12th Dec. 2017
 
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India Introduction  
 
Culture & Customs

Indian culture is predominantly influenced by the majority relgion of Hinduism. Still, people of India have learned to live in the multi-cultural society over the years. The most controversial aspect of Hinduism in India has been the caste system. There are four castes of the Hindus: the Bramhins, the Ksaytriyas, the Vaisyas, & the Sudras. The surnames indicate the caste of the individual. Some believe that pehaps the caste hierarchy evolved out of the political need to organize & control a vast population. Each caste has been assorted a particular set of professions: the Bramhins are teachers & priest, the Ksatriyas are the ruler castes, the Vaisya are the business people, & the lowest caste the Sudras are  the labourers, & menial workers. Howerver, Indian Cosntitution prohibit the caste discrimination, and especially the younger generation does not attach much importance to caste hierarchy.

Besides Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, & other religious culture also immensely enrich the Indian culture. 

Cutoms & Traditions:

Greetings:
People fold both palms in front of their face, and say “Namaskar” or “Namaste” to formally greet others. The juniors by relation, age, or status are supposed to do a “Namaskar” first to their seniors, & the seniors respond in the same manner. Alternatively, more religious ones, especially the village people also say “Jai Ramjee kee” if they’re Hindu, & “Salam - Walekum” among the Muslims. Nowadays, the city people shake hands among the equals, and do “Namaskar” to seniors.

Dandavat:
it’s more common to prostrate & put  one’s head on the feet of the  parents & holy people to bestow respect. The elder who expect to receive a Dandavat might be offended if they’re greeted only with “Namaskar”. However, a “Namaskar” is enough in social interactions, including with the foreigners.

Garlanding:
A garland made of flower is offered to the gods, and also to bestow respect in a formal occasion. If you’ve watched a Hindi movie, you must have seen the politician being garlanded after winning the election. Flower garlands are offered to the deities every morning.

Arati:
The Hindus pray everyday, especially in the temples.

Namaj:
The Muslims pray fives times a day.

 
 
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