MSc. prejudices and lack of communication with each

    

    
    
MSc. Energy Engineering

 

 

Prepared by:
Jaykumar Rameshbhai Rathod

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“Cultural Differences and Superstitions
Within India”

 

Culture
is the mixture of several things like fashion, music, artistry, behaviour,
social norms, architecture and even food and dress sense. A living, vibrating
and dynamic activity which engulfs the whole of living, in a certain period of
time. This is what makes up the whole panorama of our social fabric filtering
down from the upper strata to the basic roots, to the common man on the street.
The Indian Culture as we know it today is an assimilation of several social
behaviors. India has been a huge melting pot of various beliefs and behaviors
which make up the different cultures to become it. It is a composite culture
due to the multiple influences which have contributed to the creation of values
and ethics. The projection of our culture has definitely taken a nosedive but
something which has lasted, grown and emancipated over centuries cannot easily
be wiped out or disintegrated. It grows may be differently with time. It takes
generations to give a definite shape and keeps on adding to itself. It’s always
dynamic, something vibrating and acceptable to changes. India is well-known for
it’s varied culture and traditions and is one the of the oldest civilization
across the globe. India is the only birthplace of the four major religions in
the world that is Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Even India is the
home of Indus valley civilization which is one of the oldest amongst all the
civilizations in the world. The culture of India represents a mix of its long
richness and foreign influences. Warmth in the nature of people found here in
not found anywhere else in the world. Also, you will find and feel the Indian
culture in all cuisines, dresses, festivals, music, dance, literature,
monuments and so on…. And along with cultures and traditions there are
superstitions that comes with it. Further, I would like to describe about the
few of the cultural differences and superstitions in India.

 

Cultural
differences cause behavior and personalities differences like body language,
thinking, manners, communication, prejudices etc. For Example: The Cultural
difference between two main parts of India that is North and South India is so
immense that you will believe that they are two different continents. Even
residents of south and north have different prejudices against each other.
Those who are residing in northern part will think that south Indians are
backward and narrow minded and South Indians will think that north Indian are
spoilt brats and undisciplined. This prejudices and lack of communication with
each other will result in separation within country. Different culture would
have their own typical rules for which they are obliged to follow and accept
it. To have an effective communication between people of different cultures
within India they would have to accept their differences with open mind.

 

Ethnocentrism
plays an important role in hindering the communication between different
cultures. Ethnocentrism is forming a group of its own culture and other culture
are not considered as their part, which creates illusion that people within the
group are good and those who are outside of that are considered bad which I think
has negative impact. Due to this it affects the understanding, miscommunication
and encourages hostility. One of the best example of it in India is almost 80%
of Indians follow Hinduism and around 13% by Islam, because of these two
religions being so different in their culture have caused lots of religious
Riots like ‘Bombay Riots’, ‘Anti-Sikh Riots’, which has led to increased
differences and lack of contact amongst them.

 

Family
system plays an important role in India. There are two types of family system
in India that is Joint family and Nuclear family. Joint family is given more
importance in India as it is followed since long time. In joint family, nearly
2 to 4 generation live together which shows immense respect towards the elder
people at their last phase of life. To live in joint family is good but there
is problem with the productivity of individual. When any of the family member
comes out of the city for job opportunities they need to stay away for long
time which causes in the formation of nuclear family.

 

Joint
family has its advantages and disadvantages compared to nuclear family and
vice-versa. In Joint family, People living together in family has mutual
understanding between them so that they can understand everything without
hurting anyone. The basic necessity of all the members are always taken care of
in the joint family which gives security in terms of minimum subsistence for
living. Also, Proper care is taken for widowed, physically weak and disabled
people. There are few disadvantages of being in joint family in terms of
decision as individual are not included in taking major decisions of the
family.  

 

Nuclear
family also has its merits and demerits. You can spend more time with you child
as you don’t have to think about your whole joint family. The economic
resources are limited to its wife and children only. Also, nuclear family
prefer to have less number of children to give them better quality of life.
Their economic and emotional resources are not diluted as they used to be in
joint family. The family is also exposed to modern society that was not
possible in joint family. The family expense is also reduced which can be used
for savings for the future and for leisure. This has several disadvantages also
like the child is not well rounded and does not share their stuffs with all
siblings. Having a single kid can lead to loneliness as he/she cannot share
his/her feelings with other siblings.

 

Collectivism
-Marathi, Hindi, Urdu and other languages of India are representative of
traditional cultures which favor collectivism. Contacts with the
West, English education, and economic independence have promoted individualism
for the past twenty-five years. Yet, the majority of speakers remain relatively
collective. Collectivism is reflected in linguistic, semantic and
pragmatic structures. Fatalism – The concept of fatalism stems
from one of the most characteristic traits of Indian culture – spirituality.
The notion of Karma and that everything happens for a reason is still
significant in the decision making process of many Indians. It also influences
the concept of time in India and as a consequence business negotiation may take
longer and are never rushed.

