Throughout the week, I have gone through the write ups. All of them are very beautiful and explanatory as they are based on life experiences. I truly appreciate all the writers for giving their utmost effort and justifying the topic: Culture and Mannerism. But, in all the snippets, I found one thing they had in common…all had been through some shameful experience of “offending and being offended” due to cultural diversities.

In the past 6 years of being a holistic worker, I have crisscrossed through 3 major states of India: Odisha, West Bengal and A.P. There have been many incidents in my life of “offending another’s culture and being offended in my own culture by someone else.”

Our country, India, is known globally for two major things: Unity in Diversities and the 5000 years of rich heritage and culture. It is very obvious to see the cultural differences between the people. In my country of India, everyday you can see people of diverse Religion, Caste, Culture, and even Language. What is truly incredible is that all of these people can be found within a 200 meter radius of each other!

In each of these cultures, a man from a different part of the country is humiliated or ill treated because of the differences between him and the ones he may be visiting. This proves highly embarrassing. We showcase ourselves as a component of the GLOBALIZATION concept and a member of a Global Community. But, alas, we don’t try to come out of our comfort zone and make our guests feel that they are welcome.

The Scriptures have two great commandments: “Love the Lord your God, with all our heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your Neighbor as yourself.” The second of these two greatest commandments shows us the gateway to the globalization concept.

We always concentrate on the idea of the “neighbor” being the man who lives adjacent to me but in actuality it is everyone I meet. In a global family, no one is a foreigner, we are all one family. We also know that the foundation of Family is LOVE. Our concept or ideology of a Global family needs to be upgraded and set firmly on a foundation of LOVE. For where there is LOVE, there is no hatred, no boastfulness, jealousy, anger, or evil.

When we renew our minds and start loving the people next to us, there will be no such thing as a “foreigner”. We will not see their physical color, language or culture. Rather we will see them as our siblings whose thought processes and lifestyles are different from ours but will be accepted and respected.

If we love on another as God commanded, I can bet there will be no one stamped as a “Foreigner” and our Culture will not be offended nor would we offend our brother’s. Rather we will say, “Brother, let us grow together. You are a little different but better than me!”

What do you think my global family? Shall we renew our mind to love and grow?

Catch you with some new idea. Stay connected.


Some amazing quotes on Manners and Mannerism are worth knowing and understanding. I have made it available for you here:


Keep reading and keep enjoying CANDLES ONLINE!

Stay Blessed!!!


I met my co-author and friend Sulagna on a Writers Community Online not less than 7 years ago. And we became very good friends afterwards as we kept commenting and appreciating each other’s articles which we had written for the same community.

As the days passed by I invited her for writing articles for Candles too. That time Candles was in the printed form. She wrote for ‘Candles’ a couple of times times consecutively and our closeness grew. She used to call me by my name, “Chiradeep.” But when she came to know that I am quite older to her as we added each other on facebook, she immediately started calling me “Chiradeep Dada.” In Bengali culture an elder brother is addressed as ‘Dada’ as a sign of respect.

The Bengali culture has a set of manners which they are so accustomed to from childhood that she immediately changed her way of addressing. She even called my wife as “Didi” (Elder Sister). Truly, at that particular time I really appreciated her nice gesture.

I remember a Hindi movie called ‘Chupke Chupke’ where film actor Dharmendra was making comedy  talking about English language and the way they address their uncles and aunties.

Let me clarify…

According to Dharmendra, we have different words of addressing for our father’s older brother and younger brother; different words for father’s sisters. In the same way we have different words for mother’s sisters and brothers.

Unfortunately, in English all the males are addressed as Uncles and females are addressed as Aunts.

Somehow I love this culture and the set of mannerisms we have pertaining to how we address our elders and young ones. When we address the concerned person in a certain way, the relationship with that particular person becomes very clear both to them and the people around them. I feel there is less chance of taking for granted the relationships in our culture, though it’s purely my personal opinion about it.  

Keep reading and keep sending your feedbacks…

Stay Blessed!!!

(Image Source: HERE)


The famed old saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” When we interact with people of different cultures, we need to be sensitive to their cultural norms. Hence, before travelling to a new place for the first time, it is always prudent to do one’s homework well. An example that would bring about the reality of cultural sensitivity would be the way of greeting people in Western cultures and in Eastern cultures. In the West, a firm handshake with a peck on the cheek is generally the way people greet each other irrespective of gender. However, if a Westerner visits any Eastern country and does the same with a person of the opposite gender, he may stand chances of being booked for molestation!

Yes, of course times are changing and multiculturalism is the talk of the day. But, still cultural sensitivity is of utmost important.

