Hindi Language Blog

Reception of a Guest Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Hindi Language

In India, a guest is respected and honored just like our God. They are treated above all by their host. Let me tell you certain customs that we follow while we welcome our guest. 🙂

All guests are greeted individually with traditional closed palm “Namaskar” in more formal relationship or less formal “Namaste” when the family has close or blood relations with the guest. Namaskar or Namaste is a wonderful non-verbal expression which mean that the divinity in me bows to the divinity in you. Namaskar or Namaste is usually initiated from younger person to elder person, regardless of your position as a guest or a host. In modern cities, some of the western greetings like “Hi” or “Hello” could be heard among friends circle.

In very traditionally family, when an elder relative come to visit the family, a family could even greet the elders by touching their feet in respect while saying “Namaste”. While the elders touch the head of person and bless him/her in reciprocation. It is believed that touching elders feet brings their wisdom to the person who does so. Though this tradition is fading away with the time and westernization of Indian society.



Tilak and Aarti
In some families, the thick red vermilion is applied by thumb on the forehead of a guest after greeting them. This vermilion is made of turmeric, camphor, sandalwood, few rice grains and orange red pigment. Don’t get intimidated while a host bring a tray with a lit oil lamp and start moving it in front of you. This is “Aarti ceremony! After “Tilak” ceremony, “Aarti” ceremony is done. In this ceremony, a women from host family move a tray consisting of a lit oil lamp in front of guest in circular fashion while praying for him or her. In some occasions, just like we present Garland to our deities, it is also offered to a guest. Below, there is a video showing people doing Aarti ceremony to God. In similar manner, Aarti ceremony is done for a guest.

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About the Author: Nitin Kumar

Nitin Kumar is a native Hindi speaker from New Delhi, India. His education qualification include Masters in Robotics and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, he is working in the Research and Development in Robotics in Germany. He is avid language learner with varied level of proficiency in English, German, Spanish, and Japanese. He wish to learn French one day. His passion for languages motivated him to share his mother tongue, Hindi, and culture and traditions associated with its speakers. He has been working with Transparent Language since 2010 and has written over 430 blogs on various topics on Hindi language and India, its culture and traditions. He is also the Administrator for Hindi Facebook page which has a community of over 330,000 members.