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India: Traditional Patterns of Life

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India: Traditional Patterns of Life ... Laws of Manu Meant to keep people ... virtuous women ritual suicide when a husband died Banned by British during ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: India: Traditional Patterns of Life


1
India Traditional Patterns of Life
  • The traditional patterns of life in India
    revolve around the idea of duty

2
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?

3
Doing ones duty ensures the moral order of the
universe
Its better to do ones own duty badly than
anothers duty well
Introduction to Caste Video show later
4
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

5
Why has the caste system existed for so long?
  • Caste system deeply embedded in custom, and
    religious tradition.

6
The Caste System
  • According to the sacred texts (Vedas)
  • Rigid 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 Vaisyas 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

7
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8
Caste
  • not based on wealth
  • Gave role in society on rules to live by
  • Seen as holding a diverse group together
  • Divides today
  • 1000s of castes
  • Within castes there were levels, called jati
    subcaste
  • For example, in the Vaisya 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

9
Caste Rules
  • Complex Laws of Manu
  • 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

10
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

11
Caste Rules
  • Manners
  • greet in certain ways
  • lower caste not sit in presence of higher caste
  • Even names
  • Each caste had a council to enforce caste rules
  • Caste 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

12
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 clarifies butter use in cooking and
    religious ceremonies

13
Pandit Roop Chand, headman of Tajpur village
14
Other Aspects of Early Hindu Life
  • Family
  • Identified 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
15
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

16
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

17
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18
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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