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Voyagees of Columbus

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Caste System

Have you even heard of the word "caste"? If you live in the United States, you might be more used to the word "class". Caste is similar to class and originates in India. Caste system is a system that divides Indian people into five groups. According to a dictionary caste system is described as "a social structure in which classes are determined by heredity". It also works as means of social order with in a society. The caste system in India is as old as the religion, Hinduism. The society is divided into four major classes: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras. The untouchables are not included in the caste system because they are outcastes.

Caste system is not classified according to economic status, but rather in accordance to the importance. Different people in different classes have different duties, and are respected according to the rank within the caste system. If a higher caste does not perform the duties that they are given, it is believed that that person will be reborn into a lower caste. For example, if a shudra does not perform his or her duties, they will reborn into an untouchable family. Once a person is born into a caste, it is not possible for them to move up into a higher caste in present life. Therefore, the daily life and jobs are directly related to the caste system of ordinary Hindus.

The highest castes in the caste system are the Brahmins. They play an important role in both the caste system and in the Indian culture. In history, Brahmins were scholarly teachers, priests, and advisors to monarchy of the early form of Hindu government. Moreover, Brahmins are considered very close to god and they are holy. Today, in modern Indian culture, Brahmins are mostly priests. Brahmins even today perform rituals for all people and carry out the role of honoring the gods in religious and wedding ceremonies. In Hinduism, if we have any wedding or prayer, we have to have Brahmins there. The kings made all the decision and acted as a judge. Brahmins are highly respected. They are considered the translators between god and human beings and the educators of the youth. This is why the caste system puts Bhramins at the top.

A long time ago, in India we had a king for every single state. The kings came after Brahmins. Kshatriyas is the second caste in the caste system. Kshatriyas were the warriors and monarchs in the early Indian history. For instance, the Kshatriyas in Hindu history were great kings like Shree Ram because the guidelines to be a Kshatriya were hard to follow for ordinary humans. Shree Ram had to follow strict Kshatriya rules like being honest, good at offering hospitality, kind hearted to all Bhramins, carious, and respectful to all living things. In other words, the idea of being good, carious, respectful to all people explains the duties of Kshatriyas, the protectors of all the people. Furthermore, Kshatriya class today is hard to be classified because; now in modern India, there are neither kings nor warriors. There are soldiers but they are of different religions as well as being from a different caste. However, now most of the Kshatriyas are identified as rich businessmen.

The next caste is the Vaishyas. Vaishyas are the ordinary common people such as entrepreneurs and other wealthy middle class people. These people in the old days were working folks as mentioned, and tax payers to the monarchs. They also own big properties due to their high paying jobs. In other words this large group even today, makes up most of the working force in India.

The next and the final caste in the caste system is sudras. The people that are included in this caste are: farmers, producers, peasants and laborers. These people make daily lives of the higher caste easier. They have to work under the highest caste of people and they also have to follow their rules. All throughout the history, these people have held the lower paying jobs and they work harder than any other people in the cast system. They are paid low due to their position in Indian society.

The lowest group



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