A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an by Prema Kurien

By Prema Kurien

Multiculturalism within the usa is usually lauded as a good social excellent celebrating the range of our kingdom. yet, in truth, immigrants frequently suppose burdened to create a novel formula in their id that doesn't replicate the variety of cultures that exist of their place of birth. Hindu american citizens have confronted this problem during the last fifteen years, because the variety of Indians that experience immigrated to this state has greater than doubled. In ''A position on the Multicultural Table'', Prema A. Kurien exhibits how quite a few Hindu American enterprises - spiritual, cultural, and political - try to reply to the confusing questions of identification outdoors their fatherland. Drawing at the studies of either immigrant and American-born Hindu americans, Kurien demonstrates how non secular principles and practices are being imported, exported, and reshaped within the technique. the results of this transnational move is an American Hinduism - an prepared, politicized, and standardized model of that that is present in India. this primary in-depth examine Hinduism within the usa and the Hindu Indian American group is helping readers to appreciate the non-public devotions, practices, and ideology of Hindu Indian americans in addition to their political mobilization and activism. It explains the variations among immigrant and American-born Hindu american citizens, how either comprehend their faith and their id, and it emphasizes the significance of the social and cultural context of the USA in influencing the improvement of an American Hinduism.

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The body of knowledge about India and Hinduism created by colonialists and their Indian collaborators, now described as “Orientalism,” fundamentally shaped the perceptions of Hinduism and Indian history of Hindu leaders from the colonial period onward. ” Van der Veer (1994, 133) summarizes the central elements of the orientalist framework: Inspired by the Enlightenment, orientalists brought modern philological methods and concepts to bear on India’s past. qxd 4/20/07 12:22 PM Page 31 hinduism in india 31 homogenized written one.

Was there water, bottomlessly deep? There was neither death nor immortality then. There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day. That one breathed, windless, by its own impulse. Other than that there was nothing beyond. qxd 4/20/07 12:22 PM Page 23 hinduism in india 23 Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning; with no distinguishing sign, all this was water. The life force that was covered with emptiness, that one arose through the power of heat. . Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it?

What is of importance to note is the contextsensitivity of dharma, since a person’s duties varied according to sex, varna, and stage of life (in addition to other factors, such as family and region). The most famous and earliest of the Dharma Shastras was the Manusmriti, or the Manava Dharma Shastra. Manu, the law giver, has come to be known for his emphasis on the importance of maintaining caste hierarchy and male supremacy. Other codes of laws existed, however (in fact, it was the British who “discovered” and canonized the Manusmriti), and as is true today, there was always a disjuncture between the brahminic, androcentric ideals enshrined in the texts and everyday practice (Narayanan 1999a, 34–36).

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