India Cultural Ancestry: A Self-Reflection Essay


India Cultural Ancestry Prompt I am from India and writing this paper as a third person on culture in India. At least three references and three citations are in the body of the paper. One citation must come from a referred journal article, one from a textbook, and one from an Internet source. (preferably from […]

 India Culture and Practices

Health-related establishments and clinicians around the globe are progressively distinguishing the necessity for cultural competence. According to Purnell and Fenkl (2019), culturally competent providers respect individual differences and value diversity regardless of one’s ethnocultural background, religious beliefs, or race. Many cultural groups in India fall into the classification of vulnerable populations with increased health care and health disparities. Suppose physicians are to increase patient satisfaction and decrease medical care disparities for this group. In that case, they need to pay more attention to cultural practices, beliefs, and values, which consist of spirituality and alternative and complementary therapies. Patient and family care will be compromised if healthcare delivery systems and providers fail to adapt and incorporate diverse practices, leading to increased costs and poorer health outcomes. The Purnell Model enables healthcare providers to recognize that Indian culture is primarily unconscious and has forceful impacts on illness and health beliefs and treatments.

India Cultural Ancestry

The people of the Indus Valley Civilization IVC, referred to as the Harappans, are the principal ancestors of most living Indians. More than 80% of the Indian population derives from ancestry linked to that IVC (“First ancient DNA from Indus Valley civilization,” 2019). The DNA belonging to a person who lived four to five millennia ago indicates that it is likely that the modern Indian people mostly descended from individuals of this ancient culture (“First ancient DNA from Indus Valley civilization,” 2019). Therefore, the Harappans are regarded as the Indian cultural ancestry since they were a significant source of Indian traditions and culture.

Willingness to Share Ideas, Feelings, and Thoughts

The people of India seem formal. As such, they are continuously eager to share notions, feelings, and opinions. Nevertheless, the differing relationship will determine the way individuals interact with each other, and communication may not be straightforward. For example, the females often speak gently, making it challenging to decipher or understand what they are saying. At the same time, men may become loud and intense when conversing with other members of the family (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). An onlooker may perceive such a meeting as disruptive; however, this type of communication can be construed as meaningful when carried out with close friends.

People often exchange viewpoints or opinions through negotiation instead of arguing that their perception is truthful. However, when conversing, some areas of discussion may be considered taboo. Discursive taboo issues with women and their bodies exemplify the concept. For instance, nurses should be careful when discussing with patients because many offensive words in the country are derogatory towards women and girls since society has always had misogynistic undertones. As an illustration, the citizens have long-held the belief that menstruating makes women and girls “unclean.” Finally, Indians are required to restrain from showing anger when conversing.

Practice and Meaning of Touch

Indians favor not touching other individuals when it can be avoided. Hugging and coming into contact, even between family members, are unacceptable for displaying love. Subsequently, a public display of affection, such as kissing and embracing, even between spouses, is frowned upon; Indians consider it to be strictly private (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). Nevertheless, friends may touch the hand or arms of their associates, provided they are the same gender. Moreover, Indians characteristically do not hold or shake hands with members of the opposite sex; instead, they use the “namaste” greeting. Since coming into contact is unacceptable among casual acquaintances, healthcare providers should avoid touching a hand or patting the shoulder when talking with a patient (Cooper & Gosnell, 2018). Thus, the practitioner should be sensitive to any challenge a patient may have with more intimate touching that inevitably accompanies many interventions in nursing.

Personal Spatial and Distancing Strategies

Indians use various spatial and distancing strategies when communicating with others. For example, the people in this culture avoid addressing older family members by name. Older individuals are not referred to by name but as a senior uncle, aunt, sister, or brother (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). Similarly, women do not address men by name since they are not regarded as superior or equal. Additionally, Indians usually respect the personal space of each other, and during interaction with friends, an arm’s length of distance is standard. Finally, Indians greet strangers with a head bow and folded hands. The speakers are inclined to utilize impositions when interrelating with outsiders of non-equal status. Equally, they habitually use hints more often than query preparatory when interacting with strangers of equal rank.

The Use of Eye Contact

Eye contact in Indian culture is a fundamental non-verbal dynamic in communication. Generally, this population prefers keeping a minimal gaze. The speakers do not consider avoiding looking at a family member in the eyes as disinterested or rude. Instead, evading staring at a member of the family is often construed as merely being respectful or polite. However, most Indians would maintain direct stares when conversing with a friend. Concerning persons of different age groups, direct looking at authority figures and older people may be considered a sign of disrespect (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). In this way, youngsters show respect to elders by avoiding intense glares. Lastly, only a brief or sporadic mutual gaze is considered acceptable with a stranger. Therefore, an outsider should not misconstrue a lack of eye contact as not listening or not caring.

