What Are Some Cultural Taboos of India?

Many cultural taboos in India have to do with touching objects or people. The ears are considered sacred, so boxing or pulling the ears is a serious insult.

Other Indian taboos concern the behavior of the sexes with each other and common habits.

  • Shaking hands with a member of the opposite sex unless they offer to do so first.
  • Walking on books or papers, considered sacred to the goddess of learning
  • Public displays of affection or any outwardly sexual behavior
  • Winking or whistling
  • Smoking or drinking in public
  • Killing an animal, especially a cow, which is considered sacred
  • Using the same hand to take food from a common plate or dish and eating as saliva is considered unclean