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Making Friends

The Center for South Asian Religions provides resources to help you better understand your South Asian neighbors in order to develop long lasting relationships.

There are certain things that anyone attempting to engage a South Asian in a genuine relationship should be aware of in order to develop a positive lasting friendship.

South Asians and the Home

In order to develop a positive relationship it is important that you are willing to visit the South Asian family in their home and that they are free to come to your home. This includes eating together, it is customary for South Asians to offer food to anyone who comes to their house.

  • When entering the home of a South Asian it is appropriate to remove your shoes before entering
  • Be aware that some Asian food can be spicy, while you may not be used to this type of food do your best to try what you can in order not to offend the host.
  • Many South Asians are strict vegetarians and will not eat any meat that is offered to them.
  • Many South Asians refrain from eating beef of any kind

There are certain things that are important to most South Asians that can be used as positive bridges to build the friendship on. Family is important, ask about their family learn about their children and their parents, don’t be afraid to share about your family as well. Hopefully your family is with you when you visit. For those who are single the same applies.

Gender Relations

In South Asian culture the way genders interact with each other is often very different than other parts of the world, there are certain things that should be kept in mind as you develop your friendship:

  • Spending abnormal amounts of time with a member of the opposite gender should be avoided
  • Males should not touch females in any way
  • Avoid alone time between you and a member of the opposite gender
  • Spend most of your time in conversation with members of the same gender without ignoring those from the opposite gender
  • Modest dress is appropriate for both females and males

Conversation

It is common for South Asians you enjoy spending time in relaxed conversation discussing a wide variety of topics.

  • Attempt to learn how to pronounce the name of your friend accurately
  • Be willing to learn some of the language
  • Feel free to ask questions about the culture in the areas of dress, food, family, lifestyle
  • Listen carefully and be willing to answer their questions about your culture
  • Areas of possible interest are South Asian holidays and festivals

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