Meaning of Gesture and Facial Expression

Gestures and facial expressions are some of the fundamental dynamics to determine the state of mind of Indians when communicating. They often use facial expressions to show surprise, anger, fear, sadness, and disgust. Although India has different languages, speakers can understand and communicate with each other through gestures (Tiechuan, 2016). Some specific gestures have special meanings. For example, “namaste” is one of the most vibrant Indian gestures. It entails a slight bow with fingers pointing upwards, palms touching, and hands pressed together. “namaste” is what people from this culture do to show their respect whenever they meet an elderly person. Nodding is another form of gesture, and it is used to acknowledge what is said out of politeness. Lastly, there is the use of the right hand, which in Indian culture, is considered one of the body’s holiest and purest parts. Thus, people use it for everything, be it giving money, cooking food, or worshipping God. With different facial expressions and gestures, Indians display emotions such as disappointment, wonder, joy, and respect.

Standing and Greeting People

Standing with one’s hands on the hips is unacceptable because it indicates they are ready to argue or be angry. On the whole, the people of India tend to avoid standing close to others (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). Furthermore, it is a tradition in India to bid farewell and greet people using the more formal “namaskar” or the warm salutation “namaste.” Social standing, caste, and religion all affect greetings. Indian culture centers on a hierarchical system; therefore, superiors and elders are greeted first. Men should avoid trying to shake hands with women. Men habitually shake hands when departing or meeting.

Temporal Relation

Temporality in Indian culture is past, present, and future-oriented. In this way, Indians consider time in a cycle of four ages. It begins with the “age of perfection” and ends with the “age of degeneration” (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019, p. 188). Moreover, the Indian people do not consider punctuality in keeping scheduled appointments essential. Therefore, healthcare providers should not misconstrue being late for consultations as an indication of Indian patients not valuing health or as a sign of irresponsibility. Nurses should emphasize the need for punctuality when required.

Impact of Indian Culture of Nursing and Health Care

Without a doubt, Indian culture has a considerable effect on health care as well as nursing. Specifically, the strict norms that govern the communication and contact of women with men, including their husbands, affect how they perceive medical care delivery. For example, females often want assistance with giving birth from female nurse practitioners, midwives, or female physicians, as well as education in family planning from a same-sex healthcare provider. Additionally, women find physical examination particularly traumatic when they have not heard about or experienced mammography assessment and Pap tests (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). The same applies to the gynecologic examination. The women from the culture under analysis are exceptionally modest. Hence, healthcare providers should respect modesty by assigning same-gender caregivers whenever possible and offering adequate privacy to decrease the discomfort and stress of such examinations.

Cultural Pattern Of Communication Using Purnell’s Domains

India relies much on nonverbal gestures since the country is a high-context culture. In this respect, the personal communication practice of Indians differs from what is in the scholarly literature considering Purnell’s domains. As an illustration, non-verbal communication in the stated region differs from those in America. Unlike that of India, American culture is a low-context one. The discrepancy between the two cultures makes it challenging for healthcare providers to communicate non-verbally to Indian patients. Indian culture heavily depends on non-verbal gestures. Men will shake hands when first acquiring, a practice that women avoid. The culture forbids women from initiating a handshake with a man. In American culture, this is different since it is common to observe men and women shake hands with each other. Thus, the stated non-verbal gesture could have the potential for misunderstanding in the clinical setting.


In summary, through the Purnell Model as a framework, healthcare providers will likely be aware of the Indian culture, which is essential in providing safe, acceptable, and effective health care to the group. Evaluating the communication variables of the patients from the values under analysis is critical. A physician can respond appropriately by first assessing the cultural factors. Furthermore, the nurses should establish good rapport by making every effort to communicate with the patients at their comfort level. Doing so is crucial because violation of cultural practices and beliefs by the medical provider is likely to interfere with creating a therapeutic association with the patient and their families. In brief, clinicians should not expect to adjust the personal cultural practices of an individual entirely. However, they should aim to accept and understand the differences among practices in different cultures.


Cooper, K., & Gosnell, K. (2018). Foundations and adult health nursing e-book. St. Louis: Elsevier Health Sciences.

The first ancient DNA from the Indus Valley civilization links its people to modern South Asians. (2019, September 5). Retrieved from

Purnell, L. D., & Fenkl, E. A. (2019). Handbook for culturally competent care. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Tiechuan, M. (2016). A study on nonverbal communication in cross-culture. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (AJHSS)4(1), 1–5. Retrieved from

« »

Customer's Feedback Review

Published On: 01-01-1970

Writer Response

Analysis (any type)

  • Papers
  • Views
  • Followers
Get Access
Order Similar Paper

Related Papers