 

In
Masculine society in India, Men are supposed to be tough, focused and material
success, while women are tender modest and concerned with quality of life. The
main aim of the masculine work was to have opportunity for higher earning, get
attention when needed, progress in your field. On the other hand, in feminine
society in India, emotional gender roles overlap, here both men and women are
tender, modest and concerned with quality of life. The aim of feminine work was
to have good relation with the manager, co-operating with the co-workers and
having employment security.

Indian
communication style has followed generally high context culture. Now, due to
westernization it is slowly transforming into the low context culture. In a
traditional low context culture several affairs are done at the same time which
leads to flexible timings. Low context culture has first priority for people
and relationships and schedules can be changed easily as per circumstances,
which does not work well with high context mindset where each of the task is to
be completed during which it is to be done.

 

Social
communication reflects environment of Indian social system. Illiteracy and
backwardness are the two main factors of a large section of population for the
social structure of Indian society. Due to linguistic diversity in India this
problem is becoming more serious. This has increased the gap between the elites
and the masses. We can clearly see these problems between high and low caste,
illiterates and literates, urbanites and realties. All
these social factors are the determining factors of the environment of Indian
social structure, social system and political system.

 

There
are lots of bad social practices that are carried since ancestors like Child
Marriage, Dowry, and self-immolation by a widow. These are the practices which
were followed by particular Hindu culture which were totally different in the
case of other cultures. Dowry (Bride price) is one of the worst practices that
was followed all over the world and is still followed in many countries like in
India. The reason for the origin of these practice seems to come from uneven
ratio male to female because in earlier time in India after independence, it
started decreasing. I would like to discuss a real-life incident in this essay.

 

There
was a girl named priya from lower caste with high ambition to become a doctor
but as her age was growing, her parents decided about his marriage in very rich
family even without his concern. When she refused the marriage proposal, her
parents locked her in a room and restricted his freedom till marriage date.
After, both families met there come the topic of discussion about “Dowry”. The
Groom’s parent asked for bride price of 50 lac (INR) and one car. After some
discussion the bride’s parents agreed on that price. 50 Lac is not small price,
her parents were not that rich. As they were poor, they sold their house and jewelry
to fulfill the bride price but unfortunately, they cannot accumulate huge amount
that they needed. At the day of marriage, the families met and bride’s parent
gave them the money and car. After counting all things, the groom’s parent
found that 10 Lac were missing, they just cancelled the marriage and the
ambition of being doctor of her was now a dream. Here the upper caste people or
the groom can demand whatever they want from bride’s family for marrying. These
practices are ugly truth of my society which is present and it’s needed to
changed.

 

Immolation of wife after
her husband’s death, “Sati” was also well-known practices in India from early 5th
century A.D. “Sati” is practice among some Hindu communities by which a
recently widowed woman commits suicide either voluntarily or by use of force or
coercion. The best-known form of sati is when a woman burns to
death on her husband’s funeral pyre. However other forms of sati exist,
including being buried alive with the husband’s corpse and drowning. There was biggest
incident regarding that in Rajasthan. After death of husband, 18-year-old
Roop Kanwar was burned to death by her father-in-law and brother-in-law who
forced them to sit on the pyre with her husband’s body. The society all over
the country is not same, there are some of the villages where there is no
communication at all or very less communication. They don’t know about the law
and order they far away from these things and sometimes they even can’t
understand things.

 

Now, after talking about
unusual practices let’s have some few discussions on “beliefs”, India is a
country where belief has no end. Beliefs has been passed down from generation
to generation. The faith has sprung with a purpose to protect from evil
spirits. But some were based on reasoning based on astrology. Here I would like
to explain some of the Bad superstitions in India with real life examples.

 

Uncommon
marriage is one of the Superstition that is not all over the nation but in the
rural area. In, India there was one case in year 2014 about uncommon marriage
in which one girl named Mangli Munda was married to stray dog with all the
ceremonies and rituals. The marriage was held as the local yogi told her that
the girl possessed ill-luck and if she marries any man, it will ruin his family
as well as whole community. Moreover, after marrying the stray dog it is
believed that all the bad luck will Passover with this marriage and afterwards
she could marry any other man without divorcing with the dog.

 

Sadhus
also called sages are the one who are trusted more than any family member
India. Though there are many sadhus we are fraud and cheats, rapes women are
trusted more in the name of religion. Even the ashes given by them is
considered as holy. “Terhavi” is one of the superstation that is believed at my
home. In this it is believed that soul of a dead person does exist in some or
the other form about the 11 days in the family. And the family becomes free
from the impurity of death after 12th day. To be free we need to
feed Brahmins, do some sort of charity to give peace to that soul.  

