Israelis learn to bridge cultural gap in India

Monday, March 12, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
While India is a popular hot spot for Israelis, sometimes there are cultural clashes. So, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has found a way to combat that cultural gap. The ministry will launch a campaign to improve its image in India.

“We're a very small number worldwide, but our presence is very noticeable in India,” Lior Weintraub, spokesman for Israel's New Delhi embassy told Ynet. “There are unpleasant behaviors. We believe that most Israelis come to India to travel and learn about the culture. India's population is conservative and the Israelis who are unaware of this cultural gap – are perceived poorly by them.”

The Indian press has noted insensitive incidents by Israelis, especially at some of its more sacred sites.

The campaign calls for integrating Israelis into volunteer programs such as health services, sports, education and environmental preservation, teaching them a little more about Indian culture.

According to the Israeli embassy in India, some 50,000 Israelis visit every year, but the programs would only allow for 500 to sign up at a time.

“The Indians will receive help from an able workforce and the Israelis can integrate values into their trip,” Weintraub said.

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