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Travel in India/barbers and customs


I've saw videos on You Tube and just learned about Indian head massages. They seem popular for tourist. This true?
Indian dining place in my area. Why do Indians not increase profits and save business by having  carry outs like Chinese? Is there a reason for this?
Also I see only male Indians giving massage. It is forbidden for a woman to cut hair on a man or touch the head?

If I get a "expert can't answer question" reply, I'll take it as a joke.

Hi Demetrius,

You've got a really good sense of humour, I must say. (now don't take THIS as a joke!). Fortunately, I have the answers :)

1. Yes, the Indian head massages are popular and very common as well. Even better if you're bald! Most barbers (read, hairdressers) would provide it for free, although it is advisable to make a small payment.

2. Community dining is an important cultural trait in India. Further, Yoga prescribes that food be eaten while sitting down, with a slow pace in a relaxed posture, to get maximal benefits out of it. That is one of the reasons why most Indian dining places wouldn't offer a takeaway. Also, most Indian preparations are multi-course, often with curries, which is best eaten while sitting on a floor or table-chair.

But all this has started to change slightly due to time and space constraints. In big cities and abroad, you may now find Indian food joints offering takeaways for a few menu items.

3. Touching the head is not forbidden in India, unlike China and South East Asia. But cutting hair is supposed to be an "unclean" profession (a legacy of the Indian caste system), due to which, it is mostly restricted to males of a few castes. That's why most barbers in India are males. Again, this is changing in urban areas where women are increasingly being employed as hairdressers, at least for female customers.

Hope that answers your queries!

Very best indeed,


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Abhishek Upadhyay


Travel and exploration in India: sights and sounds of this land, popular places, offbeat destinations, budget travel, backpacking, Train journeys, cultures and traditions of different regions, beliefs and customs, tips and to-do's, art and architecture, weather, trekking and mountaineering, adventure sports, Cuisine... Practically everything you need to know about Incredible India!


Lived and traveled extensively across India, mostly in Kashmir, Himachal, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka... Also visited several other countries as a student. These experiences have allowed me to appreciate the diverse flavors that my country has to offer and I spare no opportunity to share them with others... So, feel free to ask!

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

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