I was talking about knocking before entering yesterday. This is of course only a question of manners and I believe most people will understand that this is just not usual here in India. Another thing which can create more difficult situations is that people here are often very direct. For me, this is a good thing and it is much easier to be direct if you want to say something than beating around the bush or trying to find a way to say it indirectly.
I have experienced that in the west many people have difficulties in saying if they don’t like something. It is pretty usual and they don’t want to say it because they believe it could hurt the other person’s feelings. And funnily enough it also does!
The other day a friend of my father made stove out of bricks and mud which should be used in winter for cooking chapatis on the open fire. When he was done he asked my grandmother if she liked it and she said that this was the ugliest fireplace she had ever seen. We all had to laugh and the builder of the fireplace admitted that it was aesthetically not beautiful at all.
He didn’t mind her saying this. And he shouldn’t because he asked for her opinion. In the west I often feel that people are too careful to say it if they don’t like something and then they pretend to like it. In my opinion this only makes problems and it doesn’t help the other one who wanted to know an honest opinion. If he only asked for getting a compliment then you helped him but if he finds out two years later that it is actually everybody’s opinion from the beginning that what he is doing is nonsense, it will make him feel much worse than if you say your opinion from the beginning.