Zaman.185.essay 2.docx - Shafin Zaman SAS 185 Professor Gold America to India An Eye-Opening Conversation In Hardwar Sources Das Gurcharan"Arjuna's

Zaman.185.essay 2.docx - Shafin Zaman SAS 185 Professor...

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Shafin Zaman SAS 185 Professor Gold America to India: An Eye-Opening Conversation In Hardwar Sources Das, Gurcharan. "Arjuna's Despair" from The Difficulty of Being Good: On the Subtle Art of Dharma (Blackboard pdf) Dempsey, "Science of the Miraculous" from Miracle as Modern Conundrum (Blackboard pdf) Flueckiger, Joyce, Everyday Hinduism, Chapters 1-4 (Gods, narratives, devotion, sacred places) Flueckiger, Joyce, Everyday Hinduism, Chapters 5-8 (festivals, vows, rites of passage, healing) Gold, "Death and Pilgrimage" from Fruitful Journeys (Blackboard pdf) Kabir and Mira Bai, selected poems in translation (Blackboard pdf) Topics Bhakti (devotion) Pilgrimage to shrines, temples, sacred rivers Miracles Death Dharma (duty, law, morality) and/or varnashrama dharma (duty according to class and life stage) Rituals, in temples and in homes
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It was 2005 when I first made my journey across the Atlantic to Uttarakhand, India. I was always fascinated with the culture since childhood. My memories of Indian culture came from my friend Anand who use to share his lunch with me during recess. That particular crunch of samosas still lingers in my mind from time to time. Although I have never been to India, or have any ties to Indian culture, I loved how it was depicted in Bollywood movies and soap operas. One thing that was of particular interest to me before my journey was the practice of Hinduism. From the little snippets of the different deities in movies, I knew they had a bigger impact on the lives of everyday citizens in India. Once I arrived in the Uttarkhand, I was told to visit Hardwar which was regarded as one of the seven holiest cities in India. Once there, I was in awe at how beautiful the structures were, and at the number of temples at every other corner. While sitting down for lunch at a dhaba (local restaurant) I was approached by a woman from Ghatiyali, a village in Rajasthan. She began to inquire where I was from and if I have tired aloo puri (fried bread with spicy potato) which was one of signature cuisines of the city. She knew I was a foreigner since, I was fairer than a lot of the locals. She asked me where I was from and why I had come all the way to Hardwar. This inquiry helped us begin our individual explanations on how we both ended up there. Ganga had come all the way to Hardwar with her husband to “sink the flowers” of her mother-in-law. She had explained that it was part of the death ritual for Hindus. Gold explains through her personal
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