The Caste System

Egyptian social structurecaste-systemToday, I was going to post on death rituals or mummification and reincarnation but as I was doing research, I got interested in learning about caste systems in India and ancient Egypt.   I always feel  a tad tenuous speaking as an authority on subjects, I have only read about…I dip my toes gingerly  into the pool of history and beliefs of cultures not my own. I would be most happy if any readers from India and or Egypt would step in and make corrections or comments. I can only say I have the deepest respect for both these cultures and the accomplishments and  ideas they have given to the world both then and now. Please know that any mistakes I make are not malicious but because I lack the knowledge.

First a caste system is defined as a way to organize society into groups based on heredity. For Americans, we can understand this by the English system. It was ordered on a system of  marriage only from the same group and heredity as a transmission for occupation, though education has become more important since the industrial revolution. And of course, Prince William married Kate Middleton, a commoner, and she will one day be Queen of England. They met and graduated from  St. Andrews  College in Scotland.  This   is quite similar to the caste system in India. And before we American deny a caste system here. . . . . have you noticed that most politicians come from a few select ivy league collages?

Since the ancient Egyptian system is no longer in use, unless my Egyptian friends can elaborate, I will just talk about the Indian system. The charts are pretty self-explanatory so I have only a few comments to make. It is interesting to see similarities in the two charts of systems that started  so long ago. In India, there used to just be the top four classes, until Mr. Gandhi , the father of modern and free India, made a lower caste called the untouchables, Dalits or the “children of God.” The Indian constitution has outlawed the caste system and has instituted  “affirmative action” programs to help these people with the challenges in their lives. I think of the programs for hearing, speech , and sight impaired  Indian people I blogged on earlier. Both of these are private organizations, though I am sure that the government has programs as well.

https://talesalongtheway.com/2013/06/19/the-blind-at-your-doorstep/

https://talesalongtheway.com/2013/06/18/good-citizen-kfc/

Today in India, there is a different approach to the caste system in the cities than in the villages.  In the cities with the rising middle class consisting of 50-75 million people, the emphasis has shifted more to education leading to work and marriage.   But in the villages, the caste system still usually dictates marriage rituals, births, deaths and occupation for all who lived there. Habits passed down from generation to generation are difficult to change.

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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92 Responses to The Caste System

  1. sudharsan says:

    The problem is you can’t outcast the caste in India……Because politicians are using caste name & schemes for their election campaign…In the name of improvement to the so called dalits they are feeding a monster called RESERVATION….I have said this about in one of my article….If you wish you can go through it…it might be useful to know the present caste system of India to a certain extent…. http://viruvasan.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/relegate-reservation/

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  2. Baldeep Kaur says:

    As per one of my uncles, caste system was merely an occupation based hierarchy system in ancient times. It also dictated that the children will continue to do the kind of work their father did and did not have an option to venture out.

    I do not know when it turned religious and my knowledge is very limited on this subject.

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  3. A very educational post Anne. you are right habits passed on from generation to generation are hard to change.

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  4. cutie says:

    insaan apne guno se upar uthta hai unche staan pr baith jane se nhi..caste n community created by NUT people jin logo ko khud ko dusro se shreshth batane ke liye apne aapko ek high community mein rakh liya or dusro ko niche dikhane ke liye lower community mein rakh diya gaya bina unki marzi jane…i want to tell to all bloody hindu people community ye decide nhi kregi bastard ki tum kitne high or low ho…tumhare karam tumhe upar or niche girane wale hai…arre gadho god ne insaan banaye hai caste nhi…gadho aisa hota toh christan or muslim mein bhi aise hi char community hoti bt tum log unko as all christan n as all muslim hi bolte ho…tum bloody hindu logo ne khudh hi apne bando ko khudh se alag kr diya…char community hai hindu mein let me explain it to very well suno gadho…hindu ko as a body lo us body ke char hisse tum gadho ne kiye 1st brahmin jisko sir ka staan diya or kshatriye ko bhuja or vaishya ko pait ka or tum sabki favorite community shudr jisko per ka staan diya….ab gadho batao agr per kat doge toh kya apni manzil ki taraf tunde ho ke jayoge tum sb apahiz ho yaad rkhna..agr hmari body ka ek part bhi kat jaye toh hum apahiz kehlate hai toh tum bloody hindu khudh apahiz ban chuke ho..ek bade se bada brahmin or devta bhi jb apne maa baap ntmastak hone ke liye sir jhukata hai toh woh uske charno ko choone ke liye toh akal ke andho sabse uncha staan toh shudr log prapt kr chuke hai…tum nhi tum gire huye ghatiya egoist bande ho jisko god bhi narak mein dalega….i m also brahmin bt i hate castsim okh….say no to community n caste den reservation should be stop itself…abroad isliye develop kr raha hai bcs unka mind indian ghatiya logo ki tarah nhi hai especially katar hindu..1000 saal baadh bhi india mein koi development nhi hogi yeh aise hi high low ke liye hi mrte rahenge…we all r hindu idiot we all r same koi lower or high caste nhi hai..

