'No kissing at CWG & don't mind Indians staring'

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CWG 2010
New Delhi, Aug 21: Even as youngsters in the country fight small battles everyday against moral policing, the foreign tourists, who are set to visit India for the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010, will also be facing some serious restrictions.

Some of the outrageous travel tips and pointers on etiquette prescribed by the Delhi Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) are - no hugging, no kissing, no wearing short clothes and no discussion on religion.

The OC's website has a specific 'travellers zone' section in which the Indian authorities have listed tips on 18 varied topics ranging from Visas, Geography, Photography to Toilets.

Besides this, there is a separate section for 'some important dos and don'ts'.

"The Western practice of a peck on the cheek as a form of greeting a lady or a grown up girl is JUST NOT DONE when you are in India unless you happen to be in 'Westernized Indian' circles ... If you find the lady is not extending a hand shake, go for the Namastey," reads one of the advisory.

"Be aware that public displays of affection (hugging, kissing) are generally not appreciated. However, it is common to see men showing affection and camaraderie on the roads and in villages throughout the country," it added.

On dress code, the website reads, "Modesty in dress is an important aspect of Indian life and, away from beaches, one should respect the local customs. This is especially important when visiting temples and religious sites, where trousers or full-length skirts should be worn and shoulders should be covered and in Sikh temples, your head must also be covered.

On etiquette, it says, "If somebody has invited you home for dinner, carry with you a bottle of wine accompanied by a bouquet of flowers or at least a box of sweets or chocolate bar for the children ... People usually take their shoes off before entering a house and putting feet on the furniture is considered bad manners."

On toilets, one advisory says, "Public toilets are very few and filthy, so carry your own tissues papers."

Stating that the discussing religion is a big no-no, the website says, "Politics can be freely discussed in India and most people will have an opinion which they will not mind being contradicted, but avoid discussing religion."

On eating etiquette, "If eating Indian style, with the hands, it is useful to remember that it is considered impolite to use the left hand for eating."

Adding to the rather high threat perception of foreigners who travel to India, the OC website "For your safety, we suggest that you do not hire transportation from unlicensed or unapproved operators. We can provide you all types of transportation at very reasonable prices. Self-drive cars though available are not recommended as it is not advisable for you to drive on the Indian roads with all the traffic."

And finally defending natural Indian behaviour, it reads, "Even in the most cosmopolitan of cities in India the chances are that your different appearance might mean that you will be stared at, though this especially happens in the smaller towns and more remote areas. Please do not be offended no harm is meant, it is just curiosity."

OneIndia News

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