If you convert to Hinduism what cast would you be?

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by GuruZero, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. GuruZero

    GuruZero Tim the Enchanter

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    As you know manu created four types of people the Hindu society falls into. If you are a Muslim (Indian) and wanted to convert what cast would you fall into?
    P.S. I know the cast system is kinda banned(?) but still widely practiced especially in rural areas.
     
  2. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    Hum.... never thought about that. I know the caste system is alive and well worldwide, but I'm not sure it applies to converts. Although I know that some native born Hindus do look down upon people who have converted. I'd imagine if the caste system does exist for Muslims who have converted, it would be along social economic lines.
     
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  3. GuruZero

    GuruZero Tim the Enchanter

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    Apparently, after looking deeper, I've found that by default, you'd be a Dalit, but on rare occasions marriage facilitates a proxy cast i.e. the convert could get the families cast but of course often it is not done as families would fight tooth and nail...the other option is name change and in a generation who would know? Well, this is why Hinduism a 10000 year old system gets very little converts in India, in the US people flock to Shiva...Also this is the reason the lowest classes convert to Christianity. Duh, anything is better than being a Dalit, I'd suppose...
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  4. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    My wife is of a lower caste. When we got married some of the elders in her flock chastised her for not staying within her caste. Apparently in Fiji, marrying a white Christian is a considerable step up caste wise.o_O
     
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  5. GuruZero

    GuruZero Tim the Enchanter

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    You live in Fiji? What is/was your nationality? Our good friends(old neighbors) are a couple - the guy is a Yank and the wife is a Hindu from Fiji....
     
  6. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    No, my wife and I live in the US, but we do have property in Fiji. My wife is a native born Hindu from there and I'm a born and raised Christian American. Where do you call home?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  7. GuruZero

    GuruZero Tim the Enchanter

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    I am in California, US. What is Fiji like ?
     
  8. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    It's sort of like a scaled down version of India. The population is composed of 2 main groups. Native born Fijians and descendants of the indentured Indian laborers brought over under British rule. Some areas are quite modern while others are downright primitive.
     
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  9. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    It's a complicated question. In India, caste is more social than religious, at least these days, and you see caste in both Christian and Muslim populations, although leaders will deny it. Originally it was called varna, and was intended to separate people by their natural inclinations, just as schools might have more than one 'stream' ... academics, practical, etc.

    What's banned is caste based discrimination, not caste itself. In that sense, think of it as you would gender or age based discrimination. It's hard to implement though, as communities will have access to situations that will help them remain in a caste, just like money will help a person remain in an economic class.

    For newcomers and converts, it's just as unclear, and how you will be seen will be determined by the community you're seeking integration into, if at all. So if you're already a lawyer or a teacher, you'll be widely accepted, a tradesman, somewhat less etc. There are many subcastes, and are roughly the equivalent of occupations.

    Caste is not in the forefront of most people's minds at all though. It's there for some, and varies a lot by community. In my trips to India, I didn't notice it at all, and very rarely over here. Once in a blue moon I have encountered a casteist person, just like once in a while a racist will show his true colours.
     
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  10. GuruZero

    GuruZero Tim the Enchanter

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    "It's a complicated question. In India, caste is more social than religious, at least these days, and you see caste in both Christian and Muslim populations, although leaders will deny it. Originally it was called varna, and was intended to separate people by their natural inclinations, just as schools might have more than one 'stream' ... academics, practical, etc. "

    This is why while Hinduism is almost perfect religion (IMHO), even preferred to Buddhism, a 10,000 year-old complex system could not get more followers in Asia and Southeast Asia where Buddhism(a derivative, actually) flourished. Also this is the reason lower casts find solace in Christianity. I am not being judgmental of a cast system but it is not very progressive...I know most Hindus do not like or believe in converts.
     
  11. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Well, I'm a convert, and have never had a problem in 40+ years. In fact, I'd say we're more admired than not. Most Hindus I know love it when a white convert joins them in expressions of faith. But yes, experiences do differ, and I guess there may be a few people out there who don't really practice it, or alter the ancient ways to suit their idea, and traditional Hindus logically take exception to it. Still, this hasn't been my personal experience.

    Caste is just as prevalent in Christian groups within India. You can just google 'Caste in Indian Christianity' and get lots of hits. So the idea that conversion to Christianity gets rid of caste is largely a myth.

    Here's a start for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_Indian_Christians
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  12. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    Shortly after getting married my wife took a job in one of our local malls. We met an Indian man there from Mumbai who had a small shop across from the one where she was working. As it turns out he had converted from Hindu to Christian. One day I asked him his reasons expecting to here how he had found Jesus or something similar. Instead, he informed me that he had not given up any of his Hindu values or beliefs and that the only reason he had converted to Christianity was now that he was in business for himself, he no longer had time to be Hindu. "It's a lot of work to be Hindu, he said. I just don't have the time anymore."
     
  13. Rak

    Rak Member

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    Interesting topic.
     

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