Atithi Devo Bhava!!
India is home to a variety of people and hence the culture and traditions greatly vary from state to state, region to region. But the people of India are united by a sense of treating their guests with great respect. In fact some believe the phrase“Atithi Devo Bhava”, meaning a guest is god’s reflection. Since time immemorial India has followed a set of customs that are performed while welcoming a guest.
The first and foremost thing most people do is to call every house member to meet the person. This is usually followed by washing the feet of the guests and drying them. It is only after this that the food is served. People wait for the guest to take a bite of his share, after which they themselves start eating the food!!
Welcome In Different Indian Languages
- Sanskrit - Vandanam
- Hindi - Swagatam
- Assamese - Swagotom
- Bengali - Shagotom
- Gujarati - Bahala Padharya
- Kannada - Kuthkolri
- Malayalam - Swagatam
- Marathi - Swagat
- Oriya - Aasantu
- Punjabi - Sushri Akal
- Tamil - Vannakam
- Telugu - Suswagatam
- Urdu - Khush Aamdeed
Namaste or Namaskar is a form of salutation in India. Palms of both the hands are joined together to form the perfect namaste pose. It is used to welcome guests as well as to bid them farewell.
Tilak (kumkum) is a thick red vermillion powder applied on the forehead of the visitors, as part of greeting them. In this thick paste a fine mixture of turmeric, camphor, curd and sandalwood is also found. It is applied as a blessing from God.
Aarti in India is a holy way to seek blessings from God for all the loved ones. The Aarti ceremony is performed by lighting five lamps called niranjanas. These lamps are filled with ghee and arranged in a small tray. Once the lamps are lit, the tray is rotated in a circular movement in front of the person to be welcomed. Doing thus is believed to drive away evil effects.
Garlands are a means to show respect and honour. Flowers are tied together and are a popular means of welcoming guests, prevalent in many parts of India.