Hierarchies dictate social life in India, with all relationships having a clear-cut hierarchy that must be respected. Arranged marriages are still common today, except among the urban middle class, and "love marriages" are looked down upon. India is very diverse, with inhabitants speaking various languages and adhering to different religions, but the most widely spoken language is Hindi and the most wide-spread religion in Hindu.
Indians tend to be close with their families, including their extended families. Their identities are more based on the groups they belong to than their individual statuses.
Indians do not like to say "no" or to disappoint. As such, Indians often give the response that they think someone wants to hear as opposed to giving a frank answer. In Indian culture, it is considered rude to not try to fulfill a request.
Social status dictates greetings. The eldest person in a group should be greeted first, and when leaving, one should bid farewell to all members of a group individually. Handshakes among the same sex are common, but handshakes between men and women seldom occur due to religious beliefs.
Lamb, chicken and fish are the most common types of meat served in India, because Hindus and Sikhs do not eat beef and Muslims do not consume pork. Many Indians are also vegetarians. When invited to someone's house for dinner, it is customary to decline the first offer of tea, coffee or snacks. The host will make the offer repeatedly.