I know of a public health consultant who travels to various African countries. Some of the countries she travels to do not permit women to dress with divided clothing (trousers or suits). She has to dress in an ankle-length skirt whenever she goes to handle a project in those countries.

It’s not always about expecting people to adapt to our mindsets and cultural upbringing. Cultural acclimatization requires sensitivity and openness towards the cultures of the people we are around.

(Image Source: HERE)


Though I myself have never been out of the USA, in my 50 years, I have had the honor of meeting people from other countries. They look very lost and confused. I try my best to communicate with them as the only language I know is English.

Again I pull on my job as a cashier for a grocery store. We get a lot of people from Africa in our store and I mean fairly new to this country. Many are on government aid and have trouble figuring out how to use the food stamp card they are given or WIC checks. So I have to explain, speaking clearly to them but not in a way that is condescending. I speak softly, gently. My customers behind them tend to get impatient and I call for a back up cashier while taking care of the people in front of me. Most of the time they are very stoic and will not smile. A few of the males are missing one or both hands.

As I get to know them and their children it is getting easier to communicate with them. I love to watch the younger women as they look at some of the fashion magazines, speaking in their language, pointing things out to each other. Many are dressed in the traditional clothes of their culture of long dresses and head coverings but you can still see their faces and hair.

It’s fun to watch their reactions, because they are no different than American born girls, when it comes to pretty clothes or movie and music stars. As soon as an older female shows up, they completely change and quickly put the magazine away, becoming very quiet. It’s hard to see that but at the same time I understand it. 

My point is this, it is all right to try and fit into a culture that is foreign to you, especially if you are going to be in that country for a while if not the rest of your life. Be patient with yourself, listen to those around you who KNOW the culture. And if you happen to be the one to help another to fit them patience, kindness. If they make a mistake, explain gently what it is they did wrong and show them the correct way to respond in your culture. Sweet words will pull others to you but words of anger will surely discourage them, causing anger, frustration, and misunderstandings.

A REVIEW ON: “Jazz Concert Etiquette”

Being an Indian talking about Manners or Etiquette really doesn’t suit me… Lol. We are the most causal people in the whole world. We remember our manners when we see a stick in our Mom’s or Dad’s hands. But I can’t help it talking about on this as I myself chose this topic for this week.

As I was reading through my WordPress Reader’s Feed I stumbled upon an article named, “Jazz Concert Etiquette.” I clicked it and read the whole article and quite liked it. I commented under it and asked the author, ‘Ioana‘ for the permission to use it. She is a very sweet lady who allowed me instantaneously.  

Thus I have using it here for you all to know & be aware of the etiquette of a Jazz Concert…    


  • Even though the concert takes place in a social setting – bars, clubs, etc – make an effort and restrain yourself from talking during performances.

  • Turn off your phone, or at least put it on vibrate. Ideally you are not supposed to answer a call during a concert, use the breaks between songs to get out and call back if it’s important.

  • Wait until a song is over before getting up to use the restroom, it’s distracting for the musicians if people keep moving around and it’s disrespectful.

  • Applaud between songs and after each improvisation solo.

  • There is no specific dress code, wear something comfortable, but still decent.

  • Don’t disturb the musicians while performing or between songs. If you know them and want to say hello, wait until the end. If you don’t know them and you want to congratulate them on their performance, approach them after the concert and express your appreciation shortly.

  • If possible, put on a friendly face – not flirty, but not angry, annoyed or disgusted. Relax, enjoy and communicate that you’re having a good time through this.

I was happy reading and learning these information and I am sure you all liked it too.

And yes, if you have interest in music then don’t forget to visit Ioanablog who is so passionate about music and a hard working teacher. 

Stay Blessed!!!


I experienced some pains this week of relearning social norms and basic manners in this culture. I am no longer new here, but it did remind me that because I wasn’t raised here there will continually be situations where I am needing to learn. When we are brought up in a particular culture we pick up on things that we don’t even realize and since we have been here for a while now I thought I was becoming immune to cultural mishaps. However, this week proved to me again that I have to be a continual learner, no matter how long I live somewhere.

I was abruptly jerked into the reality that my arrogance of feeling adjusted to this culture has aided in both of the culture mistakes I made this past week.

