India - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette
Hindu texts present diverse and conflicting views on the position of women, ranging from These practices likely became widespread sometime in the 2nd millennium CE .. modest, organized, devoted to their husband and children, health conscious, Scholars have questioned the later date insertions, corruption and. In India, the topic has been a taboo until date. Keywords: Adolescent, attitudes, culture, female, genital diseases, health . Indian J Med Specialities. Hindu religious theory justifies the division of society into castes, with the . category of students, and even the acquisition of up-to-date textbooks can be a problem. India has a tradition of medical healing, teaching, and research that goes.
What are the roots of Hinduism? Hinduism developed over many centuries from a variety of sources: The combination of these factors is what accounts for the varied and diverse nature of Hindu practices and beliefs. Hinduism developed from several sources: Prehistoric and Neolithic culture, which left material evidence including abundant rock and cave paintings of bulls and cows, indicating an early interest in the sacred nature of these animals.
The Indus Valley civilization, located in what is now Pakistan and northwestern India, which flourished between approximately and B.
The civilization reached its high point in the cities of Harrapa and Mohenjo-Daro. Although the physical remains of these large urban complexes have not produced a great deal of explicit religious imagery, archaeologists have recovered some intriguing items, including an abundance of seals depicting bulls, among these a few exceptional examples illustrating figures seated in yogic positions; terracotta female figures that suggest fertility; and small anthropomorphic sculptures made of stone and bronze.
Material evidence found at these sites also includes prototypes of stone linga phallic emblems of the Hindu god Shiva. A caste is an endogamous unit with its own traditional occupation and rank. It is made up of a number of clans, which are also kin-based but are exogamous and often intermarrying units. The clan in turn is made up of smaller and more localized groups called lineages, which are also exogamous. A caste may include hundreds of lineages of varying size and status, depending on how many generations of depth they claim.
Major lineages commonly are composed of minor lineages, but the smallest are so localized that they are made up of a number of neighboring and closely related extended or nuclear families. Thus, a caste is endogamous, but all the kin-based units below it are exogamous and follow rigid rules about which clans or lineages are allowed to inter-marry.
Infant care is almost completely the responsibility of mothers, older siblings, and grandmothers. When the mother works in the fields or a factory, a grandmother commonly is the chief provider of daytime care for an infant.
After about the age of two, older sisters spend much of their time in this activity. Child Rearing and Education. Inthe government spent over 2 percent of its resources on education. Although the government's goal of eradicating illiteracy among people age fifteen to thirty five by the year has not been achieved, there has been a steady decrease in illiterary since the late nineteenth century. Among people above age six in52 percent were literate, a 9 percent increase from Kerala state has the highest rates of literacy.
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However, nationally there remains a great sexual disparity: While 64 percent of men were literate inonly 39 percent of women were. The central government is more interested in military power than in literacy, and millions of rural parents, especially Muslims, feel that the schooling of girls is a waste of time and money. Only the establishment of sixteen as the minimum legal age for marriage has made it possible for many girls to get their parents' reluctant permission to attend school.
While in earlier times missionary-run schools were important, especially in rural areas, in the last century local and state schools have educated the vast majority of students. Over the last half century universal school attendance for eight years, equal opportunities for female students, relevant vocational training, and improvement in the quality of classes and textbooks have been national goals, with an emphasis on free and compulsory education for everybody from ages six to fourteen.
However, there has been a recent growth of privately run schools, many associated with religious organizations, which tend to do a better job but commonly charge fees. There were universities inincluding thirteen central universities which are the oldest, best known, and best funded.
The rest are run by state governments or religious foundations. Funding, hiring professors, and setting educational standards in all universities are centralized through the University Grants Commission, which was established in About a hundred colleges throughout the country have an autonomous status, but others are branches of major universities within their states.
In there were 6. There are institutions that grant degrees in engineering and technology and 1, that award diplomas. Adult education programs combat illiteracy, lack of knowledge about family planning, and inadequate understanding of new farming techniques. Such programs tend to be more accessible in urban areas.
A major hurdle has been the language of university instruction. The central universities generally teach in English and produce graduates with internationally acceptable credentials, but most of the smaller universities teach in the local state language so that their students' skills are not easily transferable even to other parts of the country.
The opportunities for graduate study overseas are much reduced for this category of students, and even the acquisition of up-to-date textbooks can be a problem.
Etiquette Indians are usually very hospitable even when poor and go to considerable lengths to make a visitor feel comfortable. Women normally adopt a deferential attitude toward men, especially to their husbands and fathers-in-law. All the people tend to show deference to religious figures and government officials.
A woman decorates the streets with vibrantly colored rice powder paintings during a festival in Madurai, India. In the census, 82 percent of the population was enumerated as Hindu. However, 12 percent of Indians are Muslim, a fact that makes this one of the largest Islamic nations in the world.
The next largest religious category is Christians, who make up only over 2 percent of the population and are closely followed in number by Sikhs. The only other groups of numerical significance are the Buddhists less than 1 percent and the Jains less than half a percent. Rituals and Holy Places. The thousands of rituals and millions of shrines, temples, and other holy places of many faiths defy categorization here. For Hindus, large pilgrimage temples are the holiest centers, whereas for Muslims the tombs of saints pir are the most important.
