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Saving Face in India

Transcript

(Note: This transcript has been edited for readability.)

You are constantly saving face and you're constantly not showing your cards. It's a practice that you learn from the day you're born and you practice it for the rest of your life. And it's not to say that you aren't trying to be truthful, it is simply a gesture of respect and also, not just preserving yourself but allowing everybody's opinions to come to the table. Giving bad news, I think, generally folks are reluctant to do. They will try and make excuses and they will come up with sometimes really lofty ideas about why they can't complete the task. It could be because they really can't complete the task and so they're saving face but saying that you're incapable of doing something or don't know how to do something it's probably the last thing that people would admit to and they would give some kind of excuse to push it off a little bit longer. And that's a normal practice.

An Indian national discusses the idea of “saving face.”