Indian culture has been changing within the last few years because of the threat of western culture. Westernization is effecting one of the oldest and richest cultures and taking away the traditions, customs, and family values which were once predominant in traditional Indian culture. Modernization involves a transformation in beliefs about what sort of material world functions; westernization requires an alteration in cosmological viewpoints about how you need to live their life. Produced by Muslim invasion and European colonization, India's history commences with the Indus Valley Civilization. Their culture is formed by all different countries and backgrounds. Changes are being manufactured in every area including religion, dance, and music mostly within the Bollywood films. Through movies watched in class and the books The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, I have found these represent most the disintegration of close familial bonds in Indian culture today.
Traditional Indian culture can be expressed in five major categories. Starting with humanity, people of India are believed of for his or her humanness and calm sense of being without harshness in their ways of thinking. Tolerance also plays a huge part in a normal Indian. One understands the different races, beliefs, and practices brought into their country and doesn't step back and judge. Although there are caste systems in India, unity of citizens helps create a solid bond between everyone of the united states. Despite their religious backgrounds, India is a secular country meaning they may be openly willing to share their thoughts and opinions about their religious beliefs. Finally all families are closely knit. Grandfathers, fathers, and their sons each is thought to have the same spirit, tradition, and possessions.
A strict social hierarchy system has been set in place for quite some time and is area of the traditional Indian culture. A joint family system is an important part of the way people live. Parents, children, their spouses, and other family all stay in the same house. That is thought to help develop a close bond among all family. The rules of the house are setup by the oldest adult male. The males generate the meals and money for the family in order to survive. The females or wives of the males do non educational work and are believed of to be housewives. Supposedly, Indian men and women are believed of to be equals. However, these laws are weakly enforced because women aren't permitted to own their names aside from a piece of land. Leading into a far more westernized setting within the city, women are permitted to be a prominent figure in society and hold jobs and the rights to their own name.
In Ancient India, women had the same status as men. That they had the same educational opportunities in the Vedic period and were married at a normal age to a husband of the choosing. Venturing into the medieval period, women were given fewer rights. They started performing child marriages and women whose husbands died were not permitted to remarry. Rather than living alone or with another husband, a widowed woman has to live in a residence with other widows in poor conditions. They are really permitted to leave during certain hours but do not have much freedom. In parts of India, women were rooked. However, even under these conditions, women were extremely well in politics, literature, education, and religion. Even in elements of South India, women were reported to be in charge of villages, towns, and institutions.
Sati, jauhar, and devadasi have been banned from modern India. Sati is where in fact the widow were required to commit suicide by fire on your day of her husband's funeral. It had been reported to be a voluntary performance but sometimes it was forced after the woman. Another tradition, jauhar, is when all the wives and daughters of defeated warriors committed suicide. Purdah is he practice of earning women cover their skin so you can't see their body figure. It creates women unable to interact freely.
Indian families have arranged marriages in which their parents and other family select the spouse with some input from the couple themselves. Set alongside the United States, India's divorce rate is suprisingly low and marriage is regarded as life. India currently has the lowest divorce rate at 1. 1% set alongside the top two countries Sweden and america in the 50% range. A lot of people here usually marry in their 20s or 30s, but in India over fifty percent of the ladies marry prior to the age of 18.
Arranged marriages play a huge part in the roles of children in India. The parents and other family members reach decide who their child marries based on different traits. Divorce is not found often in India and it is looked down after by the Hindu religion. The caste system plays a huge part in the pickings of any spouse. It is said that you are placed into a caste system based on your previous life. You have the ability to progress in the social chair when you are reincarnated, only if you do above and beyond what was expected for you. An example of this would be a group called the "untouchables", where they were looked down upon for doing petty work and earning little money. The caste system was important through the rule of the British Empire but is now abolished.
The westernization of India has greatly influenced the traditions, customs, and family values. Today, the respect for others has greatly decreased throwing out the original humanity Indian people. The idea of joint families is decreasing and families want to stay separate from one another. In a traditional Indian culture, one would care for the others around him and not just for himself. Also in today's situation, both couple will work so there exists nobody at home to provide for the children. A lot of times a kid is being watched by someone beyond the family and aren't getting the rich, cultural childhood their parents have had. Slowly all customary Indian values are fading and everyone is moving onto a more western culture.
