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Thread: INDIAN Culture Help

  1. #11
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Ginny Weasley Potter's Avatar
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    Thank you for replying, Kumy!
    Seeing that I have barely any time, I am really grateful to have help from you.

    Okay, Lurid, you wanted funeral, right?
    I know some more about funerals, so I guess you can take this information.

    Dress: Everyone is dressed in white. The person who has to perform the last rites wears a dhoti for the lower body and a white towel for the upper body. Other men dress in white kurta-pyjamas. Ladies are dressed in white sarees or salwar kameezes. Married women only wear their marriage bangles, bindi (a decorative sticker on the forehead, I'm crazy about these!), sindoor (red powdre called kumkum that is applied on the forehead of married women) and their Mangal Sutra of marriage necklace. The widow is dressed in white, devoid of bindi, sindoor, bangles or Mangal Sutra. Often, their hair is also let down.

    First, the brothers, son, father or any four close male relatives of the deceased make a bier for them. This is done by stringing the wooden bars together with jute ropes. There are two long bars with several small bars in between, giving the bier the appearence of a ladder. The bier, along with the body is taken outside the house. Incense sticks are burnt. All the relatives gather around the body and each is given some puffed rice in their hands. A few prayers are told by the priest. Then, all of them walk around the body- just one round (called Pradakshina). When a round is completed, they stand next to the legs of the body. Then they kneel down and outstretch themselves forward in an arch (Namaskar) and put the puffed rice on the body. The body is then taken away to the cremation site called as Samshan bhumi. The four corners of the bier are held by four close male relatives and the person for the last rite (known as Antim Sanskar or Dah karm) holds a pot with oil in it. They say, "Ram naam satya hai." It means, Lord Ram's name is the truth. Lord Ram is an Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Women and children stay back.

    In the funeral site, a pyre of logs is prepared. The body is then laid on it and covered with more logs. The person for last rites (son/father/brother) takes the pot on the shoulders and makes Pradakshinas. After each Pradakshina, a hole is made on the pot by the priest, so that the oil drips down. After five or six pradakshinas, the person breakes the pot and is handed a burning log. He burns the pyre.

    The next day, the ashes from the pyre are taken in an urn. Then, the son/father/brother immerses the ashes in the river. If you're writing this, write that the ashes were floated in the Ganga (Ganges) or Yamuna, I don't think anyone will float it in the Thames, because Ganga, Yamuna and other prominent rivers are considered sacred. In Mumbai itself, it is not done in the Mithi river, people go to Godavari to do it.

    After this, there are ten days of rituals, mainly concerning the person who did the dah karma. There is no mourning period or anything- people keep mourning throughout.

    That's all, I guess. Thank you once more, Kumy!

    Hope this helps, Lurid and be free to ask anything you want.

    Thank you,
    Pooja

    ~Ginny Weasley Potter~
    ~ Pooja

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  2. #12
    Lurid
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    I still have a *major* hole in my plot, but I think I know something to include *if* I can work it out.

    Sometimes, if a body is lost at sea or the person is missing presumed dead for you know, a long enough period that it's assumed that they're dead, sometimes funerals without a body inside the coffin are held. They're not really public, and I don't think they're OPEN to the public like some funerals are, but they're for sentimental value and let the family say good bye in their own personal way.

    I was wondering, do they hold sentimental funerals? I know that that would disqualify the scattering of the ashes, but could a ritual still be held in honour? What happens if bodies are missing?

    I want my character to have some sort of recovery, and maybe saying a goodbye would help her in the process.

  3. #13
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Ginny Weasley Potter's Avatar
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    Erm- sentimental funerals... yeah, people do hold sentimental funerals.

    It's not usually done with the ten rituals or anything. It's usually done by the family, in memory of the deceased. Different people prefer to do it in different ways.

    One of the most common ways of doing it is that the photo of the dead is kept. A garland of marigold/lilies is put over it and kumkum is applied on the forehead of the photo. Then, the ritual of the tenth day is conducted and people pray to the photo. This sort of funeral includes only close relatives and the priest. The dress code is the same.

    You're going to write one of the Patil sisters as Sati Savithri, right? Who plays Sativan? An OC, or is it someone known? Just curious!

    Hope this small, teensy weensy amount of info will help you.

    I am always ready to answer any more questions, provided you can wait till Wednesday or Saturday... I'll explain it to you by PM.

    Thank you!
    Pooja
    ~Ginny Weasley Potter~
    ~ Pooja

    AMAZING story banner by Nadia/majestic_ginny! Dimply Sammeh by me.
    I found a liquor store. I drank it.



  4. #14
    Lily of the US
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    Hey.. does anybody know anything about Punjabi? (hope I spelled it right!) I have a character in a story who is Punjabi and I also just want to learn more about the culture since one of my best friends is Punjabi also. Thanks mucho! ~megan~

    PS: It's foreign language week at my school right now and tomorrow is Cultural Dress Day. We're wearing full outfits from other cultures than our own and my friend let me borrow an Indian outfit- it's sooo cool!

