A survey done by the magazine Readers Digest has resulted in amchi Mumbai being termed as the rudest city in the world, when it comes to common courtesy. Sao Paulo and New York have been found to lie at the other end of the spectrum. Click here to read more.
Are common courtesies so common in India? Some of them aren’t and at least don’t seem to be a part of the culture, in general. For example, during the time spent at my previous company and at ISB, I have met or come face to face with a lot of non-Indians. I have observed, for example, that most of the times you pass by an American, he/she will smile and wish you even if he/she is seeing you for the first time. Same thing is true when holding the door for people coming behind you. In general, I have only seen fellow Indians who have been to the US for some time doing the same. Holding the door for others was however a common practice in my previous company. Whenever new recruits came, they would generally not do the same but would start doing so once they saw others in the company doing it.
If common courtesy demands a few things which most of us lack, how do we make the change happen? Expecting a person to change on his/her own is a bit difficult, especially because of lack of realization that such courtesies should be extended. A better way probably would be for companies to make their employees aware of these. If more and more people start becoming more courteous through this route or otherwise, others around them might observe and change themselves too.