India is a country with diverse religious, cultural, socio-economic and political values and beliefs. To use an umbrella term of “traditional” or “modern” would not suffice to describe India. Thus, if you are in India, its best to follow the middle path! Dehradun has a relatively progressive minded community. The traditional values and attitudes however have not disappeared in this part of the country. A few pointers:
Traditional greeting: To greet a friend or another Indian, join your hands (palms together), bow a little in front of the other person, and say “Namaste” (na-mus-tay). This is especially suitable for greeting women as the majority are not comfortable with handshakes.
Dress: Visitors to India should keep the weather in mind when arranging their travel. In Dehradun, climate alternates between extremely hot summers, humid monsoons, and surprisingly chilly winters. Lightweight, loose, yet covering cotton clothing is suitable for 7 months (April-November) of the year. Also floaters, half shoes, sandals etc. would be ideal as footwear during those months. Sweaters, jackets, wool skirts, wool suits, sweatsuits, hats, scarves, and even gloves will be welcome during the winter (December-March). Boots, sneakers or full covered shoes can be used during these months. Wintertime excursions to the mountain regions in the north or to hill stations require warm clothing, including heavy sweaters and coats. Light raincoats or windbreakers may come in handy at most times of the year. Bring umbrellas for the monsoon season. Washable fabrics are the most convenient for maintenance, but dry-cleaning services are also available.
Indians dress modestly. To respect Indian sensitivities when in public avoid wearing skirts above the knees, wear longer or relatively loose slacks, avoiding sleeveless blouses, tight pants, and shorts. For men, trousers are preferable to shorts. These suggestions are especially important when visiting rural areas or tradition-bound urban areas.
Visit to temples: Make sure you remove your footwear before entering a place of worship.