His father just passed away, he's from India, how do I show respect.
January 29, 2007 6:21 AM   Subscribe

My Indian (Bangalore) co-worker's father just passed away. How do I offer him the proper condolences and support?

He'll be returning to India for the next ten days. He's Hindu, and I'd like to know what the proper condolences/signs of respect are in this scenario, and what it entails culturaly speaking.
posted by Null Pointer and the Exceptions to Society & Culture (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Express proper condolences like you would with an American co-worker. It is traditional in different parts of India that men either shave their head, or grow out their facial hair while they are mourning a death. So, the culturally-sensitive thing to do is not make a joke about it.

Can't think of anything else I would like people to do for me if I was in his shoes.
posted by hariya at 6:29 AM on January 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

How do I offer him the proper condolences and support?

Like you would any other person.

(Here's a bit on Hindu Burial Rites if you're interested.)

More info here.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:08 AM on January 29, 2007

I would just like to second and third what has already been written.

It's nice that you want to console your co-worker in a culturally-sensitive manner, but consider this: He practices Hinduism, you do not. I'm sure he knows this. As far as proper etiquette goes in this situation, unless you are going to be a part of the ceremonies involved, I should think it would be best not to trouble yourself to this degree, and to simply express your concern for him to the best of your non-Hindu ability.

He'll understand, and if I were him, I would thank you for your concern.
posted by gaiamark at 8:28 AM on January 29, 2007

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