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Katie Widner

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of India

Religion in India
The Cultural Context
Indian Culture
Perceptual Context
Discussion Questions
1) The article discusses "male preference" within Indian culture. Do you think there is any male preference evident in American culture?
Value Orientations
All religious communities: 1,028,610,328
Hindus: 827,578,868
Muslims: 138,188,240
Christians: 24,080,016
Sikhs: 19,215,730
Buddhists: 7,955,207
Jains: 4,225,053
Others: 6,639,626

Source: Religion, Census of India 2001
From BBC:

Hinduism originated around the Indus Valley near the River Indus in modern day Pakistan.
About 80% of the Indian population regard themselves as Hindu.
Most Hindus believe in a Supreme God, whose qualities and forms are represented by the multitude of deities which emanate from him.
Hindus believe that existence is a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, governed by Karma.
Hindus believe that the soul passes through a cycle of successive lives and its next incarnation is always dependent on how the previous life was lived.
The main Hindu texts are the Vedas and their supplements (books based on the Vedas). Veda is a Sanskrit word meaning 'knowledge'. These scriptures do not mention the word 'Hindu' but many scriptures discuss dharma, which can be rendered as 'code of conduct', 'law', or 'duty'
16.5 million Roman Catholics
4.5 million Protestants
In AD 52, Apostle Thomas said to have visited India and created Christian Church
In 18th Century, Protestant missionaries present in India
Today, Christianity is quite prevalent in some areas of India and very sparse in others
Source: Post Colonial Studies at Emory
"Sikhism: 5 Things To Know About The Sikh Religion" from Huffington Post

1. Belief: Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, and the basic Sikh belief is represented in the phrase Ik Onkar meaning "One God."

2. History: Sikhism was founded in the Punjab region in India in the 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev. Sikhism broke from Hinduism due, in part, to its rejection of the caste system.

3. Scripture: The primary source of Scripture for Sikhs is the Guru Granth Sahib, regarded as the living Guru, after the final Guru in human form, Guru Gobind Singh, passed away.

4. Place of worship: A Sikh place of worship is known as the gurdwara. The word gurdwara means "doorway to God." Men and women normally sit apart in the gurdwara. Traditionally there is no official clergy within the Sikh tradition. Over time however, priests have become more commonplace.

5. The Five Ks: The Five Ks are the articles of faith that Sikhs wear as ordered by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Most Sikhs wear one or more of the articles but only Sikhs who have taken amrit, a ritual analogous to baptism, wear all.
India has second-largest Muslim population in the world
Most Indian Muslim are Sunnis
Muslims in India face high poverty and low-literacy rates
Muslim-Hindu violence
Muslims form a strong voting bloc within India

Source: Council on Foreign Relations
Originated 5th Century BCE in India
Siddhartha Gautama known as the Buddha (the Awakened or Enlightened One)
He saw suffering in the world and set out to find its cause and antidote. He used meditation/analysis and became detached from worldly sufferings.
His teachings summarized in Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path

Source: Patheos Library
From the Hofstede Centre:

"India, despite an intermediate score of 49, is a society with clear collectivistic traits. This means that there is a high preference for belonging to a larger social framework in which individuals are expected to act in accordance to the greater good of one’s defined in-group(s). In such situations, the actions of the individual are influenced by various concepts such as the opinion of one’s family, extended family, neighbours, work group and other such wider social networks that one has some affiliation toward."
From Asia Society:

"The caste system, as it actually works in India is called jati. The term jati appears in almost all Indian languages and is related to the idea of lineage or kinship group. There are perhaps more than 3000 jatis in India and there is no one all-Indian system of ranking them in order of status. Yet in each local area jati ranking exists and is very much related to purity and pollution. Each jati has some unique job, but not everyone in the jati performs it."
Indian Food
"Basmati rice -- is typically steamed, formed in molds and served in wraps, and seasoned with spices like cardamom, cumin, cloves, or mustard, and often mixed with nuts and onions."
Indian food varies greatly by region and caste, but there are some foods which are a staple in most Indians' diets.
"Bread -- naan and luchi (made from flour) and chapati (made with chickpeas), soft and crispy flatbreads"
"Dal -- innumerable combinations of legumes and vegetables, including lentil, chickpeas, potatoes and onions often made with a browned butter called ghee"
"Curries and spices -- delectable combinations of ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, dried hot peppers, and dozens of others"
"Paan -- leaves of a betal plant that are chewed to cleanse the palate between courses or after a meal; served washed and fresh and wrapped around fragrant spices, anise seeds, katha, choona (lime paste) and different nuts "
"Tea -- a national beverage since at least the 4th century, tea and socializing while enjoying tea are part of the Indian lifestyle. Darjeeling and Assam are just two of the countless varieties. Coffee and yogurt drinks are also popular"
"Chutneys -- thick condiments and spreads made from herbs like mint and cilantro and from assorted fruits and vegetables like tamarind and tomatoes"
"Coconut -- used to simmer rice, seafood and other ingredients and to sweeten or mellow sauces"

