Special respect is paid to older people in many circumstances. This can include standing when older people enter a room, always greeting older people before others present (even if they are better known to the speaker), standing when speaking to one’s elders and serving older people first at a meal table. Touching the head, shoulders or back of an older person can be considered disrespectful, even if the intent is to comfort or indicate affection. Older people are rarely referred to by first names; they are addressed with such honorifics as Mr. and Mrs. or the appropriate non-English equivalents. Sometimes terms such as “Uncle” or “Auntie” are appropriate for older non-relatives.


For example, the young people (in China) will call an older person as “Ye Ye” (grandfather), and “Nai Nai” (grandmother), “Ah Yi” (aunt), and “Shu Shu” (uncle) as a sign of respect even if that person is not family by blood.

In India, elders are given priority over younger people in a range of social settings. For example, it is impolite for a young person to be sitting while an elder is standing, in this case, even if there is a free seat, the young person will offer their seat to the elder in concern. Another example would be if an elder is carrying something of considerable weight, and a young person has their hands free, it is expected of the young person to offer assistance to the elder in concern. As with all other Asian cultures, young people in India address any older unrelated person by the closest plausible relation i.e. a slightly older person of the same generation may be referred to as elder brother, or elder sister in the respective language while an elderly person may be referred to as auntie, uncle, grandpa or grandma as appropriate, again in each respective language. As with many other Asian lingual spheres, Indian languages follow strict honorifics that must be abided by.

More Asian customs and etiquette

 


 

 

*This guide is mainly based on wikipedia’s texts & images. We thank the authors , for their great efforts