Comparison on indian french culture and traditions
Hierarchy, social status, traditions, customs, relationship orientation and indirectness in communication are just a few cultural dimensions on which indian-french, both cultural groups share more similarities than with expected countries.
India and France are different countries, which differ in their geographical, cultural, traditional and political characteristics. India is officially known as the Republic of India, whereas France is officially termed as the French Republic. India is a country in South Asia, and France lies in the western region of Europe. Indian culture enjoys a wide and discerning audience among the French population, as is evident in the numerous and frequent cultural events organized all over France, spanning the entire spectrum of Indian art, music, dance, cinema and literature. While the Indian Council for Cultural Relations sponsors visits of Indian artists to France, from time to time, there are a growing number of private impresarios who organize cultural events throughout France. The network of educational, cultural and artistic organisations which supports its embassies and cultural representatives throughout the world provides important human and material infrastructure necessary for the development of bilateral exchanges and cultural co-operation in all disciplines of the arts.
When looking at cultural values and social norms of India and France, one cannot but realise that these two countries have a lot more in common than other more important historic or economic partners of India. Despite the common history between The United Kingdom and India and the new outsourcing wave coming from America, working with French people remains easier for a lot of Indian professionals. Hierarchy, relationship orientation and indirectness in communication are just a few cultural dimensions on which both cultural groups share more similarities than with expected countries.
As a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic, India is the seventh largest nation in the world, in geographical terms, and the second most populous nation in the world. On the other hand, France is a unitary, semi-presidential republic. It is the largest state in the European Union, and the third largest in Europe. While India has recognized Hindi and English as official languages, France has only recognized French as the official language. The state of France was formed in 1843, with the treaty of Verdun. India is an ancient country, and was colonized by the British, French and Portuguese for a very long period. The country got its independence from the British on August 15, 1947.Another difference that can be seen is that France is a developed country, whereas India is a developing country. When comparing their economies, France has a better economy than that of India.
Family or relationship
Relations between India and France have traditionally been close and friendly. Many young Frenchmen went west to gather furs from the Indians, but the communities they lived in were usually entirely native. As a result, many French fur traders married Indian women. Unlike Europeans, Indians did not use race as the basis for exclusion or inclusion into their societies, and the children of these unions were welcomed into the tribal societies. Family is a pillar of both Indian and French cultures. Ask anyone in both countries what they think is the most important thing in their life and most of them will reply that their family is what they cherish the most. The Indian definition of family is much broader than it is in France where we include the nuclear family and, sometimes, the first circle of relatives. With the establishment of strategic partnership in 1998, there has been a significant progress in all areas of bilateral cooperation through regular high-level exchanges at the Head of State/Head of Government levels and growing cooperation and exchanges including in strategic areas such as defence, counter-terrorism, nuclear energy and space. France was the first country with which India entered into an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation following the waiver given by the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, enabling India to resume full civil nuclear cooperation with the international community. There is also a growing and wide-ranging cooperation in other areas such as trade and investment, culture, science & technology and education. France has consistently supported India’s increasing role in international fora, including India’s permanent membership of the UNSC.
Social status and hierarchy
Another important value that both countries have in common is social status and the inherent need for visible hierarchy. Even though both countries were founded on an ideal of equality among its people both French and Indian societies are naturally elitist. Although the caste system was officially abolished by the Indian constitution of 1950, casteism is still very present in India: most high responsibility positions in both private and public offices are traditionally held by members from high castes. In order to reduce these obvious unequal social and professional opportunities, the Indian government has been voting reservation laws and positive discrimination policies to favour access to jobs for the lower rungs of Indian society. These quotas have passed the 50% mark in many states and are used for political purposes by different caste-based political groups. The private sector has been fighting to prevent quotas being introduced in the corporate world that positions itself as meritocratic.
Aspect of Indian-French Traditions
All countries have peculiar social customs and india-france is no exception. As a foreigner you will probably be excused if you accidentally insult your hosts, but it’s better to be aware of accepted taboos and courtesies, especially as the French are much more formal than most foreigners.
The Indian traditions date back to 8000 BCE, and have a continuous history since the time of the Vedas, believed variously to be 3,000 to over 5,500 years ago. Indian traditions are most intriguing and perhaps one of the world’s most interesting as it unveils an amazing plethora of mythical stories that astounds the imagination. India is a blend of diverse cultures and religions that have continuously influenced Indian traditions. Ancient concepts like karma, dharma, atman (re-birth) and yoga still govern daily lives of Indians.
In france, It’s also customary to say good day or good evening ( bonsoir) on entering a small shop and goodbye ( au revoir madame/monsieur) on leaving. Bonjour becomes bonsoir around 18.00 or after dark, although if you choose bonsoir (or bonjour), don’t be surprised if the response isn’t the same. Bonne nuit (good night) is used when going to bed or leaving a house in the evening.
Weddings: Indian weddings are traditionally multi-day affairs, and involve many intricate ceremonies, such as the painting of the hands and feet of the bride called a mehndi. Garlands are presented to guests of honor instead of corsages, and lots of flower or rose petals are thrown for good luck. French wedding something different and something similar. French groom customarily walks his mother down the aisle before arriving at the altar to be married. This is a lovely gesture that can be easily adopted and will surely elicit a collective “aww” from the audience. The trousseau originated in France and it literally referred to a bundle of linens and clothing that the bride would take with her after the wedding, which were stored in a hope chest that was hand-carved by her father.
Cultural Festivals and events
A cultural tit-for-tat is happening in France as Namaste France picks up steam. It follows hot on the heels of Bonjour India which saw French cultural events highlighted across 18 Indian cities from December 2009 to March 2010. Now the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Indian Embassy in Paris has even outdone the French, stretching their festival from April until the summer of 2011. There will be film festivals including Rithwik Ghatak in Marseille in July, Satyajit Ray at the Musée Guimet and Bollywood next year. As well as Rajastani puppet shows, there will be traditional music concerts (such as the santoor with the Soporis), celebrations of Indian cuisine, yoga, ayurveda (a sort of way-of-life science based on Vedic culture), dance and an exhibition of the literary master Rabindranath Tagore and his paintings.
French and Indian War
Within about fifteen years after the Fox Wars concluded, the British posed a new threat to the French. The two countries fought four wars between 1689 and 1763 for control of North America. The last of these was the French and Indian War from 1754 to 1763. Indians from Wisconsin fought alongside the French at such famous battles as Braddock’s Defeat at Fort Duquesne in 1755 and the massacre at Fort William Henry in 1757.