caste and status

caste and status

 

caste and status
In nepal, where Hinduism is tempered by Buddhist and other influences, caste doesnot seem to dominate social interactions to quite the extent that it does in india. Nevertheless, caste is deeply ingrained in the national psyche, as even non-hindus were historically assigned places in the hierarchy. followoing india's lead, Nepal "abolished" the caste system in 1963, but millennia-old habits cannot be dismantled overnight, the maoist may be virulently opposed to the system , but many of their leaders come from a high caste background. though professions are changing and "love marriage" is more popular , for ost Nepalis, caste and status still determine what they do for a living, whom they may marry, where they can live and who they can associate with.
In a Hindu society, foreigners are technically casteless, but they can be considered polluting to orthodox, high- caste Hindus. In Nepal, this is really only a big deal in the remote far western hills, but wehrever you travel you should sensitive to minor caste restrictions: for example, you many not be allowed into the kitchen of high -caste Hindu Home. Status(ijat) is an equally important factor in nepalese society. meeting for the first time, Nepalis observe a ritual of asking each other's name, hometown , and profession, all to determine relative status and therefore the correct leval of deference. As a Westerner you have a lot of status, and relatively speaking you're fabulously wealthy-be prepared for questions.

 

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