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Throughout the entirety of my lifespan I have been able to interact with the diversity that the world has been able to offer. This is inclusive of the many people with different social backgrounds, different races, different beliefs and orientations, and different beliefs. This being the modern century, a lot has changed over the time and the relations between us as humans has drastically changed as we have learnt to accept each other and are more tolerant to each other. This has not always been the situation as we have learnt through history, as we have been able to witness segregation against the minority and other forms of violence that has existed based on tribal and political affiliations and also based on ones beliefs and religious backgrounds. There is however still instances of segregation based on the many mentioned factors that still exists in the society today. There is a general sense of togetherness in the world today with the many people of different backgrounds and affiliations living together.
It is due to this enabling environment that I myself as an individual have been able to have some meaningful interactions over the course of my life. The different classes of people and religions are heavily vested in my neighborhood and I have always wanted to learn more on the other religions. The project was an ideal opportunity to engage with members of the society that have different cultural and religious backgrounds that are different from the ones that I believe in. My neighborhood and its environs has always been a sight of diversity in the population and for the interview, I had to not go to look any further to identify my person of interest. The person that I decided to base my interview research on was a young lady in his early 20’s and a close resident. She was of an Indian descent. The unique attribute was on her religious and rather unique background which was totally different from my own personal beliefs and background. Through our interaction, I was able to establish a rapport on which to base my interview. I was able to agree and set up a date on when I was to interview her and talk about some of her the basic formations and beliefs of India.
From what I was able to gather, is that in India just like other parts of the world is diverse when it comes to religion. The majority of the population is India population practice Hinduism, and Islam is the second largest religion that is being followed and other religions such as Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism making up for a smaller portion of the religious composition. However my interests are vested interests are on Hinduism which is synonymous with a majority of the Indian population.
Hinduism is one of the most ancient religions in the world today having its roots traced and dated back to 1400 BC. Hinduism is more prevalent in India and Nepal but however there some instances of the India culture all over the global mainly spread and attributed to the many Indian population that have been scattered all over the global.
The scriptures or writings of the Hindu are often found and defined in many forms of texts with the most critical of them all being the Vedas, Upanishads, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana. Most of the texts that are used in the Hinduism are the Vedas and are said to be the most relevant to the Indian religion. The Vedas are holy texts are said to have been derived from about many years ago and are split into four. The four sets are the Rig-Vega, Sama-Veda, the Atharva-Veda, and the Yajur-Veda. The Rig-Vida comprises hymns and mantras, the Sema-Veda is comprised of yajna which are melodies that are sang during sacrificial ceremonies and offerings, the Atharva-Veda comprises of more hymns, mantras, and incantations for various ceremonies, and finally the Yajur-Veda is a guidance text for priest that are usually tasked with the yajnas.
Despite the many stereotypes that are associated with the Indian culture most of whom believe that the Hindu religion is polytheistic, Hindu is monistic as they believe in one Supreme Being known as Brahma. According to the Hinduism, Braham represents the entity that they believe inhibits every portion of reality and existence in the entirety of the universe. According to Hinduism, Braham represents three separate forms known as facets. The first facet is known as Braham who is the creator, the other facet is known as Vishnu who is the preserver, and the third facet is Shiva who is the destroyer. The whole concept of Hinduism is largely centered on the Braham, as they view Brahma as everything and that humanity is divine. Anything or belief that is based outside the Braham is known as an illusion and the end game or the purpose of all life is to be one with the Braham which is known as moksha. According to Hinduism, one will be repeatedly be reincarnated until he or she achieves the moksha. The Moksha is however dependent on karma, which is the balance and the principle cause and effect of nature.
The Indian Culture is one of the most diverse and most colorful traditions in the world today. Without being stereotypical, from what I am able to gather from the mainstream media, the Indian Culture is portrayed as very enticing and colorful.
