Dos and Don’ts for South Asians

Learn from this list, but don’t get so hung up that you hesitate to reach out.  By all means, don’t “walk on egg shells” when you spend time with internationals.  Most of them are eager to have sincere American friends, so they will recognize your love and overlook your innocent blunders.  Teach them and they will teach you!

 

DO……look for ways to demonstrate your love and commitment to them.

 DON’T……argue.  The goal is not to win an argument but to lead them to Christ.

 

DO……be loving, friendly, fair, and courteous.

 DON’T……criticize Hindu or cultural traditions (for example, the caste system).

 

DO……learn about Hinduism and your friend’s specific culture and food habits.  (Many are vegetarian; some eat chicken; even some non- vegetarians avoid meat on a particular day.).

 DON’T……serve pork or beef or alcohol.

 

DO…….share your own testimony.

 DON’T……discuss Indian and Pakistani politics.

 

DO……encourage your friends to read the Bible – especially the Gospels (preferably in their own language).

 DON’T……underline or mark your Bible, or do anything that they may view as disrespect for the Bible.

 

DO… make a distinction between true and nominal Christians.

 DON’T……assume your spiritual terminology has the same meaning to them.

 

DO……dress modestly – especially women.

 DON’T……initiate shaking hands with members of the opposite sex.

 

DO……focus on spiritual things – especially the person and ministry of Jesus.

 DON’T……ignore their questions or objections.  If you don’t know the answers, find them.

 

DO……invite them home for a meal particularly during special occasions, and briefly explain the meaning of the occasion.

 DON’T……organize social events or meetings during examination times.

 

{pagebreak}

 

 

DO……ask about the sport of cricket, your friend’s family, his or her research area, etc.

 DON’T……show the bottom of your feet (i.e. if sitting on the floor, etc.).

 

DO……invite them to visit your home group (or other small group).  Invite them to attend a Bible Study if they seem interested.  Ask them questions and allow then to freely share their views.

 DON’T……invite them to come to church–unless they seem very interested in attending.  Avoid things that may appear to them as if you are trying to “convert” them or move them away from their religion and culture.

 

DO……emphasize that a personal relationship is possible with God through Jesus and demonstrate your friendship over time.

 DON’T……get discouraged or expect quick results.

 

DO… Add an encouraging and relevant verse from the Bible when you e-mail.

 

DO……offer to pray for them.  Ask if there are specific things you can pray for.  Follow up to see how God has answered.