When you are a foreigner in India, you can’t just walk along the street and stay unnoticed. All the eyes on you! (Well, almost all). And it causes mixed feelings, but most often – irritation, because it is just not clear “Why?! Why do they stare??!”
The Part one of this article please Read Here.
The answer is simple, guys: STARING IS NOT CONSIDERED IMPOLITE HERE! Staring is completely justified as curiosity. Even when you don’t feel such way. Staring is not taught by the parents to their children as bad manners. In my country, if the child stares at someone, specially who looks differently, child’s parents will tell that it is not polite and disrespectful thing to do. But not in India. In India adults are the ones who stare much more than children. It is normal here. But not this fact shocks, the fact that people are not thinking of another person’s feelings, that what does. It is selfish to put your curiosity above another person’s feelings according to me. In my country people can easily start fighting with each other if one stares, especially guys. But generally, people are not staring not because they are not interested and curious about another people, but because they do not want to make another people uncomfortable. Guys can stare at girls sometimes, but far from how Indian guys do it, and it usually means they consider the girl beautiful. In India I have also heard such explanation, but it doesn’t feel so. And I have heard an explanation as well that Indian guys stare at white girls because they see white girls in porn – can you believe that??!! But in India, people are more likely to justify each other even in the things they don’t like themselves, if foreigner doesn’t like it, even the one that lives here.
Actually, not everyone is staring, but mostly young men and often middle-aged women too. Young girls and elder men, more often than not, don’t stare, and if they are curious, they only give short glances (adequate to the perception of foreigners). But such a change between genders with the age is strange..
In their defense, it must be said that it also depends on the level of education of the people, as well as the area where you stay or traveling. People will not stare at you (well, almost) in the areas where they are accustomed to expect to meet foreigners: on the sights; in shopping centers, especially expensive ones – there are more educated (read rich) people usually spend time, people who have been abroad, snobs – there you can come in short clothes too and nobody will take it as unusual – Indian girls wear short skirts or dresses to such places often as well; in the areas where are many hotels, so many tourists live there; well, just in the central areas – there will be less staring also. But I live now in the area where are almost no foreigners ever – they simply have nothing to do here. So I am morally relaxing in shopping centers, ha-ha, even though I am not a shopaholic. Especially when I happened to be in an expensive one – it felt as if I were at home (in terms of stares). I should go there more often, so what if I can’t buy anything there, ha-ha..
In general, to be able almost not to look at people in the order not to see their looks on you is the best solution I have found so far..
What is funny that Indians tell me that I don’t look so much like a foreigner. Well, like i am not a blond. That, they say, in India there are people with white skin and colored eyes, brown hair, and tall girls also. In fact, yes, there are. Although each of the listed features is rare to meet here, and even more all together, it is still possible to take me for an Indian. And maybe people just stare thinking: “Whether she is a foreign or an Indian?”…But once I actually met Indian girl with white skin, green eyes, not so short, though she was not slim. I myself wondered if she was a foreigner or a mixed child, at least. It turned out that she was not. And when I asked her if she was stared at a lot, because she looked like a foreigner, she said no. To which I was surprised to say that I am stared at a lot. And she replied that she might just need to lose weight… What left me in mixed feelings, because it refuses the theory that every woman here is stared at. Or maybe she just, unlike us, foreigners, does not really notice it so much.
But after all, people here stare not only at females. At foreign guys too. And it annoys them even more! Because girls in any country, probably, are less or more used to this, but guys, when another guys are staring at them – just imagine what a flurry of emotions this can cause to them!
In the end to say, often foreigners do even ask on social media Indians to stop staring at them. It is one of the things that can make a country more comfortable for tourists so will attract more of them and money in the country. But I already certainly understand that it is useless to expect the country to change, specially when the locals are ok with it. I am just writing it for the reason to show to Indian people how actually uncomfortable it can feel, because then people who know it, will at least a little consider our feelings. And to show whatever possible reasons Indians have to stare to foreigners, so they will be at least some sort of aware about this rhetorical for them question and will be able to feel a little calmer. Or at least will have the answer when they Google it, haha…