There are many aspects that we can derive from the Indian culture and the most important of them all is in their languages. Despite the portrayal of Indians as English speaking individuals in the main forms of the mainstream media, they rarely speak English as their first language but it is part of the huge language composition in the land. Hindu is the most spoken language among the Indians. Indian are subdivided into many other languages which include Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Maithili, among many other languages. The use of the English language can be attributed to the fact that Indian was a former British colony. English can be argued to be the largest language in India but it is not originally an Indian language. English is however used in a formal context that is in businesses and organizations and it is one of the national languages in India. English is used as a connective language among the vast population as the Indian population is vast of many different tongues hence English is crucial in establishing a common tongue.
It is important to note that India has very structural caste systems that is divided into four main groups. The groups go by the name of Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishya and Shudras which are all well-defined. The groups play a very important role when it comes to the overall social stratification of the tribe. When it comes to the Brahmins, they are better known as the intellectuals in the society and they are mainly composed of teachers. The Brahmins represent the head of the Brahman. The arms of the Brahman are represented by the Kshatriyas which is composed of the warriors are the rulers in the society. The Vaishya’s are the thighs in the Brahman and they are composed of the traders in the society and finally the Shudras and the menial workers, who are the laborers, and they represent the feet of the Brahman.
The family composition is one of the most defined and fundamental aspects of the Indian culture. One of the most important structures of the Indian culture is defined and known for the arranged marriage system. Even in the modern day and age, the most preferred ways to get into matrimony in Indian is through the arranged marriage system. The arraigned marriage system in Indian culture can be traced back to the Vedic times. The parents and the relatives are the ones that make the crucial decision in choosing the bride or groom. They consider several factors such as the family names. Surprisingly even in the current day and age, many young Indians prefer their families and relatives to choose for them a partner rather than them choosing their life partners for themselves due to the success rate that is associated with the arranged marriages. Couples that are chosen to marry each other are then wedded in a ceremony known as Swayamvar.
The institution of marriage in the Indian culture, is defined in the Manu Smriti, which is a customary law that defines the laws, duties, laws, and the conduct of conduct for those are in marriage. The Manu Smriti is implemented so that the couples that are in marriage can achieve and lead the life of sanctified drama.
The Indian family set up in unique when compared to the other cultural beliefs. The family system is patriarchal which means that the woman in a household should be always respectful and must obey her father, husband and her son. When it comes to the provision of dowry, the sons inherit and the daughters receive the dowries.
The Indian culture has been represented in many mainstream mediums in the world that form the basis of the beliefs that we as a community have on the Indian culture. One of the unique cultural representations that come with the mainstream media is usually from the visual department. India movies are the most recognizable features of the Indian culture. Indians movies are mainly associated with the representation of the Indian cultures and of course the pomp and color, music and festivals, and of course songs and dance. The color festival in India is one of the most popular cultural events that are globally recognized. Other forms of the Indian cultures that are synonymous with the Indian culture which includes their food and the ways of dressing which make them stand out from the rest.
Indian has also known to produce some of the most iconic and prominent figures that are globally recognized and loved due to their work. The first figure that is globally known is Mother Teresa from Calcutta. Mother Teresa is universally unknown for her humanitarian work that she did in the slams of Calcutta. Even though she was not a native, Mother Teresa was one of the most beloved characters in the modern day due to her missionary work in India. The fact that India is largely a Hindu state and she was a missionary of the Catholic Church which is mainly associated with Christianity. Another recognizable figure from the Indian descent is Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is perhaps the greatest figure in the history of India due to his contributions as politicians to the achievement of the Indian independence. His is known for his philosophies and one of the most important aspects is to resolve conflicts through peaceful means. He was one that championed for the rights of women in society and giving them a voice.
I have been able to learn a lot on the Indian culture through many researches and also from the interview that I was able to conduct. The Indian culture is very well defined and a complex unit that is well defined. Throughout the interview, I was able to gather critical information and greater understanding of the Indian culture and belief system. The interview was a collaborative effort between me and the interviewee. The lady in the context of the research is an Indian lady by the name Smirit. The events of the interview took place at her residence on the afternoon of Sunday 23rd.
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