 

Sneezing
one of the common things in everyday life yet another belief in different part
of India. In Northern India, if anyone sneezes before he/she steps out of the
house is considered as ill-luck. Whereas in Western India, sneezing is someone
is thinking about you that may be your beloved one’s. In southern India, if
father sneezes before the birth of his child it is considered as good omen.
Finally, in Eastern India, especially in Bengal if person is talking about any
topic or person, if he/ she sneezes at that time then this will come true. So,
sneezing at different moment also describes different meaning.

 

The
superstitious people have classified the seven days of the week in the
different category. They believe that Tuesday and Saturday are not an
auspicious day to start a new work. On the other hand, Thursday is the best day
to start a new work. Isn’t it funny? 
Superstition in India is really a serious concern. People fall in the
grip of superstitions due to lack of education. Thus literacy rate of the
country needs to be improved to remove superstitions from India. Otherwise,
superstition will reduce the speed of development of our country.

 

In
many parts still people believe that if there is itching on right side of the
palm, there is possibility of good luck and you will gain something during that
day. And the most interesting and funny is if any crow starts to caw on the
rooftop of your house then you should expect arrival of guest. To
stop all of a sudden to see a cat crossing our path is a widely seen phenomenon
in Indian society. It is almost universally believed that this is likely to
bring failure to the mission of the person who is going to cross the road after
it first being crossed by the cat. Now, I would like to tell reason of rooting
this superstitious. For example, any person going on certain mission comes
across any animal and by chance he/ she is unsuccessful, he begins to believe
that it was caused due to that animal. If this incident is repeated several
time, the animal is considered as bad omen.

 

People
in the West still regard ’13’ as an unlucky number because at the Last Supper, Lord
Jesus dined with his twelve disciples and was later crucified. Salt was spilled
on the table on which they dined and, therefore, even now spilling of salt is
considered unlucky. They consider Friday as an inauspicious day to start a new
work. They also believe that going under a ladder brings ill-luck. Also, when
some is going to start his journey, if you see empty bucket or any old man then
it is considered as bad. A black spot on a fair lady is considered as
protection against an evil eye, while an unfair child is protection against
itself and evil eye. The sight of a meteor, howl of a jackal,
the wailing of a dog is more dangerous than a bank murderous robbers. If
we wear an iron bangle in our right hand, we will not feel afraid or scared
(frightened). Even in our sleep we will enjoy peaceful dreams. There will be no
disturbance. If a student eats curd or pudding while going to the examination
center, his paper will be easy and his success in the examination will be a
sure shot. It is all an idea of a silly mind. No one can reason out. If we try
to bring round to our scientific view, the people will give a hearty laugh
making us an ass. We will have to cut a sorry figure. In our heart of hearts,
we know that we are cent-per-cent correct, but we lack the courage to stick to
our guns.

 

Ignorance
is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge). In our country, there
exists a curious mixture of superstition and faith mostly arising out of
ignorance. Superstition involves beliefs, practices and procedures based upon
assumptions usually concerned with nature of cause and effects and mysteriously
connects unrelated incidents and coincidence with each other. Superstition destroys
one’s peace of mind creating insecurity.

 

The
reason I founded out why it is prevailing is due to illiteracy amongst the
people and also blindly following what others are saying. To
make the backward and superstition minded Indians enlightened, education should
be spread widely. Community plays very important role here as the person who
influences community knows whom he needs to manipulate other things will be
done by community itself. To get rid of this blind belief, the leader of the
community should be well-educated, honest, loyal to community and mature enough
to take decision so that this type of superstitions is not carry forwarded in
this era. Education cultiva­tes reasoning and thinking in a
human being and as soon as a per­son comes under the shelter of reason and
scientific outlook, he or she, becomes free from blind beliefs. Indians by
nature are fatalists and they do not apply their energy to work for the
better­ment of their lot. This is the greatest superstition which has
undermined and is still undermining the real prosperity of India.

 To conclude that, we are in such an era where
people are judging an individual on the basis of their outer appearance but not
on their inner beauty. The truth is we generally are more dissatisfied with
everything around us and that brings a very important point home, that like we
had to get rid of some of the religious superstition from medieval ages in the
starting of Industrial and Knowledge age, its high time we should also get rid
of scientific superstition, to bring the balance back where we don’t count
destruction of society and environment, and our souls as development. Science
says man is evolving and it is becoming more intelligent than the nature, and
now it is almost controlling all the forces of nature. Religion says man is
degenerating because the focus has come to external world, and not to inner
world. The focus is no longer in bliss, purity, truth, growth of consciousness,
the focus is in shopping malls, automobiles, apartments, wealth and investment,
mobiles, technology …Unfortunately many of such superstitions are very much
prevalent in India, especially in rural India.

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