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

By Prema Kurien

Multiculturalism within the usa is usually lauded as a favorable social excellent celebrating the range of our kingdom. yet, in fact, immigrants usually believe burdened to create a unique formula in their id that doesn't replicate the range of cultures that exist of their place of origin. Hindu americans have confronted this problem over the past fifteen years, because the variety of Indians that experience immigrated to this state has greater than doubled. In ''A position on the Multicultural Table'', Prema A. Kurien indicates how numerous Hindu American corporations - non secular, cultural, and political - are trying to respond to the complicated questions of id outdoors their fatherland. Drawing at the studies of either immigrant and American-born Hindu americans, Kurien demonstrates how spiritual principles and practices are being imported, exported, and reshaped within the method. the results of this transnational circulate is an American Hinduism - an prepared, politicized, and standardized model of that that is present in India. this primary in-depth examine Hinduism within the usa and the Hindu Indian American neighborhood is helping readers to appreciate the non-public devotions, practices, and ideology of Hindu Indian american citizens in addition to their political mobilization and activism. It explains the variations among immigrant and American-born Hindu american citizens, how either comprehend their faith and their identification, and it emphasizes the significance of the social and cultural context of the us in influencing the advance of an American Hinduism.

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Chapter 9 examines these activities, the ways in which these mobilizations have been shaped by American multiculturalism, and the difference between the strategies of Hindu groups before and after September 11, 2001. The role of Hindu nationalism and of the Internet in this mobilization will also be discussed. To what extent has the definition of Hinduism, Hindu history, and Hindu interests by Hindu American spokespersons affected the average Hindu American? How has it affected the maintenance, re-creation, and transmission of Hinduism by Hindu American groups and organizations?

According to a decade-long survey on the “People of India” conducted by the Anthropological Survey of India, only about 20 percent were vegetarians. The survey found that in many states like West Bengal, Bihar, and Kashmir, even Brahmins were nonvegetarian, eating fish and sometimes chicken (L. K. Jha 1997). The axis of purity and pollution is superimposed on and reinforces the concept of gunas. qxd 34 4/20/07 12:22 PM Page 34 popular hinduism ritually cleansed themselves from bodily pollution (by a bath or other prescribed ablutions) or who have occupations that bring them into regular contact with sources of pollution.

Thus the shortcomings of contemporary Hindu society were attributed to Muslim domination, and it was believed that enlightened British rule would soon restore India to her original glory (Trautmann 1997, 104). Some Europeans in this period were also ardent admirers of ancient India. qxd 4/20/07 12:22 PM hinduism in india Page 29 29 51, cited in Bryant 2001, 18). Other eminent European figures such as Voltaire and Friedrich von Schlegel also argued that India was the homeland of the human race and therefore the cradle of European civilization (Bryant 2001, 18–19).

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