For Buddhists, many of them overseas visitors, the sites associated with the Buddha are crucial. Death and the Afterlife. While Muslims, Jews, and Christians pray that their individual souls will go to a paradise after death, Hindu ideas about the afterlife are very different. Muslims, Jews, and Christians bury their dead in cemeteries, as do most Zoroastrians today.
However, Zoroastrians are Women walk on a trail through drying chilies in the Bundi District of Rajasthan. Most Hindu communities have a fundamental belief in reincarnation. The basic idea is that one's soul can be reincarnated for an unknown number of rebirths and that what the soul is to be reincarnated into depends on the balance of one's sins and good deeds in past lives. This belief provides the justification for the inequities of the caste system: One is born into a particular caste, whether high or low, as a result of the accumulated virtues or sins of one's soul in a previous life.
One can never hope to move out of one's caste in this life but may do so in the next reincarnation. Particularly evil individuals may be reincarnated as animals.
Hindus normally cremate the dead on a pile of logs, but the very poor may resort to burial. Extremely saintly figures may be buried in a sitting position, as are members of the Lingayat sect. Medicine and Health Care India has a tradition of medical healing, teaching, and research that goes back more than two thousand years to the two basic medical treatises written by Charaka and Sushruta.
Today the country has four major medical systems as well as dozens of localized and tribal ones that depend on herbal treatments. The oldest of the four systems is still widely followed under the name of Ayurvedameaning "science of long life".
It is highly developed, with its own hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical factories, and medical textbooks. It depends primarily on non invasive herbal treatments.
The diagnosis and treatment emphasize a holistic approach. Sidda is a distinct tradition that developed in south India and follows principles of physiology close to those of Ayurveda. Diagnosis depends on a careful reading of the pulse. Treatment is mostly herbal and psychological. A third medical tradition is called Unani. This system came to India with Muslim travelers and was developed under the patronage of the Mughals.
It emphasizes holistic diagnosis and treatment, but the theory of human physiology is distinct. All three of these systems attribute disease to an imbalance between underlying constituents. The fourth and most widely favored system is biomedicine, or scientific medicine. It has been used in the cities for three centuries and is practiced in the best hospitals and training colleges. India has about medical colleges.
Public health is a major concern of every state government because of the continuing incidence of epidemic diseases, high rates of infant mortality, and the need for family planning usually sterilization to control the growth of the population. The Arts and Humanities Support for the Arts. Historically, the arts flourished under the support of two main categories of patron: Over the last two centuries, the patronage of British residents and art collectors has become important.
In independent India, a national art institute, the Lalit Kala Akademi, promotes the visual arts through lectures, prizes, exhibitions, and publications.
The government supports the Sahitya Akademi, which was set up in to promote excellence in literature; the National School of Drama ; and the Sangeet Natak Akademiwhich promotes dance. India has some of the earliest literature in the world, beginning with Sanskrit, which may be the oldest literature in any Indo-European language. The Rig Veda is the oldest of the four Vedaslong religious texts composed in an early form of Sanskrit some time late in the second century B.
It was followed by three other Vedasall liturgical in character, and then by the principal Upanishads during the eighth through fifth centuries B. The first significant secular document in Sanskrit was a sophisticated grammar that fixed the structure of the language, probably in the fourth century B. Then, during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, the text of the great epic Mahabharatathe world's longest poem, was established around B. Both epics incorporated material from extant folklore.
By roughly the third century B. It was soon to become the most influential body of literature in the eastern half of Asia and has remained so to the present day, especially in Chinese and Japanese translations.
In that era the image of the social structure of India was codified by two books. During the late fourth century Kautilya, who is said to have been the prime minister Chanakya, wrote the Arthasastraa Treatise on the Goodwhich was rediscovered in Shortly thereafter came the compilation of Manu's Laws Manusmrti. This treatise on religious law and social obligation described in detail a society, possibly a utopian one, in which there were four caste blocks, the varnaeach of which had its own occupation, status, and religious duties.
This book continued to exercise an immeasurable influence on Indian society for the next two thousand years and the varna model is still a popular image of Hindu caste society. While its history is shrouded, it set the stage for an outpouring of medieval poetry in Tamil, a Dravidian language. Some of this work was devotional, but much was secular in its appeal, including the first known work of Indian women writers.
The most famous example of this poetry was the Purananuruan anthology of four hundred poems praising Tamil rulers. Equally important, the Kural was a collection of moral maxims compiled by Tiruvalluvar in perhaps the third and fourth centuries. It has been likened to a Tamil Koran. At about the same time, there was a flowering of Sanskrit drama in the northerly parts of India.
In the fourth or fifth century lived the greatest Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa. The best known plays that have survived from this era are Shakuntala and The Little Clay Cartthe former written by Kalidasa and the latter a comedy also perhaps written by him.
