THE CULTURE OF INDIA By: Janet Hanson Jessica Fields Marcuis Carter Molly Haddow Robert McQueen Tia Bouska November 18th 2011
INTRODUCTIONIndia is a country full of diverselanguages, customs, ethnicity, andreligious groups. Throughout thispresentation, the culture of Indiawill be analyzed to better achieveunderstanding in communicationtoward the unfamiliar. Within thispresentation we will be touching (Infoplease, 2005)on verbal (Molly H) and nonverbal(Marcuis C) rituals, formal (RobertM) and non formal (Janet H)clothing, and gender roles (Male:Jessica F; Female: Tia B). (Infoplease, 2005)
(Wolf, 2009)MALE AND FEMALE GENDER ROLES Male roles by Jessica Fields Female roles by Tia Bouska
TRADITIONAL ROLE OF WOMEN• India is a very male dominated society, looking to woman as only wives and mothers (World Trade, P, pg.1)• In his Manusmriti (Law of Menu), Mendu, a Hindu spiritual law giver says, “Her father protects (her) in her childhood, her husband protects (her) in marriage, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.” Although this comes from an ancient texts, these practices are still used (World Trade, pg. 1).• Women are treated with unequal measures, statistically showing that one and every five married women are subjected to domestic abuse (World Trade, P, pg. 1).• An extreme example of abuse is in the form of “dowry deaths,” where newlywed women are murdered or pushed to suicide then masked as a accidents to profit more dowry (money, goods, land) (World Trade P, pg. 1).• Women from lower classes, where traditional views are still abundant are forced to be dependent to their husbands and freedom is limited (World Trade, P, pg. 1).
CONTEMPORARY ROLE OF WOMEN• In all aspects of society, Indian women have taken on more independent roles as the economy liberated (World Trade, P, pg. 1).• A growing rate of woman are taking on head of household in the absence of men (World Trade, P, pg. 2).• Even after taking their husband’s name after marriage, woman have the right to hold their assets separately World Trade, P, pg. 2).• By India law, women have access to all educational facilities to seek higher education and follow careers goals (World Trade, p, pg. 2)..• Government has passed various laws to protect women’s rights along with encouraging the hopes of woman to have more activity in the public (World Trade, P, pg. 1).• Traditional practices such as child marriage, temple prostitution, and Sati (the burning of a widow alive on her husbands burial) have been completely outlawed (World Trade, P, pg. 1).
URBAN VS RURAL WOMENIndia’s economic and social classeshave a lot to do with the roleswomen play in their families andworkforce. Women from urbanterritories tend to practice themore “modern” side of women’sroles, whereas women from ruralregions have a more traditionalview on how they distinguishbetween independence (World delhiwithavinash.blogspot.comTrade, P, pg. 2). Rural women workin the fields and are a huge portionof the agriculture sector, whereUrban women make up the diversepart of the industrialized sectors(World Trade, P, pg. 2). photography.nationalgeographic.com
TRADITIONAL ROLE OF MEN • Men are dominant while women are more submissive, taking a back seat approach. • Men are the only ones to join the workforce. • Along with providing the financial income to the household, men traditionally decide how the money is spent. • Men traditionally do not dohttp://www.missionary-blogs.com/images/men-of-india.jpg housework. Instead, they go out to socialize with other men and worship at the temple everyday after working. (Aruna, Personal Communication. October 21st, 2011)
CONTEMPORARY ROLE OF MEN• Men and women are able to converse in more of an equal sense. Women play major roles in the household also.• Men take part in helping in the household and help women with the cooking.• Men are not the only ones allowed to work in the household; women are also allowed to work and bring in money.• Men take part in helping raise http://cdn4.gbot.me/photos/Ur/IO/1299010011/The_Three_Wise the children and don’t leave all _Men_in_Lit-India-20000000001560446-500x375.jpg of the work to the men (Trivedi, 2008)
ROLE OF MEN IN MARRIAGE • Men do not chose their wives, their parents do, and men do not meet the wives they are to marry until 3 months prior to the wedding. • Men can divorce their wives if their wife does not give him sons, causing a high divorce rate. • If a married male in the family dies, the eldest male in the family will then assume responsibility for the wife and children by taking care of them. • Once married the father-in-law and males that are older than the bride are not allowed to look at the bride face to face. The bride must wear a veil when speaking to these men. • Most middle aged men do not remarry if they ahttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VteNgA8CAp4/TS4whGmYqKI/AAAAAAAAAX0/uRttmN5 widowed. The young men are normally the only c4tM/s640/4.jpg people who get remarried. (Aruna, Personal Communication. October 21st, 2011)
(“Kahaani Ghar,” 2008)CLOTHING IN INDIAInformal clothing by Janet HansonFormal clothing by Robert McQueen
INFORMAL INDIAN DRESS• India is a country that has a magical and mystifying allure, with bright colored clothing, bangles and bells. It is diverse in culture and religion. It is through their choice of clothing that they communicate their social status or caste, religion, region, age and educational background. (Shukla. P, 2008).• The scarf or dupatta, is worn mostly by women, and can vary in style or print. It is draped over the breast, then hangs vertically down the back and over one shoulder to the front part of the body. Since it is usually flimsy, sheer cloth, it can also be used to cover her head and face for modesty purposes.(Shukla,P. 2008).