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    • annetbell says:

      Good morning, This is my first response to your comments on The Caste System. I will publish all your comments which you spent so much time writing and which were filled with so much passion. In both the US and India, we have freedom of speech which is a cherished right for us both, blessed to live in a democracy. More later.

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  5. cutie says:

    All stupid people living in India that’s why this country cant be develop anymore as the other countries are well developed. Bcoz indian people live in caste-ism and egoist by nature especially who belong to upper class which is created by themselves not created by God.God only created human being..He didnt put any human in high and low category..This cheap things only created by some bastard itself who live in India..and they be proud by called themselves hindu..I am also hindu but i wanna spit on that every person who proudly said they are hindu but their thinking is so narrow minded..now its depend on human what they want to become Devil or Angel..Nobody is lower and higher by caste or religion..they become high and low by their behavior..Reservation should be stop itself when you all leave this stupid casteism..Say no no caste and community..All are hindu who live in hindustaan understood idiot people..

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    • annetbell says:

      Americans don’t believe in the English caste system either and fought a war to rid our country of them. Unfortunately , power and money are very seductive in helping people to think of themselves as superior over others. Yesterday, I read about the Ukrainian protesters entering the palace to see how their leader lived while they are in abject poverty.

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  6. cutie says:

    Hindu (body) four community: brahmin (head) kshatriya (arm) vaishya (belly) shudra (feet) All these four communit called as hindu. We all are parts of one body. Without each part our body is not complete. If we lost one part of our body then we become handicap. The human body is the entire structure of a human being. Human Body is considered so loving that God even wants to have it. Spiritual Yogis have found that after going through the 84 millions species this souls get the most dignified human body. So it is the last step to explore the God or to get the view of almighty father god. We know that the soul never dies it takes birth again and again just like as we take new clothes to wear the soul as it takes new body and it is an infinite process. But the body what we get in next birth depend on our karma that thas been cited in Gita by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. We all here to perform our duties. Our action makes our destiny and nothing else. The result is in the hand of supreme power. Karma is the seed of plant and if the seed is genuine it must be fruitful.

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    • annetbell says:

      You have shared the heart of theology of Hinduism. I am a Christian and believe we are created in the image of God. We do not talk of Karma, but I think it is our consciousness or God’s presence to guide us in knowing right and wrong. We also believe we have on life to love God and serve and love our neighbors and then be judged by God. Our salvation is first determined by our faith on Christ and then our works of living out that faith and love in the world. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. cutie says:

    Many a time, man has taken birth in high caste and low caste; but this does not make him great or low

    Having been born in high caste man thinks himself to be great and being born in low caste thinks himself to be low and pitiable; both of these states of mind are wrong because many times man has been born in high and low castes. Hence, one should not be proud of having been born in high caste and not feel low if born in low caste family.

    Greatness has nothing to do with high caste. Man becomes great because of his noble work, exemplary character and becomes loathsome because of his immorality and evil conduct. Thus, it is his conduct only that decides his greatness or lowliness. Who does not know that high family born Ravana, Kansa, Duryodhana and others are censurable; whereas Metarya muni, Harikeshi muni and others, though born in low family, are venerable.

    Then, what is the importance of high or low caste?

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    • annetbell says:

      In the US, we have in our short history of 200 + years as a country , the blot of slavery and even after the slaves were freed there were the Jim Crow Laws that continued to make the African Americans be unequal to white people. Though that time is thankfully over, we are always trying to make sure that treating everyone as equal. This seems to be a hard concept for mankind to learn and practice.
      https://talesalongtheway.com/2014/01/21/the-jim-crow-south/ These are my personal memories of this dark time in the US. .

