Around Diwali, the usual constant stream of “visitors” will show up. The crew of building watchmen (half a dozen of whom you’ve never seen before), the janitor, the postman, the maid, and probably some random strangers chancing their luck – they will all knock on your door looking for Diwali “Baksheesh.” Baksheesh is a term that loosely refers to either a tip or, interestingly, a bribe.
For people, the popularity of tipping has always been something of a mystery. Take restaurant tipping as a typical example. Since the tip is usually given at the end of the meal, what good purpose does it serve? Since the service has already been provided, it can’t by definition affect the quality of the service you received? It would make sense maybe for a repeat customer on the basis that a kind tip would lead to the probability of better service next time.
But researchers have something else to say. As per the researchers, tipping is equally likely to yield same service whether a customer plans to return or not. The consensus seems to be that tipping is best understood as a social norm, a form of charitable giving tied to the provision of a service.