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Dating Differences Between American & East Indian Cultures | Dating Tips

east indian culture dating

In India, arranged marriages still remain the majorly preferred way for and the prospective bride and groom just show up at the prearranged date of marriage. East Indian and American dating cultures are both very diverse and can vary by religion, geographic location and regional backgrounds. Typically, East Indian. And the result—strange e-mails from boys' fathers and stranger dates with . maybe even the cute girl you tried to pick up at a Lower East Side bar last night.

Land Tenure and Property. In an economy based on agriculture, the ownership of land is the key to survival and power.

In most parts of the country, the majority of the acreage is owned by a politically dominant caste that is likely to be a middle-ranking one, not a Brahmin one. However, the various regions still have different traditions of land tenure and associated systems of land taxation.

India has only recently seen the last of the rural serfs who for centuries supplied much of the basic farm labor in some parts of the country. There are still numberless landless wage laborers, tenant farmers, and landlords who rent out their extensive lands, and rich peasants who work their own holdings.

India has had many traders, transport agents, importers, and exporters since the days of the Indus civilization four thousand years ago. Market places have existed since that time, and coinage has been in circulation among urban people for years.

In modern times, an expanding investment scene, combined with continuing inflation, has formed the background to an extensive import and export trade. The major industries continue to be tourism, clothing, tea, coffee, cotton, and the production of raw materials; in the last few years, there has been a surge in the importance of the computer software industry. The modern infrastructure was created by the British administration in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The country still relies on a vast network of railroad track, some of it electrified.

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Railroads are a government monopoly. Roadways, many of them unsurfaced, total about 1. The first air service, for postal delivery, grew into Air India which, along with Indian Airlines, the internal system, was nationalized in In the s a number of private airlines developed within the country, while international connections are provided by a multitude of foreign companies as well as Air India. Political animosities have long ensured that trade with neighboring South Asian countries remains minimal, although there is now considerable transborder trade with Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

The division of work is based on gender. Age also separates out the very old and the very young as people unable to perform the heaviest tasks.

Those jobs are done by millions of adult men and women who have nothing to offer but their muscles. Beyond these fundamental divisions, India is unique in having the caste system as the ancient and most basic principle of organization of the society. Each of many hundreds of castes traditionally had one occupation that was its specialty and usually its local monopoly. Only farming and the renouncer's life were open to all.

Social Stratification Classes and Castes. The caste system is more elaborate than that in any of the other Hindu or Buddhist countries. Society is so fragmented into castes that there can be twenty or thirty distinct castes within a village.

This society has a hierarchy of endogamous, birth-ascribed groups, each of which traditionally is A family at the Taj Mahal, one of the most famous buildings in the world. Because an individual cannot change his or her caste affiliation, every family belongs in its entirety and forever to only one named caste, and so each caste has developed a distinctive subculture that is handed down from generation to generation. Hindu religious theory justifies the division of society into castes, with the unavoidable differences in status and the differential access to power each one has.

Hindus usually believe that a soul can have multiple reincarnations and that after the death of the body a soul will be reassigned to another newborn human body or even to an animal one. This reassignment could be to one of a higher caste if the person did good deeds in the previous life or to a lower-status body if the person did bad deeds. The highest category of castes are those people called Brahmins in the Hindu system; they were traditionally priests and intellectuals.

Below them in rank were castes called Ksatriyaincluding especially warriors and rulers. Third in rank were the Vaisyascastes concerned with trading and land ownership. The fourth-ranking category were the Sudrasprimarily farmers. Below these four categories and hardly recognized in the ancient and traditional model, were many castes treated as "untouchable" and traditionally called Pancama.

Outside the system altogether were several hundred tribes, with highly varied cultural and subsistence patterns. The whole system was marked not just by extreme differences in status and power but by relative degrees of spiritual purity or pollution. A curious feature of the caste system is that despite its origins in the Hindu theory of fate and reincarnation, caste organization is found among Indian Muslims, Jews, and Christians in modern times. In the Buddhist lands of Korea, Japan, and Tibet, there are rudimentary caste systems, their existence signaled especially by the presence of untouchable social categories.

Architecturally, professionally, and in other ways, they are therefore the most Westernized cities in India today. In these cities and their suburbs, there is now a developed class system overlying and in many respects displacing the more traditional caste system. As a consequence, there are many modern cases of intercaste marriage in all the cities, although this practice remains almost unthinkable to the great majority of Indians.

There are many symbols of class differentiation because each caste tends to have its own persisting subculture. People's location in this stratification system thus can be gauged accurately according to the way they dress, their personal names, the way they speak a local dialect, the deities they worship, who they are willing to eat with publicly, the location of their housing, and especially their occupations. The combination of all these subcultural features can be a sure sign of where individuals and their families are situated in the caste hierarchy.

The national system of government is a liberal democratic federal republic, making India the largest democracy in the world. The country is divided for administrative purposes into twenty—eight linguistically—based states, plus a further seven small "Union Territories" administered directly by the central government in New Delhi, the national capital. Leadership and Political Officials.

The states all have legislative assemblies Vidhan sabha and legislative councils Vidhan parishad. Members of parliament and the state legislatures are selected in democratic elections. An exception to this procedure is that the Lok Sabha has two seats reserved for Anglo-Indian members, and of the 4, seats in all the state legislative assemblies, have been reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Castes and a further for candidates from the Scheduled Tribes.

These provisions have ensured that the main minority populations have legislative representation and an interest in pursuing the electoral process. The Lok Sabha recently had sitting members from twenty one different parties. State legislatures also host a multiplicity of political parties. The head of state is the president, and there is also a vice-president, neither elected by general franchise but instead by an electoral college.