During the Middle Ages, science and philosophy flourished in Sanskrit texts. Perhaps the best known, if the least scientific, work was the Kama Sutra or a treatise on love by Vatsyayana, who wrote it in a legal style of Sanskrit in about the third century.
The Middle Ages witnessed an outpouring of religious and philosophical literature not just in Sanskrit, which was still the prime liturgical and scholarly language, but also in a number of regional languages. Logic, metaphysics, devotional poetry, and commentary developed over the centuries.
In the period — there appeared an important new philosophical literature in Karnataka, beginning with the Kavirajamarga. This was Jain A farmer leans under the burden of a harvest as it is carried to the top of a building in Zanskar Valley, Ladakh.
At the end of the twelfth century Lilavati was written by Nemichandra, the first novel in that language. It was followed by other allegorical novels, as well as Kesiraja's grammar of medieval Kannada.
Aroundanother Dravidian literature, in Telugu, made its debut with the grammarian Nannaya Bhatta and the poet Nannichoda. At about that time the Malayalam language became differentiated from Tamil. A century later the oldest known manuscript was written in Bengali. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Mukundaraj became the first man to write poetry in Marathi. Early in the fifteenth century two poets brought Bengali literature into prominence: Chandidas and Vidyapati, with the latter writing in Sanskrit as well as Bengali.
Contemporary with them were two Telugu poets, Srinatha and Potana, as well as the best-loved Hindi poet, Kabir — Kabir wrote in a medieval regional language closely related to Sanskrit. Although Kabir was a low-caste Hindu, he drew inspiration from Sufism and criticized the caste system, ritualism, and idolatry. He was followed in by the first important Muslim poet of India, Mohamed of Jais who wrote the allegorical poem Padmavat in Hindi.
Contemporary with Kabir was one of the greatest of woman poets, the Rajput Mirabai, who wrote in both Hindi and Gujarati. A century before her, Manichand had written an important historical novel in Gujarati. In the Hindi version of the Ramayana ,by Tulsidas, appeared it was to be a forerunner of numerous versions of the Ramayana in regional languages.
At that time there was a strong Persian cultural influence in some parts of the country. One ruler of the Muslim province of Golconda later Hyderabad was Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, a poet who wrote in both Persian and Urdu, which was a new form of Hindi containing many Persian words and written in an Arabic script.
Inthe Adi Granththe canonical text of the Sikh religion, was established in Punjabi. Thirty years later there appeared, also in northwestern India, a book in Urdu prose, the Sab Ras of Vajhi. In more southern parts of the subcontinent the middle of the seventeenth century also saw the writing of the Kannada poem Rajasekharaby Sadakshara Deva, the works of the Gujarati storyteller Premanand —and the influential Marathi poems of Tukaram — With the arrival of the printing press in south India, Tamil literature underwent a renaissance.
Culture of India - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family
His lengthy diary has been published in Tamil, French, and English. Another outstanding Tamil poet and bard was Tyagaraja. By the time of Nazir, the British hegemony in India was well established, and along with it went the spread of regional printing presses, the opening of the first modern universities, and the increasing influence of European literary forms, especially in the English language.
Large numbers of girls in many less economically developed countries drop out of school when they begin menstruating. The latter may have significant implications for their mental health.
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Many of the practices during menstruation have direct implications on reproductive health. For instance, not bathing during menstruation can lead to compromise in hygiene of the girl and thus lead to the reproductive tract infections. Else, the problem may be treated for a while but it would continue to recur with increasing severity. Strategies to Combat Menstruation Related Myths Based on the available evidence, it is pertinent to follow a strategic approach for combating the myths and social taboos associated with menstruation in order to improve the reproductive health of adolescent girls and women.
The first and foremost strategy in this regard is raising the awareness among the adolescent girls related to menstrual health and hygiene.
Young girls often grow up with limited knowledge of menstruation because their mothers and other women shy away from discussing the issues with them. Adult women may themselves not be aware of the biological facts or good hygienic practices, instead passing on cultural taboos and restrictions to be observed. There is also need to spread awareness among the school teachers regarding menstruation. Empowerment of women through education and increasing their role in decision-making can also aid in this regard.
Women and girls are often excluded from decision-making due to their lower literacy levels per se. Increasing the education status of women plays an important role in improving the health status of the community at large and overcoming the cultural taboos, in particular.
Provision of sanitary napkins and adequate facilities for sanitation and washing should be made available with the gender perspective. Increasing the role of the male partner and clearing the beliefs system of the male partner is also pertinent in combating deep rooted social beliefs and cultural taboos. Men and boys typically know even less, but it is important for them to understand menstruation so they can support their wives, daughters, mothers, students, employees, and peers.
Adolescent Friendly Health Services Clinics must also have trained manpower to address these issues. Thus, it is becoming clear that multi-sectoral approaches are needed. We need to link physical infrastructure and water and sanitation projects to health education and reproductive health programs and address the issue in more holistic ways. A study from rural Pondicherry. Indian J Med Specialities. Puri S, Kapoor S. Taboos and Myths associated with women health among rural and urban adolescent girls in Punjab.