read to give some family members who were headed out to visit. It's easy to read and gives a simple (sometimes lacking) overview on things. India is a very complex country and attempting to fit that much diversity into a book of this size would be impossible. That said, I think it would be good to continually remind the reader that not all experiences are the same. I also felt that Chapter 7 came across as very negative, almost as if it were someone else writing...doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the writings.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for a friend who was going to India for a month, traveling all over. He has a very delicate constitution, so I wanted him to be aware of the various kinds of foods (and different kinds of curries) so that he would be protected. Well, with this book, he chose wisely, ate wonderful curries everywhere, and came back five pounds heavier than when he left! He is a traditional Catholic priest (with the full cassock, and all that) and I was afraid that he might run into religious oppostion---nothing could have been further from the truth--EVERYWHERE he went, people were WONDERFUL, and very KIND! IMHO, Rick Steves should revise his "friendliness" list of the friendliest people on earth (although his tours don't go to India, yet) because the Indian people seem to be EVEN MORE friendly than (his pick) the Irish!

VISIT INDIA!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book just before going to India and read it to be able to know something about the country and the people, their customs and lifestyle.
Found a very much different, real, India when I got there...
It's all very well to read but holds no water when it comes to non-tourists places but real cities with real people inside...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read most of this book during my trip to India, so I found immediate acknowledgment of my daily observations. I wish I had finished it before returning to the states so that I could have used the few Hindi phrases provided towards the end of the book which I completed the night I got back home. (I do wish more phrases were in the book.) The book is accurate and helpful. I will look for another one when the time comes to travel to another country.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is a great series, and I have purchased several of their country guides. They provide good perspective, are fast reads (great for the airplane trip to wherever I am going), and have proven accurate.
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Format: Paperback
This book provided valuable cultural insight and guidelines for our time in India. A colleague and I were visiting Indian NGO's across the country to learn about their work. I had read other travel guides that describe the tourist sites, but this was just what we needed to provide the basics of how to navigate our itinerary as well as communicate respectfully with those we were visiting.
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