November 14-17, 2016

Agra, India

Need to know

Customs rules
Declare that you do not have value of foreign currency notes in excess of US $ 5000 or equivalent. You should also declare that you do not have more than US $10,000 aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 125 grams of tobacco; 2 liters of alcoholic liquor or wine.

Some general rules of good manners and etiquette in India:
1. Indians of all ethnic groups disapprove of public displays of affection between men and women.
2. Most Hindus avoid public contact between men and women.
3. Other religions such as Sikhs and Christians, will also avoid public contact between the sexes.
4. In larger cities, men and Westernized Indian women may offer to shake hands with foreign men and sometimes with foreign women.
5. Never keep your purse or wallet in your back pocket.
6. Standing tall with your hands on your hips is perceived as aggressive.
7. Pointing with your finger is considered bad manners and rude.
8. Whistling in public is very bad etiquette and is not acceptable.
9. Never point your feet at another person as feet are considered unclean.
10. Stand up when an elder or a guest enters the room and don’t sit until you’ve offered them a seat.
11. Stand when the national anthem (of any country) is playing. Show respect to all flags and all religious symbols.
12. Do not comment on personal appearances or clothes in a negative way; if you cannot say something complimentary, do not say anything at all.

Public physical contact between men and women is far less acceptable in India than in other parts of the world. Some Indians - particularly those who live in the larger cities and have traveled - understand that Western men and women may shake hands (or even kiss) as expressions of social friendship, but you should be cautious of casually touching an Indian woman, especially in small towns and villages.
Don't touch a religious object with your feet or left hand!

Dress Etiquette
Indian dress etiquette for women: your attire will often signal your status, and casual dress will make it more difficult for you to elicit respect. Loose, cool clothing that covers up as much as possible. Exposed flesh suggests that you're too poor to dress properly, or that you're shameless about flaunting your body.

Tight clothes are also considered shameless in Indian etiquette and culture; the more you can disguise your shape, the better. In mosques you need to make sure your shoulders are covered -- it's worth purchasing a scarf for this and keeping it in your bag at all times -- and in Sikh gurudwaras you need to keep your head covered. Men should avoid shorts, which are considered quite bizarre in Indian etiquette and culture.

How to avoid problems with your health being in India
First of all it is recommended to drink only clean pure water, soda or mineral water. It is sold in plastic bottles at the price 10-15 Rs per 1 L and you can buy it everywhere. Do not use ice locally produced in small towns and unfamiliar places. As for food, then at the first days of your stay it is better to be careful in choosing the unfamiliar dishes and prefer a simple vegetarian food and fruits. Abuse of meat dishes of national cuisine can lead to indigestion. Eat only hot meal cooked on fire.

Salads of fresh vegetables and fruits is better to eat in well known places. Fruits from markets are to be nicely washed before use. It is better to refrain from snacks at the street. And of course it is obliged to wash your hands with soap before eating.

Officially, vaccinations are not required to entry to India.

Theft in India, the exchange of money in India.
1. In general, Indians are communicable and friendly with tourists, but cases of petty theft are not rarity. That’s why it is recommended to be attentive on walks and in public places. Also it is better to carry passport and money with you and not to leave them in the hotel.
2. It is recommended to exchange money only in special exchange offices. While exchanging money carefully review all notes. If you will be given creased, worn, mutilated or banknotes perfuse with color it is better to return them politely and ask to change them to new ones, because such banknotes will not be accepted when you try to buy something.

Electricity – 220 V. Type of electrical outlet plugs: C, D, M.

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