Welcome to India!


The tradition of welcoming guests is popular in India.

On our first day of classes in Delhi, my classmates and I were given garlands of intricately woven orange flowers that symbolize purity, beauty, peace, love and passion. The country coordinators went around the room and placed the garlands over our heads.

The coordinators then used a piece of rice to place a dot of red sindoor, also known as vermilion, on our foreheads between our eyes. Sindoor is used during religious and cultural ceremonies in Hindu traditions. The rice is usually viewed as a symbol of purity.

Our country coordinator smiled as he opened up his arms and announced, "Welcome to India!"

What tradition did I learn about?:

I learned about the "Traditional Indian Welcome", where my classmates and I received a garland of flowers and a red dot placed between our eyes with a piece of rice.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

The community has this tradition because guests have always been highly valued in India. There are even times when guests should be treated just as one treats the gods under the Hindu faith. 

Is this tradition connected to its environment? How?:

The tradition speaks to how the people of India are receptive and very welcoming towards newcomers.