India traditional patterns of life
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India: Traditional Patterns of Life. “The traditional patterns of life in India revolve around the idea of duty”. Closure. What are the drawbacks and benefits in a society where role and duties are clearly defined? What role does the idea of duty play in your life?.

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India: Traditional Patterns of Life

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India traditional patterns of life

India: Traditional Patterns of Life

“The traditional patterns of life in India revolve around the idea of duty”


Closure

Closure

  • What are the drawbacks and benefits in a society where role and duties are clearly defined?

  • What role does the idea of duty play in your life?


Doing one s duty ensures the moral order of the universe

Doing one’s duty ensures the moral order of the universe

It’s better to do one’s own duty badly than another’s duty well

Introduction to Caste Video show later


Caste family life village life

Caste/Family Life/Village Life

  • All gave a person a role in society and rules to live by to ignore would disrupt society

  • Gives structure


Why has the caste system existed for so long

Why has the caste system existed for so long?

  • Caste system deeply embedded in law, custom, and religious tradition.


The caste system

The Caste System

  • According to the sacred texts (Vedas)

  • System of social groups based on birth

    • 1: Brahmans – the priests/religious leaders who recite and learn the Vedas

    • 2: Kshatriyas – warriors, leaders, nobles, landowners

    • 3: Vaishyas – merchants and traders

    • 4: Sudras – those who work with their hands, included farmers, artisans, carpenters, etc.

    • 5: Untouchables (Harijan/Dalit) - included morticians and anyone who did unclean things, homeless

      • Harijan: Children of God


Caste

Caste

  • not based on wealth

  • Gave role in society on rules to live by

  • Seen as holding a diverse group together

    • Divides today

  • 1000’s of castes

    • Within castes there were levels, called jati – subcaste

    • For example, in the Vaishya caste, a store owner would be higher than a traveling merchant. In most cases, same rules of interaction would apply

  • Caste based partly on occupation


Caste rules

Caste Rules

  • Complex

  • Meant to keep people spiritually pure = moksha

  • Rule more strict for higher castes

    • Protect from spiritual pollution

  • Rules govern: cooking, eating habits, marriage, employment, clothing, worship, manners


Caste rules1

Caste Rules

  • Interactions between castes were limited, most interaction was top down

    • Clappers for lower castes – shadow impure

    • Marriage limited to own caste and even jati

  • Each caste even has dietary restrictions

    • Brahmans are vegetarians

      • eat only food prepared by other Brahman

    • Other castes could be limited to certain meats and spices


Caste rules2

Caste Rules

  • which Gods to worship

  • where to live

  • what to wear

  • Manners:

    • greet in certain ways

    • lower caste not sit in presence of higher caste

  • Each caste had a council to enforce caste rules

    • Panchayat: self-governing of an Indian caste

  • Created interdependence: stability and order

    • Castes looked after their own but depended on other castes

  • Caste video – Caste Video YouTube 5 minutes


Village life

Village Life

  • Most common

  • Basic unit of society – varied in size – variety of castes

  • Headman:

    • governed the village – landlord – inherited position

    • Made decisions – organized work projects

  • Self-sufficient = all jobs based on caste

  • Landlord: controlled most land

    • Tenant farming: paid with part of harvest

  • Cattle economic importance: plowing, transportation, milk products

    • Ghee


India traditional patterns of life

Pandit Roop Chand, headman of Tajpur village


Other aspects of early hindu life

Other Aspects of Early Hindu Life

  • Family

    • Indentified first with family

    • Joint families (everyone lived together) – like extended family

    • The eldest male led the family (patriarchal) – may consult with wife

    • Property belonged to every member of the family

Father Knows Best


Other aspects of early hindu life1

Other Aspects of Early Hindu Life

  • Children and Parents

    • Children learned from their parents (how to follow their caste)

    • Arranged marriages: page 192

      • Children little or no say

      • to benefit family

      • girls became part of husband's family

      • In some parts of India, the marriage of a daughter included a dowry: gift to groom's family

      • Higher the caste more costly


Other aspects of early hindu life2

Other Aspects of Early Hindu Life

  • Women

    • Few rights – obey husband

    • Duties: marry, wait on husband, bear sons

    • Influence within the family

      • Shakti: creative energy – women had but men controlled – men incomplete without women

    • Higher castes: purdah: seclusion

      • public had to be covered (like Muslims)

    • Sati/Suttee – virtuous women

      • ritual suicide when a husband died

        • Banned by British during 1829

        • Legally from 1856 widows were allowedto remarry


Closure1

Closure

  • What are the drawbacks and benefits in a society where role and duties are clearly defined?

  • What role does the idea of duty play in your life?


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