I was writing about differences in culture and about things that people notice when they come to another country like India. Often it is things that are considered as good or bad manners for example at the table and while meals. Another thing that I noticed in the west which doesn’t really work here is the knocking at the door before entering.
Again and again I notice in the Ashram that the boys of the Ashram and also people who work here come into the office without knocking whereas our visitors knock and wait outside. And we also again and again tell the boys that they need to knock when they go and tell one of our guests that dinner is ready. They just don’t learn it in their growing-up and they don’t always remember.
This can sometimes lead to funny situations and we always try to let our guests know that people here don’t usually knock. And then on the other hand I see that my mother would be constantly saying ‘yes, come in’, ‘yes?’, ‘Please come in’ when she is in her room and she would soon get very tired of everybody knocking on her door. My parents’ room has many more functions, the main refrigerator is there, the vegetables for dinner are there and many small things that are daily needed have their place in there where everybody knows where to find them. So everybody is walking in and out and as I said, it would be really too much for them if everybody knocked.
That is how I always see that there are differences in culture, in the manners that people grow up with and what they do in their everyday’s life. And when someone comes here or if we go there, everybody needs to be open to see and accept what the lifestyle is like for the other person.