"It really is acknowledged that modernity has various distinct aspects: the rise of the capitalist professional economy, the growth of modern state institutions and resultant transformations in the nature of social power, the emergence of democracy, the decline of the city and the rise of strong individualistic social conduct, the decline of religion and the secularization of ethics" (Kaviraj). This statement basically states that if India continues to modernize, individuals changes in their culture and beliefs in trade for an improved technological economy. In trade for losing some of the past culture India is becoming a far more economically stable country.
However I do believe the modernization of India is a good thing. Even though the Indian folks have improved their life-style, their principles and beliefs have remained constant. A person can alter their clothing or the foods they eat, but their deep understanding and commitment to the culture won't be studied away.
A traditional Indian family treats the guests of their home as gods and serves them even in a down economy. A guest never leaves the home hungry. The respect towards older people is a major factor in the culture. Older people drill ideas and pass on their stories as their grandchildren grow older. The biggest age group moving on the westernization is teenagers. Indian culture is disappearing in their lives and no longer is feeling proud to be Hindi.
A Fine Balance portrays how strong family bonds were at onetime. Inside the story, Dina's brother Nusswan controls her because he's the dominant male figure of the home. Their father passed on when these were young and Nusswan progressed into a traditional Indian man who is the "bread winner" for the two of them. His rules were very strict even to the stage where he would abuse Dina in order for her to learn the original Indian culture.
What was so interesting about this story is the fact Dina had to move from her brother and undertake the challenges of working and living by herself. This might seem like a non-traditional approach to life with out a husband, but she managed to get work by hiring people to work for her and even consuming someone for extra cash.
Dina lives by herself and works as a tailor. She is looked down after by the original Indian culture. However since she lives in the city, they accept her to be not married and an operating woman. These examples show the way the modernization in India has effects on just how women live their lives. A female in a normal Indian culture wouldn't normally work for the money and would do household work while taking care of her husband and children.
Throughout the book Interpreter of Maladies, I noticed certain "modern" trends which were specifically positioned in the stories showing how India is changing. The title of the book is intended to say how people interpret afflicting modern societies. The stories told in this book tell the lives of Indians separating from other traditional roots. The stories give multiple examples of individuals steering off course of the strict customs they have got inherited through their ancestors.
In The Interpreter of Maladies, Mrs. Das for example sits in the taxi with her sunglasses and offers nobody else her snacks while her family is outside touring. India is known for the sharing of food and communication within groups of people. This example shows us how Indians are growing away from the initial roots. In another short story within the book, Mrs. Sen shows us the power that material objects have over people. In Indian culture, these intangible objects shouldn't dominate your daily life or have one obsessing over them. However, Mrs. Sen keeps discussing the items she once had and was familiar with, even if it was her vegetable cutting blade. This story shows the power that material objects holds over people nowadays.
In American culture, I think that individuals always want more of what they do not have. In a traditional Indian culture, a person deals with what they have and focuses more on family values and beliefs rather than objects.
"Sexy" is the next short story telling the life span of a woman Miranda and her affair with a married man. Miranda knows little of the man's Indian culture. This type of affair is not looked on after to be right within India. Another example of culture within the storyplot is when Miranda attempts to buy an Indian food mix from the supermarket only to be told by the worker it'll be too spicy on her behalf. This highlights the fact that she feels uncomfortable around Dev, the Indian man she actually is seeing.
In the final short story, The Third and Final Continent, a guy is telling his life story starting in London right after he left India. The story leads to discuss an arranged marriage by his Indian Family. The girl and him are wed and eventually end up in the us being unsure of anything about each other; these are complete strangers. An elderly woman brings them closer as they share their first laugh and have a real conversation as they get to know each other. This story was different than the rest for me personally since it told a story of an couple learning the other person in a "normal" way. In a normal Indian culture this is how a marriage would actually work. It is interesting to note that the couple eventually had a family group because I would think it might be hard being unsure of who your spouse is before you make a commitment.
Even though most people may say Indian culture is slowly being ignored in the present day, Personally i think like everyone grows from their traditional roots. However, I think that everyone still possesses traits of these ancestors and is also interested in their culture. Wish young person today isn't considering the same type of things that their parents were, they will eventually want to learn things about the "olden days. " In the society where we live today, family is of much importance. They teach and condition us in to the people we will become one day.
An Indian traditionalist would argue and say India citizens should find out about their culture at a young age and experience different traditions such as coping with your whole family. Indian culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures in the world today. Modernization and westernization are changing the way people look the traditions, customs, and family values which were once predominant in traditional Indian culture. However, the folks of India I believe are still holding true with their traditional side by blending in a fresh newer era.