The president is aided by a council of ministers, and appoints the prime minister of each government. This prime minister is the leader of the dominant party or of a coalition of prominent parties and has been elected as a member of parliament. The president has the power to dissolve a government and order new elections or to dismiss a problematic state government and declare "president's rule. Indians have lived under the rule of law since ancient times.

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Hindu law was codified over two thousand years ago in the books called Dharmasastras. There is now one legal hierarchy throughout the land, with the Supreme Court at its head. The constitution promulgated in went further than any other South Asian country has gone in curtailing the influence of traditional legal systems that in practice applied only to the followers of a particular religion, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Parsi.

The huge legal profession helps push cases slowly through the complex apparatus of magistrates' and higher-level courts, sometimes creating the impression that litigation is a national sport. While fines and imprisonment are the most common punishments, the Supreme Court has upheld the legality of the death penalty.

Five wars with Pakistan and one with China since independence have provided training for several generations of soldiers.

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India thus has a strong program of national defense, with four national services: Inthese branches An Indian shopkeeper with his wares. Small shops still make up a big part of the Indian economy. Inthe nation exploded a nuclear bomb as a test. Social Welfare and Change Programs Traditionally the family was responsible for the care of the poor, incapacitated, elderly, and very young. For rural populations this is still largely true.

In recent decades, underfunded state governments, often with international help, have tried to create more jobs for the poor as a direct way of helping them. Beyond this, welfare organizations have helped, but they are largely private and often religious foundations with relatively little financing.

The population in need of social welfare support is too vast for the facilities that are available, and these people are disproportionately concentrated in the cities. Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations There are numerous nongovernmental organizations of social, political, religious, educational, or sporting natures.

Every village, town, and caste and most temples have at least one associate formal organization and sometimes dozens. Beyond some attempts at registration, for example, of cooperative societies and charitable endowments, the government does not attempt to control organizations. Gender provides the basis for a fundamental division of the work force, with perhaps only the lowest day-labor jobs and the most modern professions being regularly staffed by people of both genders.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. This is true in all family systems except the defunct matrilineal system of the Nayar castes in Kerala. Within all branches of Hinduism, priests can only be male, though they may be boys. In Islam, the leaders of a prayer group are males. In Zoroastrianism and Roman Catholicism, only men can function as priests. It is said that a woman must first obey her father, then her husband, and then her son; this seems to be the normal pattern as she goes through life.

The opinion of the male head of household is especially important in the arrangement of marriages, because in most religious communities these are effectively marriages between two families. At such times, romantic preferences get little consideration.

Since it is the male head who typically controls the family's finances, it is he who pays or receives a dowry at the time of a child's marriage. Although older women may be very influential behind the scenes, they wield little legal authority in property and marriage matters.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship Marriage. Although the different regions and religions have considerable variety in marital arrangements, the arranged marriage is a traditional feature of virtually every community; today, except among the urban middle classes, it still is widely practiced.

Marriages that are not arranged by the couple's parents, often termed "love marriages," are looked down on as impulsive acts of passion. The more usual style of marriage unites a couple who have barely met beforehand. It is through the institution of arranged marriage and its correlate, caste endogamy, that parents exercise control not only over their adult children but also over the social structure and the caste system.

Generally, the country has two main types of marriage: Many south Indian castes also permit uncle-niece marriage.

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Maharashtra state has intermediate forms. The residential unit is normally the household, but this unit varies widely in its structure, from housing a large extended family of three or four generations to a household made up of a lone widow. In large buildings with many rooms, it is common to find a number of discrete households, especially in cities; each of these households may be distinguished by its use of a common cooking hearth and perhaps by depending on a common source of funds.

In crowded urban conditions, each room may constitute a separate household, as may each small grass hut in a roadside encampment.

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The written will is largely unknown except in modern urban areas. The tradition has always been that sons inherit property and status from their fathers and that daughters can hope to receive a dowry at the time of their marriage. However, there is much local and caste variation in precisely who inherits. In some groups, the oldest son inherits everything and then makes an accommodation for his younger brother and provides his sisters' dowries.

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  • Arranged Marriage
  • Dating Differences Between American & East Indian Cultures

In other groups, the brothers may inherit equal shares, except that the youngest brother inherits the house. Other patterns occur, but in general, although modern law states that daughters should inherit equally with their brothers, this almost never happens except in Islamic families. The largest kin-based group is the caste, of which there are several thousand.

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.

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.

A Modern Indian Woman's Struggle with Arranged-Marriage

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.

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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. In East Indian cultures, monogamy among married couples is the standard and dating is not typically allowed until a marriage has been agreed to. Most Indian people only date this one person their whole lives. Exceptions are made in larger, more westernized cities such as Delhi and Mumbai where males and females have more interaction with each other before marriage.

Promiscuity In most American dating cultures, promiscuity is the social norm. Women feel increasing pressure to carry on intimate relationships with men they do not intend to marry, and these relationships, though not highly prized, are socially acceptable. In East Indian dating cultures, promiscuity is extremely taboo and even limited encounters between males and females is strictly reserved for marriage.

Most Indians maintain their chastity until they are married or face ostracism by the community as well as parents. Online Dating Online dating has become increasingly popular in American culture.

Many men and women sign up for dating sites as a means of meeting someone they are more compatible with but might not have otherwise run into in their daily lives. A recent report mentions that more than 30 percent of Americans look for potential and compatible mates online.