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  8. cutie says:

    We always talk about religion and castesim but in reality there is no any caste and religion. We all are same our blood are same.then why we believe in discrimination. God never created any caste they made simple human being..caste and community only created by stupid people who are mentally sick and had fear in their heart bcoz if they will not choose higher place for themselves then other people going to defeat them and going to put them down..bocz they don’t have believe on themselves and their own work..they have doubt own their capability..they always think negative we cnt do hard work if other person give their best then they must be achieve something better than them..by creating high and low community and even not asked to any people wh are coward they put themselves to higher community…bcoz they are coward and they to protect themselves…

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  9. cutie says:

    Hindu religion devided into four community….but again I m saying to all stupid people who living in india..caste and community only created by mentally sick people and who follow them they have something problem in their mind..four community name are Brahmin,kshatriya,vaishya,shurda…and its surprising we all India dnt know the exactly meaning of these four words..let me explain to you..brahmin means not that who born in high class..koi janam se uncha or nicha nhi hota hai.brahmin mean jo god ko janta hai usko apne samne dekha ho jisse brahma ka pata ho or apne acche karam se jana jaye na ki apni jaat se..agr Brahmin hone pr insaan ke karam gandhe hai toh who insaan ashudh mana jata hai who pavitr aatma nhi hoti hai…Kshatriya ka matlb hota hai weh yodha jo mantvta ki raksha hetu apne angg angg ko katva de..samks praniyon ki raksha ke liye apni jaan kurbaan kr de or apne karam pr ghamand na dikhaye..Vaishya who hote hai jo apne kaam mein emaan dikhaye koi chori chakari na kre..apne kaam ko galat tareeqe se na kre..emaan ki kamai ko khaye haraam ki kamai ko haath na lagaye..Shudra ka matlb hota hai shudh or pavitr aatma….jis bande ke ander koi moh, maya, krodh or ahnkaar tak nhi hai jiska aacharn shudh ho or karam shudh ho wohi sacha shudra hai..jo apne karam par purn vishwaas rake…jiske karam ache nhi man mein ahnkaar hai who shudra nhi mana ja sakta hai..agr tum log shudra ko pero ka sathaan dete ko toh or unhe neecha mante ho toh kanjke pujna bandh kr do unke peron (feet) ko dohna unki puja krna bandh kr do..kisi devi devta ke mandir ja kr natmastak na ho or apne mata pita ke peron ko choo ke ashiwadh lena bandh kr do

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  10. You’re too optimistic to say that in cities education leads to work and marriage. Work – yes; but I do not think marriage outside one’s caste is embraced by most urban Indians.

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    • annetbell says:

      Oh I thank you for your comment. As I said, I was only a visitor in India for 4 months last year. Those old habits of parental arrangement of marriages from the original caste
      are most definitely still in practice. And the educated Indians are more likely to be from the same caste anyway. Do you think that educated urban Indians are more likely to have “love” marriages rather than arranged ones?

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      • Hi Annetbell – I don’t know but I suspect nowadays, urban young adults get to know each other socially in groups and sometimes the arrangements are made at the suggestion of the couple.

        Any Indians reading these comments? What are your views?

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      • annetbell says:

        Oh, I would love to hear from other Indians on the subject. . . . Thanks!

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      • cutie says:

        hi anne…in india love marriage can only happen n possible if boys n girls has the gut to fight for their love n right…

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      • annetbell says:

        Huge shifts in cultural habits take time to change. I am sure there are some changes and I heard of that from Indian people who had traveled abroad, but there seem to be many arranged marriages , too. The young people are very respectful of their parents. I have no doubt that India will find her own level for this practice.

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  11. Annetbell – a very recent article on Caste in the British journal The Economist – http://chindia-alert.org/2014/03/15/why-caste-still-matters-in-india-the-economist/

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    • annetbell says:

      This for telling me about this article! I reblogged it for my followers. Have quite a few Indian people! Have a lovely weekend!

      Curious where you live. . . from the name it seems up near the border in some place we didn’t visit.

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      • Annetbell – I live in London, UK!

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      • annetbell says:

        Check out camel market near Udaipur….I really want to go there if we return. My favorite city in India is Varansai which is very far from there. Hindu mythology has it’s beginning 9000 years ago making it the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. By archaeologist’s finding it is in top ten. Very old narrow streets, thousands of pilgrims, open fires of cremation, bathing in the Ganga…most holy city for Hindus. Amazing spiritual place. I will re-post my Veranasi post soon, but you can find it on my site. Pilgrimage city. The video is amazing! Sorry to be so wordy! I am just excited that you will go to India this summer. Are you Indian, if you don’t mind answering?

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      • Annetbell – where did you get the idea I will be going to India this summer? I am Chinese but brought up in Calcutta and went to the Indian Institute of Technology , Kharagpur; before going to the US and then to the UK.

