India's official name is the Republic of India and its capital is New Delhi. It measures over 3 million square kilometers for a population of around 1.1 billion inhabitants. India is located on the Indian sub-continent and can be divided into 4 topographical regions: the Himalayan region, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the desert region and the southern region. India's main religion is Hinduism (83%), the rest of the population is Muslim (12%), Christian (3%) or Sikh (2%). The main languages are English and Hindi and the official current is the Rupee (Re) divided into 100 Paisa. The Indian government supports a mixed economy, most of which is in the control of private enterprise. Because India is largely dependent on foreign purchases for various commodities, including manufactured goods, raw materials and food, its import trade is extensive. Leading imports are petroleum products, fertilizers and electrical machinery. The major exports are gems and jewelery, engineering goods, leather goods and cotton. India's main trading partners are the USA, the UK, Japan, Iran and Iraq.
[...] A gift of carnations can often be interpreted as a sign of bad will. Moreover, ensure that the bouquet is in odd numbers, in accordance with the old European tradition. Holiday cards can be appropriate, particularly as an expression of thanks to your business associates. The practice in France is to send New Year's greetings and this can occur during the whole month of January but not later. Language Most businesspeople in France read English, so there is no need to have your business card translated into French. [...]
[...] However, we must remember that discussing one's family and personal life is normal among Indians. In fact, enquiring about the other person's family is seen as a sign of friendliness. Conversation in India is as much an exchange of views as it is a way of building and strengthening relationships. Consequently, complimenting and showing appreciation are quite normal among Indians. Indians seldom express their disagreement in a direct manner because open disagreement is likely to be interpreted as being hostile and aggressive, though expression of disagreement by someone who is superior or elder is acceptable. [...]
[...] In general, people are addressed by their name only by close acquaintances, family members, or by someone who is older or superior in authority. After marriage, women normally adapt the husband's name (his family name in northern India and first name in southern India). However, there is an increasing trend among educated professional women who keep their maiden name after marriage. Gift giving Gift giving is customary in India, and is seen as a sign of friendship, although it is generally not expected at the first meeting. [...]
[...] In such situations, the host is expected to remain warm, gracious and accommodating. Accpetable public behaviour The traditional way of greeting in India is performed by holding your palms together, as in praying, and saying “Namaste” [nah-mas-tay] or “Namaskar” [nah-mas-kar], with a slight bow. While, the Namaste or Namaskar are Hindu ways of greeting, they are also accepted among all other communities. These other communities, however, also have their own traditional greetings. For instance, among Muslims, the traditional greeting is 'Salaam-Wale-Kum', which is responded to by saying 'Wale-kum- Salaam.' Similarly, Sikhs traditionally greet each other by saying 'Sat- Siree-Akaal.' Shaking hands is also an acceptable way to greet people among urban and westernized Indians and among the younger urban Indians, a 'Hello' or with a wave of the hand is also an acceptable form of greeting when making informal contact. [...]
[...] While you should try to be punctual, you won't be considered late if you arrive ten minutes after the scheduled time. There is an increased tolerance for arriving late as you go further south. With the mandatory reduction of the workweek to 35 hours, executives are getting additional vacation instead of shorter working weeks. This results in a lot of offices being practically deserted during Christmas and Easter school closings. You will need to take this into account when planning your business trips to France. Generally, business hours are from 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. [...]
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