SALWAR SUITThe most common piece of informal clothingthat is worn by men and women of India, isthe Salwar suit, that consists of a threepiece outfit. The pant, the most commonchoice is the Churider pyjama, it has atightfitting drawstring waist, then thematerial blousons to the ankles and isfastened with tight fitting snaps. The tunicor Kurta, is varied in cut, it can be tight orloosely fitted to the body, and have eithershort or long sleeves. The most commonfeature of the Kurta is its length, it willalways fall between the upper thigh or wellbelow the knee. The men will wear thesepants with a jacket to complete their http://www.greatspectrum.comeveryday ensemble. (Shukla,P. 2008).
THE SARI • The sari is another form of clothing that communicates the age and the status of women. The styles of cloth ultimately are chosen by the men, since they are the buyers of the cloth and the weavers. Women may posses several sari’s, some for everyday wear and others for special occasions. The sari is one piece of unstitched cloth, giving a statement of being pure, this is why they are usually purchased by brides to be or married women of India. They are worn with a blouse and petticoats. They are usually chosen for their weave, color and texture (Shukla,P. pg 68). • The younger brides usually choose the bright, bolder colors of red, orange or yellow, to communicate their youth in their Sari. These colors will also be chosen for their ghunfat, the veil that young brides wear to cover their faces from the men in the household. The more maturehttp://www.ehow.com/how_7782408_dr married women will choose the lighter colors of ape-indian-sari.html blues and pale yellows to communicate their presence in the family. When a women becomes a widow, she will only wear the colors of white, black or brown to signify mourning. (Aruna, personal communication, October 21st,2011).
SHERWANIThe sherwani is a long coatthat buttons up the front andhangs down usually below theknee. Men spend lavishamounts of money for theseformal wears in preparation fortheir wedding night or specialoccasions. The sherwani is anexpression of ones wealth andstyle (Johnson 1996). Thesherwani contains a nehrucollar which stands up. Theclothing gets its origin fromPakistan, but has been www.culturalindia.net/indian-clothing/sherwani.htmladopted by the Indian culture.
LEHENGA CHOLI The lehenga choli is also a formal dress that is more modern. The lehenga choli are dresses that are embroidered with stones, zari, crystals, cori, mirrors, and sequins. This dress is more form fitting and meant to accent the curves of the body (Johnson 1996).www.fashiontipsforall.com/lehenga-choli/
(About, n.d.)RELIGION IN INDIA Verbal rituals by Molly Haddow
HINDUISM• Hinduism began around 1500 BCE and is the third largest religion in the world. It accounts for about 80% of people in India.• While lacking a unified system of beliefs and ideas, it combines very diverse traditions and beliefs. The dharma controls ones ethics and duties, it acts as the law or natural law. The samsara controls the rebirth, or reincarnation. Karma is controlled by performing the right action. The Moksha is liberation from the samsara cycle. (Das, n.d.)• Hinduism is an all inclusive way of life. The purpose of life is to attain freedom from the reincarnation cycle. To do this one must live life following the dharma. If successful and ones karma is resolved, they will attain moksha. If ones karma is unsuccessful, their soul will enter the samsara cycle and be born into a new body. (Das, n.d.)• Worship can occur at home or at temples so that one can think of divinity during every day life. Shrines are created at home with icons to celebrate their chosen god.• Devout Hindus worship daily after bathing at dawn. Worship includes chanting mantras, reciting scriptures, singing hymns or meditating.• Special occasions like birth, marriage and death, involve elaborate sets of religious customs. These rituals are called samskaras.
SAMSKARAS RITUALS• There are 16 main samskaras. They are rituals and sacrifices that cover every aspect of the Hindu life, from conception to death (Ayer, n.d).• There are two categories of samskaras. One is to encourage kindness from the gods. The other is to keep away or get rid of hostile and evil powers.• Ceremonies can be used to influence many things including health, wealth, intelligence, fertility and social status. It brings man or woman to their highest potential physically, psychically and spiritually to achieve the highest level of all-round human welfare.• Max Muller explained the ceremonies as “the deep- rooted tendency in the heart of man to bring the chief events to human life into contact with a higher power, and to give to our joys and sufferings a deeper significance and a religious sanctification.” (Ayer, n.d.)
