Penance

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Senthil, May 13, 2015.

  1. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Just a last minute thing. A mate needed a favor and I needed some money.

    The vehicles we were using had UK plates with a Foreign Media stamp, but no state insignias at all. We changed guides often to suit whatever region we were in. I say guides, but really they were just locals the producers hired to keep us from transgressing any unwritten laws. The only requirement was they speak English and have a good grasp of local dialect and customs. Most were blokes from lower income areas eager to earn some ready cash.

    In the north we had no problem at all speaking to people from all walks of life. As we traveled south however we began to meet with more and more opposition. Contempt really, particularly when dealing with more effluent people. They seemed to somehow resent having to associate with the more common members of society.

    We were treated well by the Police for the most part. Lots of hoops to jump through in India to get permission to film in some areas, but a few Rupees in the right palm usually got the job done.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  2. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    When it comes to traveling in India, nothing surprises me. When the goats are smart enough to use the pedestrian overpasses on the new interstate highways, but the people still just run across, expect anything.
     
  3. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Then again, regarding contempt or disdain, some cultures simply aren't as polite as others, to our sense of it. Some cultures are just more direct, or circumstance makes it that way. So its hard to tell really the inner attitudes of those whom we encounter. We all know of the 'polite' man who'll stab you in the back if given the opportunity.
     
  4. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    This is true...
     
  5. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Looking back, 3 car loads of Aussies pulling into your village is probably a bit intimidating as well. We're not known for subtlety.
     
  6. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Another common penance I forgot to mention is volunteer tonsuring. This one is more difficult for women, but remains common at two particular temples, especially Tirupati Venkateswara, and Palani Murugan temples. Tirupati sells the hair to raise funds. Besides several fundraisers for cancer etc. , I've done the religious type 3 times now. It has become too easy to be called a penance any more.
     
  7. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    I doubt I'd get very many points for that one as I'm quite follicly challenged these days. :(
     
  8. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    If you went to Palani you could just buy some sandalwood paste and smear it all over that bald head anyway. For awhile you'd get the admiring look from the devotees. The sandalwood has a cooling effect, and believe me, one gains new admiration for the skills of a barber with a straight razor in his hand.
     
  9. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    A couple of my wife's male cousins did that after shaving their heads in the days after my father-in-law's funeral pyre.
     
  10. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Probably half of all Hindus get the chudakarana (head-shaving) samskara when young too.
     

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