Difference Between Indian Culture & Western Culture

Updated April 17, 2017

If a person form Western culture was to visit India, or if a person from India was to visit Western countries, then they would surely see the huge differences between their two cultures. The two cultures have very different views on a lot of matters, especially religion, art, family life and social interactions.

Religion and Spiritual Beliefs

The major religions in the Western cultures are Judaism and Christianity. These are both monotheistic faiths, meaning they are religions where people acknowledge that there is only one God. The Indian culture acknowledges the presence of several gods. Another difference about the two religions is that Indians strictly follow their religious teachings to avoid bringing shame and dishonour to them and their families. Westerners are less strict with religious teachings.

Social Life

Westerners can freely interact with the opposite sex and even have intimate relations with their friends. Such behaviour is frowned upon in India. Whereas the concept of arranged marriages is no longer practised by Westerners, it is still practised in India. Some of these marriages have been planned since a person's birth. In India, people undertake their jobs proudly regardless of the position. Showing up late for work, though considered normal in Western cultures, is considered a sign of disrespect in India.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is valued in Western culture but ignored in the Indian culture. Wives are supposed to submit to their husbands' commands. If a marriage fails in India, in most cases it is the wife who is blamed for not taking care of her husband properly. This will bring shame to the woman's family.

Family Life

The family concept and its values is a key part of Indian culture. This is lacking in the Western culture where the concept has been forgotten. Indians respect their parents and elders regardless of how old they are. In the West, this is clearly lacking as many children, mainly teenagers disrespect and rebel against their parents' wishes. A person is more likely to worry about bringing honour and praise to their families more than a Westerner would.

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About the Author

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Loise Kinyanjui has been writing since 2009. She works as a features writer with Kitabu Publishers and has contributed news articles to various magazines and newspapers including "Weekly Citizen" and the "Kenyan Times." Kinyanjui holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Baraton University.