EXAMPLE OF A SAMSKARAS• Namakarana is a ceremony for naming the child normally performed on the 10th or 12th day after birth. The father of the child and the priest invite guests over to start the ceremony.• The child is bathed and dressed in nice clothes. Several mantras are said as the parents provide offerings to the gods and feel the breath of their child to symbolize the awakening of its consciousness. They then speak into the child’s ear (Sudhi, 2010) three times to say “Your name is…” Once they are done, the elders of the group will also tell the child its name. (Ayer, n.d.)
(“Moving and Relocation, 2007)NON-VERBAL CUSTOMS Non-verbal rituals by Macuis Carter
GREETINGSWhen greeting anelder, there is also atouching of the feet of theelder, with the righthand, then touching yourchest. After this, is thepalms pressed together. (Caper, n.d)
GESTURES • Out of respect, it is common to remove ones shoes at places of worship, when visiting homes, and even in certain shops and businesses. • People beckon one another by extending an arm and making a scratching motion with their fingers, palm facing down. • The head wobble can mean (Culture Crossing, n.d.) various things depending on angle, expression and speed. • One usually eats with their right hand, as the left is considered unclean.
SYMBOLS• A tilak is a ritual mark made on the forehead between the eyebrows representing greeting, blessing or auspiciousness.• A bindi is an auspicious mark on a married Indian woman’s forehead, symbolizing Goddess Pavarti and female energy. (Caper Travel Company LTD, n.d)
CONCLUSIONWe have seen how the culture of India communicatesthrough all sources of verbal and nonverbal use. From theSari and Bindi of the married India women, to their religionof Hinduism, where the people pray to their Dharma, in thehopes of attaining Karma. We have seen how the societyhas moved forward in allowing women to work and receivean education. These are all positive ways thatcommunication has helped bring India that much closer intothe twentieth century. By each of us understanding moreabout the gender roles, age, religion, appearance and theculture of India in general we can learn to be more tolerantand adapt our communication techniques to build strongerrelationships.
OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS• 1. What was one thing your were surprised to learn about the culture in India? How would this affect your communication with someone from India, if you met them?• 2. After listening to this presentation, if you were going to India tomorrow, would you feel you would be able to adjust to the new culture better and be more prepared? Why• 3. What other information would you have wanted to learn about India other than what was in the presentation?• 4. Does India practice a masculine or feminine culture? What component from the presentation lead you to this conclusion?
REFERENCES CITED• Aruna, Personal Communication, Oct 21 2011.• Ayer, Sri VAK (n.d.). Sacraments – Samskaras. Retrieved November 5, 2011 from http://www.hinduism.co.za/sacramen.htm• Caper Travel Company LTD (n.d.). Customs in India. Caper. Retrieved from http://www.capertravelindia.com/india/customs-in-india.html• Das, Subhamoy (n.d.). Major Hindu Symbols. Retrieved November 17, 2011 from http://hinduism.about.com/od/artculture/a/major_hindu_symbols.htm• Das, Subhamoy (n.d.). Hinduism for Beginners. Retrieved November 3, 2011 from http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/p/hinduismbasics.htm• Hebbar, Jishnu (2010, March). Jishnu’s Namakarana photos. Yelagodumane Hebbars’ Spicysudhi. Retrieved November 6, 2011 from http://www.sudhi.com/add-on/slog/template_permalink.asp?id=364#• India (2005). Countries of the World. Retrieved on November 17, 2011 from http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107629.html• India Gestures (n.d.). Culture Crossing. Retrieved from http://www.culturecrossing.net/basics_business_student_details.php?Id=13& CID=96• India’s rural job portals covering new grounds (2009, October). Oneworld.net. Retrieved November 11 2011 from http://southasia.oneworld.net/ictsfordevelopment/indias-rural-job-portals- covering-new-grounds
REFERENCES CITED (CONTINUED)• Johnson, G. (1996). Cultural Atlas of India. Oxfordshire, England.• Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii bids adieu… (2008, October). India-Forums. Retrieved November 17, 2011 from http://www.india-forums.com/tellybuzz/news- releases/3318-kahaani-ghar-ghar-kii-bids-adieu.htm• The Importance of Nonverbal Communication (2007). Expats Moving and Relocation Guide. Retrieved on November 17, 2011 from http://www.expats- moving-and-relocation-guide.com/nonverbal-communication.html#index• Shukla, P. (2008). The Grace of Four Moons. Bloomington. IN: Indiana University Press.• Trivedi, G. (2008, April). Indias views on gender roles. Retrieved from http://www.helium.com/items/1005430-indias-views-on-gender-roles• Wolf, N. (2009, June). Feminism and the ‘Male Brain.’ Welt. Retrieved November 17, 2011 from http://www.welt.de/international/article3874549/Feminism-and-the-Male- Brain.html• Workers Planting Rice, India (2003, June). National Geographic. Retrieved November 11, 2011 from http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/enlarge/worke rs-planting-rice-india_pod_image.html• World Trade Press (2010). India Women in Culture, Business and Travel. Petaluma, CA: World Trade Press.
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