INDIA: 'Horn OK Please'

The trucks of India are fabulously iconic - old, bashed in, noisy and spewing out fumes but loved and colourfully decorated with hand painted symbols, flowers and phrases.  Written on these trucks is information such as which state the truck supplies i.e. Karnataka, name of the truck, stop signs, the registration and phrases such as Horn OK Please.  

This phrase is very common, with tens of thousands of vehicles decorated with the phrase.  However, there is no official rule in India traffic regulations which states it must be on the vehicle but instead has become a tradition with truck drivers painting this phrase on the rear, “like that only!” 

Some people have said that it was an advertising slogan by TATA and the phrase caught on.  Others will tell you that it originated from the Second World War when trucks were run on kerosene engines.  Kerosene is highly dangerous and the smallest accident would cause the trucks to explode - hence a warning was required.  The phrase was painted on the back of vehicles saying "Horn Please, On Kerosene". Gradually this became the norm and has developed into a tradition which can be seen all over India. 

 
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Sonia Nicolson

Hi, I'm Sonia from Edinburgh, Scotland. I relocated to Reykjavik, Iceland back in February 2016 to live life with my Viking, Ingimar (marrying summer 2017). I blog about Design, Travel and Lifestyle and upload a weekly 'Living in Iceland' vlog every Thursday on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/soniascot