Hi everyone, I am pretty new at my studies in Hindi, and I thought it would be useful and fun to hear what people might comment about on this subject. But in particular, I wanted to know things like for ex: If you are in a family run grocery store, as a male, is it better to just give a quick hello to the woman and try to save any questions or conversation for the man? I understand social norms in some other cultures, and I know it is not polite to use casual informal words with people you no not know, and in some settings, it is expected that you would not say anything unless you have formally been introduced and still are better off keeping to yourself. Of course, a little common sense goes a long way, but as an American, we typically can do anything here and usually mildly annoy people and sometimes don’t worry about being too proper(still not recommended)
Rules of thumb:
1) If you would say it in English, then it is OK to say it in Hindi.
2) If you would NOT say it in English, then don’t say it in Hindi.
3) It is OK to ask about non-personal things. “Where is the sugar?” (in a grocery story), “How much is that?” “Do you have something cheaper?”
4) It is probably OK to talk to either the man or woman shop keeper. If they weren’t wanting to talk to people, they would not be running the store.
5) Businesses are there to sell things, make sure that you are not disrupting other sales.
6) Don’t forget to buy something.
7) Starting out by saying that you are learning Hindi might help people to understand your interest. Maybe wear a stick that say, “I’m learning Hindi.”
Please leave comments with your thoughts. Try talking to people in Hindi and let us know what worked and what didn’t.
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