  5. #15
    MorganRay
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    the caste system

    Kumy pointed out in my DADA drabble about Parvarti that I had skewed a reference to the Indian caste system. Now, here is my explaination of what I thought the caste system in India might be like:

    However, the wizarding world can tend to be behind on some things, and I figured that a caste system with wizarding families might consist of muggle wizards (the lowest jobs/simple laborors), half-bloods (crasftsmen/artisans maybe), and then the purebloods (the scholars/gov. officials). However, I do see some problems with my imagined caste system mobility, too, like how do you get half bloods if you aren't allowed to move down the caste system or up the caste system. So, maybe a better imagined wizarding Indian caste system is muggle wizards (servants/craftsman/farmers) and maybe several levels of purebloods differentiated by other things than blood. What could happen, too, is that those who were born as muggles but are wizards could marry, and if both your parents are wizards, maybe that is a way for you to be born into a 'half blood' class.
    Do you have any suggestions on how an Indian-wizarding caste system might be set up? I want to eventually use this idea in a fic, so please provide all the help you can.

  6. #16
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    By Lily of the US

    Hey.. does anybody know anything about Punjabi? (hope I spelled it right!) I have a character in a story who is Punjabi and I also just want to learn more about the culture since one of my best friends is Punjabi also.
    I'm so sorry, my ICSE exams are on and I couldn't visit this thread. Hope this will help you!

    Well, Punjabis are the most enthusiastic people you'll ever find. A lot of Punjabis are Sikhs. But one of the most conspicuous things in a Punjabi's character is that they never stop smiling. They are in an evergreen mood and take things in life in an easy sort of way. I really hope this helps... sorry once again for the delay! Really sorry!

    Hey, so you're wearing an Indian attire? I'm glad you like it! It's a pity though, that most Indian teens today don't like Indian clothes. We had a mock Parliamentary session in school last year, and so many girls in my class did not possess a simple salwaar kameez. I was shocked, when they cribbed that they prefer jeans more and wished they were allowed to wear that. It's nice, however, that atleast people outside India are noticing this country.
    ~ Pooja

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    I found a liquor store. I drank it.



  7. #17
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    By MorganRay

    Do you have any suggestions on how an Indian-wizarding caste system might be set up? I want to eventually use this idea in a fic, so please provide all the help you can.
    There are four castes in the Hindu culture: Brahmins- the priests, Kshatriyas- the warriors, Vaishyas- the merchants and Kshudras- the artisans, temple dancers, etc.

    Now, do you want the explaination according to blood or occupation? If it's blood, then It'll probably be a society ruled by Voldemort- which sounds AU. Please tell me if you want it that way. I'll give you the occupational arrangements, however.

    Brahmins- Probably all the teachers- a very respectful job.

    Kshatriyas- Aurors, the Trio, The Order

    Vaishyas- All the shop owners of Diagon Alley, etc.

    Kshudras- Probably the Death Eaters.

    Pleas remember, that according to the Vedas, the castes do not follow untouchablity and all that. It was just a social evil, that does not exist now (atleast not where I live)!

    Hope that helped! PM me for more.
    ~ Pooja

    AMAZING story banner by Nadia/majestic_ginny! Dimply Sammeh by me.
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  8. #18
    Lily of the US
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    Well, Punjabis are the most enthusiastic people you'll ever find. A lot of Punjabis are Sikhs. But one of the most conspicuous things in a Punjabi's character is that they never stop smiling. They are in an evergreen mood and take things in life in an easy sort of way.
    Wow, I was seriously freaked out when I read this, because it describes my friend perfectly! She is always saying how I'm always in a bad mood and I need to lighten up... and she's such a cheerful person. Thanks so much, Pooja!

  9. #19
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Ginny Weasley Potter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily of the US
    Wow, I was seriously freaked out when I read this, because it describes my friend perfectly! She is always saying how I'm always in a bad mood and I need to lighten up... and she's such a cheerful person. Thanks so much, Pooja!
    Yeah, I've got two Punjabi friends here and you should see them. Really, really happy-go-lucky and ever-shining. They are very jovial too and Punjabi food... mmm...

    They are really sweet, actually. Mast Maulas, I call them.
    ~ Pooja

    AMAZING story banner by Nadia/majestic_ginny! Dimply Sammeh by me.
    I found a liquor store. I drank it.



  10. #20
    witch6
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    Hey!
    I'm kriti and I'm an indian, so i would love to help you all (people who need help with the Indian culture)! Nobody has posted in this thread since more than 6 months now so it's been pretty dead, yet if any1 ever needs any help I'd love to give it!

    So, anyway about me, I'm a north Indian (caste-wise), a punjabi in fact and live in South India, so i know quite a lot about the whole of India!! so, if any help is needed concerning rituals, languages, behavior; etc, I'm here!!

    Languages I know- Hindi (very fluent, speak it at home and studied it at school for 11years!)
    Punjabi ( not as fluent as I'm in Hindi but I'm sure I'll be able to help!)
    Telugu ( i tend to make mistakes when it comes to Telugu but I can always confirm it with someone (most of my friends know this language really well) before putting it up here!)
    And any other Indian language! Just let me know and I'm sure I'll be able to find it out for you!

    I hope I'll be able to help!!

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