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SMU Libraries

Understanding India: Home

This guide provides useful information and links to resources on India.

At A Glance



The following information have been carefully selected for your reference. Some resources may have bias perspectives. Please approach the SMU Libraries ( ) should you have any doubts or need clarifications.

This video gives a brief introduction and the top things to do while you are in India.

  • Flag of India
    Find out more about the history of the India flag.


Learn more about India states through this educational video.

  • India States
    Learn more about the various states in India.

Need To Know

This section helps prepare an individual before visiting India, such as learning the cultural etiquette, basic conversational phrases, and even some useful local contact numbers.

Cultural Dos and Don’ts

India has its own customs, traditions, and rules for manners. Observe the following etiquette for a great experience:

  • Treat Indian elders with visible respect. For example, address them first and defer to their opinion. Always sit lower than them, and avoid speaking directly or harshly.
  • Try to dress conservatively and speak respectfully out of respect for your Indian counterpart.
  • Try to be conscious of how gender and relationships may impact interactions. For example, some conservative Indians may find it inappropriate to include a married woman in a conversation if her husband is present.
  • Avoid crude humour or swearing. Indians may take offence to this manner of speech quite easily.
  • Do not directly ask someone what caste they belong to. It is more appropriate to ask about their occupation.
  • Do not assume that the work ethic of Indians is more laid-back. On the contrary, many Indians are very hard-working and a significant portion of the country is highly educated.

Basic Conversational Language

Some phrases in Hangul that are handy to know when visiting South Korea.

  • Namaste (Hello)
  • Aap kaise hain? (How are you?)
  • Main theek hoon. Tum (I’m fine. You?)
  • Aapka naam kya hai? (What is your name?)
  • Mera naam ...... hai. (My name is....)
  • Dhanya-vaad (Thank you)
  • Sunie (Excuse me)
  • Phir milenge (See you!)
  • Kit-naa (How much?)​​

Phone Apps

    Lessons are broken down into bite-sized chunks and it feels like you’re playing a game. Duolingo is a great introduction, but it can feel like you’re learning a random mix of information, often through repetition. The more you do, the more robust your vocabulary will be.
    The only way to become fluent in a new language is to speak it. Tandem is geared toward conversations with native speakers. The idea is that you can help one another learn new languages via text, audio, and video chat. The app vets you and then helps you to find a partner who shares your interests. They teach you and you teach them.


Indian Rupees (INR)

More details on the exchange rate.

Dialing Code


Useful Numbers

  • Police Department: 100
  • Fire Department: 101
  • Ambulance: 102
  • Tourist Helpline: 1363 or 1800111363
  • Railway Enquiry: 139
  • Singapore Embassy in India (New Delhi): +91-11-4600-0800
    • Emergency Tel (after hours): +91-981-020-3595
  • Singapore Embassy in India (Mumbai): +91-22-2204-3205, 2204-3209
    • Emergency Tel (after hours): +91-82910 32836
  • Singapore Embassy in India (Chennai): +91-44-2815-8207, 2815-8208 (Visa)
    • Emergency Tel (after hours): +91-984-003-3136
  • More emergency numbers

Local Media Source

This section links to the various local news media in India.

RSS News Feed

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What To Look Out

This section informs the common scams and crimes to look out for when visiting India.


  • Common Tourist Scams
    Learn how to protect yourself from these common scams and crimes when visiting India.

Crime & Security


This section lists some recommended readings about India.


Useful Links

This section provides useful links to the India social media.

Social Media

Incredible India


Acceptable Use Policy

Electronic resources (e.g., databases, datasets, e-journals, e-books and streaming audio/video) provided by the SMU Libraries are governed by license agreements that restrict use to current students, faculty and staff of SMU and the Singapore Copyright Act.

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy