Anth142wk1_2 - Anthropology 142 Peoples and Cultures of...

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Anthropology 142 - Peoples and Cultures of India Study Questions Week 1 What are the two major language groups in India? What is the national language? To which language group do the languages spoken in the southern part of the country (e.g. Tamil, Kannada) belong? 2 Groups: Dravidian and Indo-Aryan (though, I think she likes Indo-European better) National Language: Hindi Southern: Dravidian. First question can be confusing, see below link for more info as well as this excerpt: India is divided linguistically into two major language families, the Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian languages (Indian Culture. 1998) (appendices 1 and 2). The most widely spoken national languages in India are (in addition to Hindi): Bengali (7.5%), Telugu (7.4%), Marathi (7.2%), Tamil (6.9%), Urdu (5.1%), Gujarati (4.2%), Malayalam (3.8%), Kannada (3.8%), and Oriya (3.4%) (India 1996:18). The Indo-Aryan languages are a branch of the Indo-European group of languages, and were the language of the central Asian peoples who invaded India. Most of Indian languages of the north belong to this group. The Dravidian languages, on the other hand, (e.g. Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam), are native to south India (although they are influenced by Sanskrit and Hindi) (Culture on commercenetindia. 1998). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_India What was the earliest civilization on the Indian subcontinent? Where was it located? Name one of its cities. Earliest: The Indus Valley Civilization: 2500 – 1700 BCE (Harappan Culture) Location: Indus River Valley in NW India (Punjab) Cities: Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro What is the current population of India? 1.1 billion (16% of the world!)
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Who were the dasas ? What happened to them? The Dasas were dark-skinned people who were subdued and enslaved by the Indo-Aryans during the Aryan invasion. The Dravidians, who are thought to be the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization, may have been Dasas. Who were the Aryans? When did they come to India? The Aryans came to India in 1500 BCE. They came from Iran and rode in horse drawn chariots. They were fierce warriors, and pastoral nomads. They were hearty, lusty, life-affirming, drinking, and gambling people. They were fair skinned. They settled along the Ganga and Jamuna Rivers. Aryavarta=Land of the Aryans (in Northern India) The earliest Hindu scriptures, brought by the Aryans, were the Vedas , the oldest of which was the Rig Veda . The two great epics written during the Brahmanic period were the Mahabharata and the Ramayana . During what period was the varna or "caste" system instituted? Rig Vedic Period (1700-1000 BCE) What were the "four colors" ( chaturvarnas ) that later became known as the four varnas or major caste groups? (Name each and the general occupation they are associated with). 1. Brahman: priests (teachers) 2. Kshatriya: warriors, kings, nobles 3. Vaishya: merchants, craftspeople, commoners 4. Shudra: servants, laborers, some farmers What is Vedanta and what were the Upanishads ? What two philosophical traditions did they combine?
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