December 31, 2005
"No vulgarity, no kissing, no hugging, do not embrace"
Posted by Gordon Smith

That's from a billboard in India. It continues, "Dress up decently, no alcohol, no nonvegetarian foods."

If you an American planning a trip to India, get your shots and be prepared for culture shock. According to the W$J, officials in Pushkar are cracking down:

In recent weeks, they've been reminding tourists as they arrive at hotels that it is inappropriate to hug and kiss, and even issuing penalties to couples that run afoul of those customs. The move marks an escalation of an ethics campaign by the government that aims to address the occasionally jarring clash between local customs and the influx of Western tourists. The potential for these kinds of clashes is greater as travel by Americans to India increases rapidly.

How long will India be able to resist Western norms? Earlier this week, Maxim India released its first issue:

Maximindia_1 The first edition has Bollywood star Pryianka Chopra on its cover. But this is not the typical coy, sari-clad Bollywood pose, rather a scantily clad woman who looks directly at the camera.

The Indian edition will not be anywhere near as explicit as the UK edition which Mehra says is too "in your face" for Indian readers. He aims to be closer to the less smutty US edition, from which quite a lot of content will be taken. In fact, he says he plans to steer clear of smut and sleaze altogether: no full frontal pictures and not even any nipples.

Seems like a slippery slope ...

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