Advice on Proper Etiquette as an American with Indian Coworkers

Indian people are just people. Enjoy their company. If you're already friends, then treat them as you would your other friends. Ask them about their country, their culture, and their religion, if and whensoever you feel inclined.

I think it's important to retain some perspective, too: you're in the United States, and they're in the United States. While most Indians have far more exposure to Western cultures than vice versa, they may still feel awkward and uncomfortable in their new surroundings. You're already doing a great job--as a friend, and as a cultural ambassador. Simply being supportive is more than most people do.

In addition to asking questions about India, try taking them out for some authentic-seeming "American" experiences, too.

IMO, you don't need to tip-toe around potential cultural issues. If you have a question, ask them; if something you've done seems to make them uncomfortable, ask how x is done in India. They shouldn't expect you to be a well-versed expert on the intricacies of India's many different cultures any more than you should expect them to be an expert on [deer hunting, American football, any other U.S. cultural peculiarities].

Lastly, as a non-Indian in India, I don't enjoy how often people try to make my "foreignness" the subject of conversations. I'm one person--not the individual embodiment of America. I respect my Indian friends' cultures and beliefs, and I expect them to respect mine when they're in my home (to which my friends would almost certainly say, "What culture?" and laugh). Sometimes it's nice just to be treated as a friend, rather than a foreign friend.

/r/india Thread