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      • annetbell says:

        I am so sorry…I was reading through lots of blogs and commenting on this today and obviously answered the wrong blog. Please accept my apologies.! Anne

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  12. cutie says:

    We always talk about religion and castesim but in reality there is no any caste and religion. We all are same our blood are same.then why we believe in discrimination. God never created any caste they made simple human being.. Mentally sick people take the path of fundamentalism and spread casteism and communism. They suffer from inferiority complex and divide the society into “we” and “they”. They (belonging either to higher or lower ranked caste) have a fear in their heart that if they do not get a higher place for themselves in society, “other” people are going to exploit them and going to put them down.They don’t have believe on themselves and their own work. They have doubt own their capability. People with negative mindset suffer from inferiority complex and divide society into compartments like higher castes or lower castes.and can’t tolerate “others” progress or well-being. They cannot work hard and cannot tolerate anybody else’s achievements. These are the people with negative mindset who believe in ranking some belonging to higher castes and/or some to lower castes. They are coward and they are unable to protect themselves…

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  13. cutie says:

    Some stupid people living in India that’s why this country cant be develop anymore as the other countries are well developed. Bcoz indian people live in caste-ism and egoist by nature especially who belong to upper class which is created by themselves not created by God.God only created human being..He didnt put any human in high and low category..This cheap things only created by some mad people itself who live in India..and they be proud by called themselves hindu..I am also hindu but I feel bad when every person who proudly said they are hindu but their thinking is so narrow minded..now its depend on human what they want to become Devil or Angel..Nobody is lower and higher by caste or religion..they become high and low by their behavior..Reservation should be stop itself when you all leave this stupid casteism..Say no caste and no community..All are hindu who live in hindustaan understood..

    Like

  14. cutie says:

    Hindu religion devided into four community..but again I m saying to all stupid people who living in india..caste and community only created by mentally sick people and who follow them they have something problem in their mind.four community name are Brahmin, kshatriya,vaishya,shurda. And its surprising we all India dnt know the exactly meaning of these four words..let me explain to you..brahmin means not that who born in high class..koi janam se uncha or nicha nhi hota hai.brahmin mean jo god ko janta hai usko apne samne dekha ho jisse brahma ka pata ho or apne acche karam se jana jaye na ki apni jaat se..agr Brahmin hone pr insaan ke karam gandhe hai toh who insaan ashudh mana jata hai who pavitr aatma nhi hoti hai…Kshatriya ka matlb hota hai weh yodha jo mantvta ki raksha hetu apne angg angg ko katva de..samksh praniyon ki raksha ke liye apni jaan kurbaan kr de or apne karam pr ghamand na dikhaye..Vaishya who hote hai jo apne kaam mein emaan dikhaye koi chori chakari na kre..apne kaam ko galat tareeqe se na kre..emaan (mehnat) ki kamai ko khaye haraam ki kamai ko haath na lagaye..Shudra ka matlb hota hai shudh or pavitr aatma….jis bande ke ander koi moh, maya, krodh or ahnkaar tak nhi hai jiska aacharn shudh ho or karam shudh ho wohi sacha shudra hai..jo apne karam par purn vishwaas rake…jiske karam ache nhi man mein ahnkaar hai who shudra nhi mana ja sakta hai..agr tum log shudra ko pero ka sathaan dete ko toh or unhe neecha mante ho toh kanjke pujna bandh kr do unke peron (feet) ko dohna unki puja krna bandh kr do..kisi devi devta ke mandir ja kr natmastak na ho or apne mata pita ke peron ko choo ke ashiwadh lena bandh kr do..

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  15. cutie says:

    Whenever someone’s ask you about your caste then your answer should be to them is:
    I am a Brahmin in knowledge
    I am kshatriya in valor
    I am vaishya in business
    I m shudra in service
    In the end I am just sanatam dharmi hindu and nothing else..Then say you proud to be a hindu..

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  16. cutie says:

    All human-beings are equal in the eyes of God.The human-beings have only created the caste system.There are good and bad people in both high caste as well as low caste.
    Ultimately,what matters to God is, whether one is a good person or striving to become one, or not.

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  17. cutie says:

    One who thinks himself to be of a high caste is actually low. While one who thinks himself/herself to be of low caste is said to be high caste.As per the scriptures, people are known by their nature and the quality of work they perform..

