I have come across the same issue
As far as I see, India has a high PDI:
This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies
are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these
inequalities amongst us.
Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful
members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and
accept that power is distributed inequally.
India scores high on this dimension, 77, indicating an appreciation
for hierarchy and a Top – Down Structure in society and Organizations.
If one were to encapsulate the Indian attitude, one could use the
following words and phrases : dependent on the boss or the powerholder
for direction, acceptance of un-equal rights between the
power-priviledged and those who are lesser down in the pecking order,
immediate superiors accessible but one layer above less so,
paternalistic leader, management directs, gives reason / meaning to
ones work life and rewards in exchange for loyalty from employees.
Real Power is centralized even though it may not appear to be and
managers count on the obedience of their team members.Employees expect
to be directed clearly as to their functions and what is expected of
them. Control is familiar, even a psychological security, and
attitude towards managers are formal even if one is on first name
basis. Communication is top down and directive in its style and often
feedback which is negative is never offered up the ladder.
This would mean that as their superior, you have a socially accepted right to offer them feedback, as to what they're doing is not ok.
As far as I know though, in India people take negative feedback pretty poorly, and this should NEVER be expressed in front of others.
Bottom line is what I would do is simply take each of the juniors at a time and tell them personally what bothers me about their behavior.
You: Hey John, I wanted to tell you that it seems to me as though I am not
taken seriously in this group. Do you have any suggestions in which I
could improve this, with regards to this?
John: We do take you seriously bla bla.
You: Ok, well I was a bit mislead by all the jokes, and I didn't know what to make of it...
John: Oh, ok, I'll stop, then. Do you want me to tell the others?
You: I think I will talk to them myself, but thanks.
Rinse and repeat with all the others.