"One night when the smoke alarm went off and when the hotel staff checked out the situation, it turned out that the family had lit a candle in their room to roast papad" informs Gautam, a traveller to Vice, India.
Vice India made a startling revelation as to why Indian’s are tagged as some of the world’s worst tourists. With a series of travellers’ responses, they proved a point and we can be nothing but a little embarrassed about it. Our country may not be standing alone in the bandwagon of the worst tourists as we are accompanied with America, China and Argentina’s tourists, but we do stand tall in the list and this is not something we can really be proud about.
From unabashedly littering the streets or screaming at the top of our lungs in a crowd, all are commonly witnessed and reported scenarios when encountering Indian travellers. In the recent incident of Bali, where Indian tourists picked up all the amenities offered to them at the hotel, we have really outdone ourselves at being the worst travellers. Let’s accept it that we all have personally experienced some weird habits showcased by Indian’s who travel abroad.
Siddhant, a 22-year student, witnessed his facepalm moment when he was on a flight travelling abroad. He encountered a typical hungry Gujrati family boasting around and littering crumbs of their theplas next to him. While seatbelt signs were turned off, he adds, “hoards of onions, tomatoes, and dhaniya (coriander) emerged from their handbags. They were so shameless that they asked the air hostess for knives and a chopping board so they could make bhel or whatever other concotion they wanted to have instead of plane food. When the crew refused to help, they took out a plastic ruler and started chopping the vegetables.”
Another traveller, Dhvani, while travelling to Zurich, mentions she only a met an Indian traveller once and, “He peed on the side of the road before getting on the cable car.” While another traveller, Rishabh, on a plane encountered another misbehaving Indian tourist - a middle-aged Marathi man cribbing for chana (chickpea) to eat with his whiskey. Rishabh mentions to Vice India, “The air hostess had no idea what he was talking about and politely told him they didn’t have any. That set him off and he suddenly began screaming in the middle of his flight, “Give me some chana”. Everyone was left baffled.”
These revelations just prove how we Indians need to learn how to adapt to different environments and be a little considerate of foreign cultures as we expect them to be respectful of ours. It doesn’t take an overwhelming task to be polite towards the country’s social norms and asking questions in case of doubts.
This piece by Vice India on the behavioural reflections of our country’s travellers has really sparked a new discussion - in what ways can Indian travellers learn to be more responsible and respectful of other countries while travelling? Let us know in the comments below!