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  18. cutie says:

    insaan apne guno se upar uthta hai unche staan pr baith jane se nhi..caste n community created by mad people jin logo ko khud ko dusro se shreshth batane ke liye apne aapko ek high community mein rakh liya or dusro ko niche dikhane ke liye lower community mein rakh diya gaya bina unki marzi jane…i want to tell to all mad hindu people community ye decide nhi kregi ki tum kitne high or low ho…tumhare karam tumhe upar or niche girane wale hai…arre god ne insaan banaye hai caste nhi…n listen aisa hota toh christan or muslim mein bhi aise hi char community hoti bt tum log unko as all christan n as all muslim hi bolte ho…tum katar hindu logo ne khudh hi apne bando ko khudh se alag kr diya…char community hai hindu mein let me explain it to very well ok…hindu ko as a body lo us body ke char hisse tum stupid logo ne char hiso mein describe kiya ..1st brahmin jisko sir ka staan diya or kshatriye ko bhuja or vaishya ko pait ka or tum sabki favorite community shudr jisko per ka staan diya….ab batao agr per kat doge toh kya apni manzil ki taraf tunde ho ke jayoge tum sb apahiz ho yaad rkhna..agr hmari body ka ek part bhi kat jaye toh hum apahiz kehlate hai toh tum stupid hindu khudh apahiz ban chuke ho..ek bade se bada brahmin or devta bhi jb apne maa baap ntmastak hone ke liye sir jhukata hai toh woh uske charno ko choone ke liye toh akal ke andho sabse uncha staan toh shudr log prapt kr chuke hai…tum nhi tum gire huye ghatiya egoist bande ho jisko god bhi narak mein dalega….i m also brahmin bt i hate castsim okh….say no to community n no caste den reservation should be stop itself…abroad isliye develop kr raha hai bcs unka mind indian ghatiya logo ki tarah nhi hai especially katar hindu..1000 saal baadh bhi india mein koi development nhi hogi yeh aise hi high low ke liye hi mrte rahenge…

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  19. cutie says:

    Inter caste marriage should be encourage..bcoz if people take this step then castesim and religion based discrimination should be stop itself..we all are human being..God never created any caste and religion..even God dnt has any caste and religion…did you know that God belong to which caste and religion..then keep shut your mouth about this stupid varan system and caste system okh.. In ancient times, caste system had the seeds of liberalism. It provided the right and opportunity to get to the top from the humblest origin and earn the respect of the whole society. For example, Vashishtha, the principal of the conservative school of Brahmanism, was the son of Uravshi, a prostitute. Vishwamitra, the maker of the very Gayatri Mantra, the quintessence of the Vedic Brahmanism, was a Kshatriya. Aitreya, after whom the sacramental part of Rig-Veda is named as Aitreya Brahamana, was the son from a non-Aryan wife of a Brahman sage. Vyasa of Mahabharata fame was the son of a fish-woman and he was not ashamed of his origin. Balmiki, an untouchable according to present standards, the original author of Ramayana, is highly respected all over India..And only you can make it good or bad this inter caste marriage. Depends upon how much importance u give to these meaningless and stupid values. And how much importance u give to other people who value these meaningless things. U have to see how much u urself r attached to other people opinions. And since u r asking for opinion, it means u r attached to these meaningless things.

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  20. cutie says:

    What steps can be taken to convince the people to accept the inter-caste marriages trend?
    It is the responsibility of the younger generation to make their elders realize that the rigid caste system is morbid and has a dark future ahead. The youngsters can take various steps on their part to demolish this system:
    • The girl or boy should be introduced as a friend to the family and be allowed to earn their love and respect
    • The qualities of the person you love should be highlighted in front of the family members
    • Try and learn the customs of each other’s caste. This will enable you to earn the love of the family members
    • Try and show your family members how this kind of systems are obstructing the progress of the nation

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  21. cutie says:

    Gone are the days when marriages were executed by parents; The times when a Punjabi marrying a Punjabi or a Bengali marrying a Bengali was the norm. Welcome to 2013 where inter-caste marriages are quickly becoming the season’s flavors and why shouldn’t they? Everyone knows that India is a diverse land that boasts of being a mother to different cultures. But what’s the point of having so many different cultures when people snarl at the very thought of their integration?
    There is something new to learn in different cultures and we, as Indians should feel proud of having such a strong and traditional backbone with us.
    But when some of these people get offended at the thought of their son/daughter marrying into a different caste, a sense of anger sweeps me.
    What is the problem in a South Indian marrying a Punjabi or vice-versa? Why do educated people talk like uneducated pigs when their family member steps out of his/her caste for marriage? Why do people have to be such haters?
    In my opinion, an inter caste marriage should be applauded by one and all as the amalgamation of different cultures will put an end to mindless racism and discrimination on the basis of caste in our exotic land. Wouldn’t you want your next generation to be more peace loving and more socially acceptable to different kinds of people in the world? So, are you ready to take the plunge and applaud inter-caste marriages?

