Hospitality in India – from Airport to Hotels to Homes
By Jass Narang
The ezine of Indian culture and tradition is the warm hospitality in India of its host towards its guests. It is the cordial relationship between the host and the guest. Hospitality includes not only the practice of receiving a guest warmly but also strangers, travelers and tourists who come to visit our country.
An outsider visiting India will surely get deeply touched by the act of hospitality by the Indians which is the basic essence of the Indian tradition and culture. the concept of ‘Atithi Deva Bhava’ which denotes that the guest is just like a God visiting the house; so treat and respect them in such a way as if God has come to visit your house. This further shows the significance of a guest in India.
A true and warm hospitality in India means always having a ready smile, showing immediate joyous expression on meeting the guests and readily going out of one’s way to help others with eagerness and willingness. The most common way of greeting someone in India is folding both the hands and saying ‘Namastey’. This is the initial depiction of hospitality in India and respect towards the guests and the person at once feels at home. There is an old saying that the home is the place where our heart actually feels at ease or belongs to. The Indian family feels proud to go out of their way to make the guests feel secure and comfortable.
The Indian tradition of hospitality is not only confined to the home. It is also very strong in the hotels, lodges or resorts. The hotel management in India has been trained efficiently to maintain the essence of hospitality. But a true Indian hospitality can be only seen in a traditional Indian house. Upon entering an Indian home, one gets sizzled with the aromas of rich delicacies and mouth watering dishes which have solely an Indian flavor and touch to it.
The guests are served with many tasty and delicious local dishes. Many special sweet dishes are also served at the end of the meals. Some of the traditional Indian families also have the custom of helping the guests wash their hands before serving them the meals. The meals are served to the guests and they are pestered again and again to eat more.
The women are the main hands behind this warm hospitality. They stand as the backbone of traditions and customs in India. They work the whole day to clean the house and they also make all the necessary arrangements for the guests. They prepare many mouth watering dishes and still they don’t complain of being tired of doing so many things.
There is firm belief in every member’s heart that the guest should be indeed treated as God and so serving the God will never go fruitless like some mythological stories of the past where Gods used to visit people’s houses in disguise and used to bless them with good luck and fortune after being pleased with their hospitality. This concept is still being followed in many Indian homes.
Most of the Indians reside in a joint family and when a guest arrives, each member of the family greets him in a traditional way giving them a warm welcome. After that the guest is served with water by the kids or the women of the house. Then they are made to sit in a comfortable place and their preferences related to food and drink is asked. Delectable dishes are served. If the guest is going to stay overnight, then utmost care is taken to prepare the bed and room where the guest is going to stay.
Hospitality in India starts right from the airport for foreign visitors. They are given a warm welcome by the air hostesses and the other airport staff and are greeted with flowers and bouquets. It can also be seen on the roads where people are ready to help any stranger to help him find a location or an address of a residential home or a shop etc. the Indians have always given a priority to their guests in comparison to themselves. They want the best of every possible thing for their guest and thus the warmth of the hospitality in India is reflected in their attitude and behavior towards their guests.
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