Thursday, February 02, 2006

Missed Manners

Yesterday was CINI’s Foundation day. And we all hauled out to 24 South Parganas Poilan head office. There were a lot of people: CINI staff, workers from the field, some local people as well. All of CINI’s board was there as well as a representative from the CINI UK office and the Governor (who once again showed up late and made all of us wait for at least a good hour. I suppose . . . it’s good to be the governor : )
During this very formal occasion, I was amazed by how many cell phones went off. I am constantly amazed by what most Americans would term “lack of Cell Phone etiquette.” At any given CINI-ARC meeting everyone will have their cell phone out on the table, usually with the ringer on. If a call comes they generally take it, even if they are conducting the meeting. (At which point we all sit around going over notes or trying to figurelout if the call will last long enough to start a conversation) Imagine how quickly one's career would end in the states if in the middle of a business meeting someone's phone rang and they answered it!!Last night as a cell phone rang at the CINI benefit concert was the first time I heard one of my co-workers say. “We should put our phones on silence,” and saw several others doing the same. I guess the line is drawn at Classical Indian Vocal Concerts.

Another surprising element to the customs here in India is the allowance/prevalence of females burping. And I’m not talking about a little urp. I talking belches that would but Barney at Mo’s to shame, that reverberate off of walls and leave a ringing in your ears. I’m always shocked to around after the reverb dies and see a cute, stately looking auntie in a sari going about her business as if nothing happened. Females also spit just as men do, though not as much.

I got used to nose picking in Namibia. I really don’t notice it though Andy occasionally does

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