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    • annetbell says:

      I think it is human nature to want to surround yourself with people where you feel comfortable….culture, religion. But all people and cultures should be respected.

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  22. cutie says:

    The brahmin community has been one of the dirty communities which has planned strategically to fool people in the name of god by generating the highest donations in the temple, doing business to fool and loot money in the name of puja, death, marriage, new home… For any occasion, there’s one puja. They charge very high prices and take away all the items after the puja. They have created prostitution in the name of devadasis. They suppress jobs and employment and welfare and equality are destroyed. they have destroyed the Indian medical system. They have killed Indian medical science like siddha vaidhyam and created ayurveda and carnatic music by destroying dravidian music. Even today they have the temples under their control. They say they don’t like untouchables, but they have always been sexually harassing low caste women.

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    • annetbell says:

      I had never heard this so clearly. . . . it is very hard for people in power to relinquish any of all of that power. What do you think about BJP and its rise of power? Are you concerned or do you think that Mr. Modi will be sensitive to the Dalits since he was a teawahla ?

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  23. cutie says:

    Dont ever trust on BJP that party only can think for their own selfishness…All anti hindu involved in that party if BJP party come then god knows what will happen to India..its very sad thing that our all indian people cnt see the reality they are also become very selfish..they dont know which party is good for indian counrty living people..they only want to see which party can make their own community happy n fulfill their own needs..

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  24. cutie says:

    “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”

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  25. Annet, Quite a following & response to your “The Caste System” post! And well deserved…well done!!! As a retired social studies teacher & principal, I really appreciated your discussion. I felt like going back to teach a lesson on the Caste System. I usually associate the caste system with India & was interested that it applies to Egypt as well. And proud of you to see that you were an elementary school teacher & world traveler…….as we are! Thanks for the “Like” on my August 2012 post about David McCullough’s last 4 books of his nine in total. My July 2012 post covers his first 5 books. I am particularly proud of those two posts because I do not attempt to review his books but to talk about the experience of reading his books & my love affair with his writings & subjects. I hope you take a look at July 2012 as well. Your website seems diverse in topics as is mine. I do not wish to become pigeon holed into one area &/or one demographic. Phil from http://excuseusforliving.com/

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    • annetbell says:

      I am very honored that such a serious blogger would read my stories.. . . honestly I mean that and I love your bio! My blog started as a snapshot album of our 4 months in India starting in January 2013. But when I got back to the US, I was hooked on blogging and now just post “this or that!” Husband is professor of architecture and we went to India with 11 architecture students. If you have any interest in India, my posts from January until the first of May are all India.. . . all the time.

      I am amazed that there are any bloggers who are interested in my musings, just as I was amazed that I was paid as a teacher to have so much darn fun with kiddos!

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  26. anant jhawar says:

    Hi Anne,
    thanks so much for liking my post on infinitetimeszero.wordpress.com

    this post of yours in the Indian context is pretty accurate. A slight correction would be that the caste system is prevalent in urban and rural India, to a lesser degree in the former. Additionally, its the newer generations which is moving away from this system. I completely agree with Sudarshan below, that the Indian polity does not want to do away with the caste system to fulfill their vested interests by flourishing on caste based divisive politics. Here’s hoping for the best!
    thanks for the article, drawing parallels between the Indian and Egyptian caste systems…enlightening!

    Like

    • annetbell says:

      Hey thank you for the clarification on the caste system. I try to be accurate but my information is from research and from the four months we were in India in 2013! I have such high hopes for PM Modi and the hope he will give the poor with his background!
      Smiles,
      Anne

      Like

  27. cutie says:

    All Hindu communities in the country follow the varnashram system of Aryans and have divided the society in four castes – Kshatryas, Brahmins, Vaishyas and Shudras. Sindhis do not have such division in their society. They never followed a rigid caste system. That is why Sindhis are considered to be only businessmen. All members of the society inter-mingle with one another without any consideration of four castes of Aryans. There are no untouchables in Sindhis…..these religion and caste set up by mad and stupid people to control others not by god…who are still mentally sick they are following this castesim blindly..i must say be like all sindhi…tum hindu logo se toh yeh sindhi soh guna ache or intelligent hai..jo jante hai society ko ek kar ke kaise rakhna hai..

