Howls of protest as Mumbai named as rudest city on earth

MUMBAI, June 21, 2006 (AFP) – India’s crowded commercial centre Mumbai drives the nation’s rapid economic growth but is far too busy to say “thank you,” making it the world’s rudest city, according to a survey. In a rudimentary study on shopkeeper behaviour, picking up fallen papers in the street and holding open doors, Mumbai comes out bottom for politeness among 35 world cities, according to the Readers’ Digest magazine.

It puts New York in the US and Sao Paulo in Brazil at the top of the list.

The survey was greeted with disdain on the streets of Mumbai Wednesday and even the Indian editor of the magazine admitted that the test was unsuitable for Asian nations.

One of the three tests — 60 were conducted in total in Mumbai — was to see if shopkeepers said “thank you” following the purchase of a small item and only about a third did.

But even the magazine admitted the test was culturally skewed.

“I don’t say thank you all time,” said Indian edition editor Mohan Sivanand. “I just smile. In Asia a smile is better than thank you.”

Mumbai shopkeeepers are also well-known for unpacking wares and for personal attention, with sari sellers unravelling metres of silks for customers even if does n