While visiting some friends in a different city we went out to dinner at a place we don’t have in the city we reside. More than ten people were there and we were laughing and eating delicious food. Meanwhile, me and the ten-year-old boy at the other end of the table were being culturally insensitive. In my defense, his was worse than mine. He kept asking if the pepperoni on his pizza is made of pig while sitting directly across from three people who don’t eat “pig” for religious reasons. I, on the other hand, was much more graceful in my cultural mistake. I was sitting next to this girl I very much enjoyed hanging out with during our week in town and I complimented her ring. She then quickly took off one of the rings on her fingers and told me she wanted me to have it. Instantly,  I thought, “Oh no, what have I done. She feels like she has to give it to me because I complimented it.” I refused profusely, but she then kept asking if I liked it, which put me in an awkward situation. If I said I liked it then she would insist more that I have it, but if I said I didn’t her feelings would be hurt and she would be confused about why I said I liked it in the first place.

We sat there at a standstill with the ring on the table for more than 15 minutes. She refused to pick it back up and put it on her finger and I wasn’t about to take her ring that she was just wearing.

In the middle of this whole charade I remember my grandpa who has traveled quite a bit tell me that there are certain cultures if you compliment something then they feel obligated to give it to you as a gift. I knew that is exactly what she was doing with me and she was being extremely pushy about it. In not knowing what to do, I laughed and told her I was getting uncomfortable. Her face fell, her eyebrows burrowed and she looked incredibly confused. I then realize I had just offended her and what she was doing as an act of generosity and duty.  I then picked up the ring once I realized I had gone too far and put it on my finger and thanked her profusely for her kindness.

The very next day I offended at least three people in an airport while we were in a rush not to miss our flight.

I was starving and it happens to be a terrible combo to be hungry and running late to a flight. I knew we wouldn’t be able to eat when we landed so now was my only opportunity. I ran upstairs to the food court to try to find something I could order and have prepared quickly. I found a smoothie place that looked healthy and quick. While I was waiting for our food to be blended I put my foot up on a nearby chair to tie my shoelace that had become untied amidst the commotion. My jeans were tight and I didn’t want to bend down all the way to tie it and I thought nothing of it in the moment. About three seconds after my shoe was tied and I was watching them make my food I heard a voice behind me trying to get my attention. I turned around to a angry looking man using a very rude tone. He said, “YOU NEED to wipe off that chair we are sitting there.” Nobody was sitting within two chairs of the one I used. I just looked at him blankly and confused about his rudeness, because there was no visible mark to be wiped off. He then continued to raise his voice telling me to wipe off the chair. I began looking around for napkins and I didn’t find any. He was getting more frustrated as I frantically looked for something to undue my mistake and I finally just grabbed another chair and replaced the one I put my foot on. He was still very angry, but he was no longer the problem.

All the sudden this lady who had apparently been eating nearby and watching this whole shoelace tying debacle unfold decided it was her turn to shame me. She started yelling and telling me I needed to clean off the chair. I looked blankly at her in confusion with now my own anger on the rise. She said, “You have very bad manners. So tacky. You need to clean off the chair. Very very bad manners. I can’t believe you think that is okay?!” She was shaking her head with disapproval using the most judgmental tone she could find in her queue and I was over it. I decided to take the higher road and shoot her a dirty look while turning around and resolving to ignore her, which is totally the right thing to do at that moment.

I walked away with our smoothies feeling guilty, angry, shamed and all around like a failure. I thought of how I should have figured out how to wipe the stupid chair off. I should have not been rude back to the lady. Lastly, I wish I got real food, because this smoothie wasn’t going to cut the hunger.

It feels terrible to fail culturally. It doesn’t matter how socially adept you are or how good you think you can read situations it happens. We all do it.

The feelings of confusion blended with frustration are hard to cope with in the moment. It’s weird to be in a situation and not know the right thing to say or do to get out of it or to avoid it in general. Most of us are raised to be socially and self aware. When I fail at being well informed on appropriate behavior I feel like a kid again who should know better. It was me with the ten year old boy making cultural mistakes at the same table. I have relearn how to socialize and be aware of new things in this environment. Some of the things I have to become informed about and aware of are different than the ones I have learned through the course of my life in my home culture.

When I make mistakes, act out and respond poorly; it reminds me that being a learner in this culture is a continuous thing. I need to humble myself and realize I will make mistakes. When I make mistakes I need to not receive the shame that can so easily come but instead cultivate a safe area to mess up culturally and give myself grace. It’s not easy, especially, when it seems basic and you feel small for not knowing something you feel like you should.

Jesus took the same position here on earth. He came here not as an adult and someone who knew everything already (even though he could have), but instead he took the position of humility. He came down to the level of the people he met to feel their pain, show compassion and heal their wounds. He had to learn to walk, eat and talk like the people he met to relate with them.  He had to learn, just like we have to learn.

Author’s Bio: Brie, an American, a wonderful wife. She is an amazing presenter, a designer and an excellent writer who has written many articles for different purposes.