Take-Home Midterm 1

Take-Home Midterm 1 - Jack Goodfriend (Phil Ashkanaz, Ann...

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Jack Goodfriend (Phil Ashkanaz, Ann Honor, Jenny Corbett) Political Science 252 Midterm I Midterm 1 1A) On the newspaper, there is evidence that the brahmans do believe that same caste marriage is important. The newspaper itself are broken up into different castes depending on who is requesting them. In the proposals, many of them specify that they are only looking for either a Brahmin wife or husband saying things like “Dadhichi Brahmin girl…needs a boy from Baishnav or Brahmin family.” Some say the type of Brahmin they are looking for, while others also look for the family background in addition to being Brahmin. 1B) There is also proof that some Brahmins do not believe same-caste marriage is important. Besides castes, some of the categories in the newspaper are related to education and jobs as shows in the “Doctors” section. To some, then, education, wealth, and other factors are more important than caste. To also illustrate their point, many Brahmins write “caste no bar” to show that caste is not the main issue in their son or daughters marriage. Also, characteristics such as education, looks, profession and culture are more important than caste in some cases. Many people specify what exactly they are looking for and much of the time it does not refer to caste, in fact it blatantly says that caste doesn’t matter. 2A) The pilgrims to Kashi felt that the brahmans were indispensable because the need for a ritual-specialist Brahman is what separates a classical pilgrimage, like to Kashi, from a folk pilgrimage, like to Ramdevra. Kashi is the holiest place for a pilgrimage for a Hindu and the pilgrims in Kashi do the pinda-pranada ceremony, visit the temples of Annapurna
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and Vishvanath and bathe in the Ganga River. The pinda-pranada ceremony is a very important part of the trip and must be done correctly because it is a death ceremony that is the “feeding of ones ancestors.” Because of the importance of the ceremony being performed correctly, a Karmakandi who professionally performs the ritual is indispensable. There are three reasons a Hindu would not want to perform the pinda- pradana without a Karmakandi. One is because the ritual is so complex that very few could execute it correctly and doing it wrong could distress the spirits of the ancestors and cause harm to the worshipper and their relatives. Two is because the pinda-pranada ceremony is a death ceremony and many pilgrims do not wish to perform death ceremonies. And three is that the pinda-prinada requires giving gifts to the priests who symbolize the ancestors and if the pilgrim were to perform it his or herself, they would be giving gifts to themselves. The pilgrimage to Kashi is a classical one and requires a Brahman to be successful. 2B) The pilgrims to Ramdevra felt that a Brahman was not indispensable because the
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This essay was uploaded on 04/01/2008 for the course POLI SCI 252 taught by Professor Elder during the Fall '08 term at Wisconsin.

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Take-Home Midterm 1 - Jack Goodfriend (Phil Ashkanaz, Ann...

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