"Meat and seafood – fish, chicken and others; many do not eat beef because cows are considered sacred within the Hindu religion, as pork is forbidden within Muslim law."
Source: "How Indian Traditions Work"
Indian Life Style and Social Norms.
Family Hierarchy
Hierarchy plays an important role within Indian Families. Men outrank women of similar age. The elderly relatives rank higher up than the younger relatives. A daughter in law shows formal respect to her husband, to all senior in-laws, and to all the daughters of the household. Even sibling in Indian families recognize age difference and hierarchy. Younger siblings address older siblings by respectful terms instead of by name.
In the Household
The joint family is highly valued in India. It ideally consists of several generations all residing, working, eating and worshiping together. Families include men related through the paternal line, along with their wives, children and unmarried daughters.
Family Mechanics
The eldest male of the household acts as the family head. His wife supervises over her children and daughters in law, among whom the youngest has the least authority. Those with the most authority accept the responsibility of meeting the needs of other family members. Displays of affection between husband and wife are considered highly improper.
The Beginning and End
The birth of an infant is celebrated with parties of welcome and blessing. Usually done much more elaborately for a boy rather than a girl. Parents favor boys because their value in agricultural activities tends to be higher and after marriage a boy continues on living with his parents, and providing financial support for the family. Girls however are expensive, and drain family resources. Especially when a large dowry goes with her to her husbands home.
Death causes the restructuring of a family. Women of low rank are allowed to remarry where as women of higher rank are not. where-as any male can remarry. At the service the head mourner is usually the eldest son, or male in the household. They lead the service and say prayers for the deseased.
- Arranged marriages are strictly intra-religion and intra-caste.
- Families search for eligible partners for their children through word of mouth or marriage priests primarily
The Wife
Usually, a bride lives with her husband in his parental home. She accepts the authority of his senior relatives, performs household duties, produces children, especially sons to enhance the family line. Ideally she honors her husband, proudly wears the cosmetic adornments of marriage and cheerfully accepts her new role. If she is luck her husband will treat her with consideration, treasure her contributions to his household and allow her to continue contact with her natal relatives. Becoming a wife is a difficult transition for may women.
The Husband
The husband is the head of the household. He rules over everyone in the house. His authority increases with age. He is the ultimate decision maker. He cares and provides for his family.
based in Mumbai
Largest film producer in India
referred to whole Indian cinema when really not
After India next biggest watcher is Great Britain

Dadasaheb Phalke, father of Indian Cinema, released, Raja Harishchandra(a silent film) in 1913.It was India’s first full-length feature film. Bollywood was born!
India’s first 'talking and singing’ film – Alam Ara made by Ardeshir Irani and was released in Bombay(Mumbai) in 1931.
The 1950s were so crucial to India. Movies were about social issues re a tool to educate the masses.
The 1950s and 1960s produced some of India’s best films and actors.
Indian cinema finally found a way to extend itself globally at the turn of the 21st century due to technological accessibility and amenities.
two main classical music: Carnatic(peninsular region) and Hindustani(everywhere else)
Carnatic evolved from Hindi traditions.
Hindustani evolved from Persian and Islamic traditions.
Main difference is the time scale.
Hindustani popular in all parts except for the South.
High-Low Context
High-Low Power Distance
"India scores high on this dimension, 71, indicating an appreciation for hierarchy and a top-down structure in society and organizations."
"dependent on the boss or the power holder for direction, acceptance of un-equal rights between the power-privileged and those who are lesser down in the pecking order"
paternalistic leader
power is centralized
control is familiar, communication is top-down
Source: Hofstede Centre
Why India is high context:

"Within a high context transaction, the interactant will look to the physical sociorelational, and perceptual environment for information" (Neuliep, 2009).
Status is key.
Human Nature
Old age, male superiority, interdependence
Authoritarian,specific role behavior, low mobility
Prolonged group membership, pervasive formality
Inextricable bond of happiness and sadness, mixture of good and evil
Harmonious, Spiritual, Present Time

Humans controlled by supernatural, spiritual goals, balance of good and misfortune, faith and reason
2) In India, social mobility is limited by the confines of the Caste System. In the United States, we have belief in the American Dream, but some would argue that social mobility today is much harder than in the past. Is there an unspoken social hierarchy in America?
3) What do you think can be done to help women's progress in India?
4) Do you think prescribed gender roles help or hinder Indian society?
5) India is country rich with religious diversity. How do you think this affects the day to day life of citizens?
6) Marriage is of great significance in Indian culture. What are your thoughts on the universality of marriage?
Wedding Traditions
Brides wear Sari
The most common color of attire for the bride and groom is red, it symbolizes prosperity, fertility and marital bliss
Groom's wear dhoti
Groom's Party Before Wedding
At the Reception
The priest facilitates he marriage by reciting mantras and holy hymns, but doesn’t have the authority to declare them married. The bride and groom are considered wed when the groom ties a mangalsutram/thali which is a sacred thread that symbolizes his promise to take care of the bride as long as he lives.
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