    Like

  28. cutie says:

    Who divided society in caste line……only stupid and mentally sick hindu..first change your thinking that all people as a human being so the system ll be change itself understood..be like sindhi religion, make one religion and killed the bloody varan system n caste system…you ll b more happiest person in this world if you all mad hindu change ur narrow minded thinking about these caste n class…Because “I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being–neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there’s no question of integration or intermarriage. It’s just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.”

    Like

    • annetbell says:

      You seem to be very angry by the caste system. I do not like it either and I don’t like calling Hindus such strong language. Unfortunately people have been mistreated by other people as a form of control, slavery for instance. We in the US have that dark stain, as well.
      The caste system and I think arranged marriages are against the law in India today, but the tradition is very hard to change. I certainly agree with you that “every human being should be recognized as a human being” and respected no mater their race, religion or color.” I hope we all can work together in a positive way towards that end. Have a lovely weekend. Anne

      Like

  29. cabrogal says:

    Thanks for the follow Anne.

    Given your interest in caste you may be interested in this post.

    You erred in writing that Gandhi created untouchables. They have been around for time immemorial and are claimed to have arisen from ‘the dust beneath the feet’ of Purusha, the mythical ‘first man’ whose body was divided into four to create the other four castes. What Gandhi did was coin the term ‘harijan’ (children of God) which he intended as a less derogatory way of describing them than ‘asprushya’ (untouchable) or ‘dalit’ (broken). Gandhi’s terminology never really caught on and even Dalits themselves consider it patronising and derogatory. Most prefer the term ‘Adi’ which roughly translates as ‘aboriginal’. Many Dalit groups are probably descended from pre-Hindu inhabitants of India, though others have either migrated into India more recently or suffered outcasting from other castes.

    It’s not just Hindus who are divided into castes on the sub-continent. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis and even Buddhists and Jains have also divided themselves up into castes. Foreigners in India are assigned a defacto caste too, typically Kshatriya equivalent for white Europeans but lower for darker skinned foreigners. In India the word commonly used for caste is ‘varna’, which means ‘colour’. Even groups who once specifically rejected the caste system, such as Sikhs, Buddhists and Lingayat Shaivites were eventually reabsorbed into it and given defacto castes.

    Babasaheb Ambedkar was a Dalit who became a lawyer and wrote the modern Indian Constitution but was so disgusted with the persistence of caste prejudice that he converted to Buddhism, prompting a wave of similar conversions by Dalits across India. If he’d looked south he would have realised it was a futile gesture. The Sinhalese Buddhists of Sri Lanka are as caste-ridden as any Hindu groups in India despite the fact that caste was explicitly rejected by the Buddha. Unlike India, Sri Lanka lacks affirmative action legislation for those from low castes.

    Like

    • annetbell says:

      I am so glad that you took time to send such a thorough comment. It is obvious I am not an expert on Caste but just an observer when I visited India. I also used some information from the net to write my post. I really liked your post on a new caste system, one which is decided by the gifts and passions of people to fulfill their purpose in the world. It was a most interesting concept and beautifully written. As a former teacher, I always tried to encourage children to find out what they enjoyed, and had aptitude in to follow their path.

      Thank you so much for your time and thoughts. . .. Anne

      Like

    • janjoy52 says:

      I am interested in your observation that include Christians as also divided into classes. Can you please elaborate?

      Like

      • cabrogal says:

        As I said, in India and nearby countries pretty much all religions are divided up in the same way Hinduism is divided into castes. People typically take up the same sort of work as their parents, only marry people from the same religion who also work in the same or similar areas and socially segregate themselves from co-religionists from different castes.

        I guess technically it’s a class rather than caste system among non-Hindus – something like the English class system of a century ago – as it’s typically not endorsed by the religious texts of Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, etc, but in practical terms it’s no different to the Hindu caste system.

        There’s a strong argument to be made that the caste systems of most religions in India have been slowly breaking down since the late 19th Century but some people claim it’s just the emphasis changing. It tends to flare up again in times of social tension.

        Like

      • janjoy52 says:

        I don’t want to frustrate you by asking the same question but you actually only repeated your initial statement lumping Christian with Muslim and Sikhs without providing examples. Since my area of interest is in Christianity, can you site examples of the caste system alive and active in Christianity?

        Like

      • janjoy52 says:

        Thank you. I will Google.

