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Doing Business in India For Dummies® by Ranjini Manian

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Mind Your Language

When you’re in India, don’t use swear words. Even if the words mean nothing or if they’re just words you use as a filler, bite your tongue. Swearing is absolutely not appreciated in India. People will clam up, leave a meeting sooner than you expect, or even not want to do business with you if you swear. Rarely will they tell you they don’t appreciate it and you’ll have to heal with hurt feelings that’ll be hard to fix. You may also be looked at as unclassy and uncaring.

Once, on the Cosmopolitan Golf Course in Chennai, I noticed a Westerner ready to swing his club, when a Japanese man walked in front of him. Irritated by the distraction, the Westerner yelled, “Where the #@*^ did you come from?” The Japanese man bowed, and replied in a calm tone, “From Saitama prefecture.” He did Asia proud that day, and you would do well to show the same level of restraint when you’re in India.

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