        Like

      • annetbell says:

        I did hear about young lovers not being able to marry because of difference in castes and religion. These things happen with the arranged marriages that are also against the law but not in practice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • janjoy52 says:

        I googled Christians in the caste system and it reminded me of the book of Philemon in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul was a prisoner in Rome writing his friend Philemon, begging him to forgive and take back, for his sake, his runaway slave. Paul met Philemon’s slave while in prison and led him to faith in Jesus. Paul, instead of addressing the slavery system created a level playing field in the Name of Jesus who died for and saved them all. I believe Paul’s letter to the Corinthians also spoke to the convert within the culture of the times Paul said to the slave owner that he is Christ’s slave. To the Christian slave Paul said he is Christ’s freed man but both are to approach their roles remembering they both belong first, last, and always to Jesus and how they treat each other should reflect that.

        Thank you for your post. It challenged me to look deeper!

        Like

      • annetbell says:

        Thank you for all the information!

        Like

      • annetbell says:

        Actually the caste system is against the law now in India. Probably poverty and education would be the aspects of life that would divide people these days. It is not a subject of conversation or wasn’t for me. Where we were stationed, Gujarat, the state is very conservative Hindu. No alcohol, and pretty much total vegetarian. There were a few churches. It is the south in where Christianity is more prevalent. Doubting Thomas, a disciple of Christ, himself brought the Gospel to the south of India. His church was in Chennai ( old Madras) . He was martyred there.

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  30. It’s truly a great and useful piece of information. I’m
    satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  31. cutie says:

    “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

    Be a nice human being is important not to have a good or high religion and caste.We need to work towards uniting the nation instead of splitting it. Work towards a society in which there will be no lower castes and no upper castes. We need to respect the way people live instead of looking at where they were born.

    Like

  32. cutie says:

    My this comment to katar hindu and coward brahmin who haven’t gut to fight for their own love but strange thing is they easily fell in love with other caste girls but dont have got for fight back..

    What you are doing now is not fair.You are not giving any importance to your gal’s feelings.How can you avoid a gal whom you loved for past 4 years at this stage of your life where you need to take serious decisions?If you lack the courage to introduce the matter before your parents,then i can say you are a coward.If you are that much concerned about your parents,you could have think it earlier before you started your love.At least that gal is saved from you.But you gave her all hope,she loved you sincerly as her man and now you want your parents only.

    I am not making you sad.I know that parents are important and they are like God.But this is not at a good solution.You are keeping things hidden from everyone.You are the only son of your parents – that means their only asset for future.So cant they understand your feelings towards that gal?Initially they may be against.But you can convince them slowly.How can you close your true affair even without a single try?Go man,get ready to take some risk for your loved one.Pls dont ignore her.Its like killing her.She made her family ready for you,its your turn now.I hope things will be fine at last.

    Like

  33. cutie says:

    Whole world think that India has many castes which are main reason of discrimination of people but its very very big misconception of caste system spread around the world to defame culture of India because it was the biggest systematically designed system for people from thousands of years. Now let me tell you what is meaning of varna and caste system in India and how its was started. In Ancient India there were two great saints, one was saint Bhrigu and other was saint Bhardwaj. They met to discuss how to structure a stable society for human being to live proper life, First they recognized the four sources which are:

    1. Knowledge 2. Weapons 3. Wealth 4. Land

    They decided to make system where nobody has more than one of that. These should not be in one hand, not even two should be in one hand. So those who has knowledge will not have wealth, will not have weapons and will not have lands. Those who will have weapons will rule the country but they will not make policy. They need to go to people having knowledge to seek their permission and advice. Those who are having wealth, their social status will be decided by the how much philanthropy they do not by their wealth. Those who has lands have to produce for the society. In fact none of these four category or “varna” was based on by birth.

    Like

  34. annetbell says:

    Reblogged this on TalesAlongTheWay and commented:

    A little quick history lesson for those we missed this post.

    Like

  35. Pingback: The Caste System | Instamind: Crystallization of Ideas

  36. cutie says:

    Being human … is being someone perfect … bcoz we r God’s creations

    Give your to others

    Help others to help yourself

    Love others to love yourself …

    Remember… you are a human -God’s crearion, you must be perfect

    Like

  37. cutie says:

    someone said change yourself world will change automatically ..

    Like

  38. janjoy52 says:

    I remember studying about the cast system in elementary school. I seem to remember it was strongly attached to the Hindu religion, is this your understanding?

    Like

  39. Pingback: Revisiting the Caste System | TalesAlongTheWay

  40. This article is so informative and so well presented. Its interesting to see the pyramid of the caste. M. Gandhi was such a catalyst for change. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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