Longstanding Tradition of Hindu and Term Paper

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Maharshtrian cuisine comprises of hot, aromatic meat and fish curries and subtle flavoring of vegetarian cuisine. Peanuts and cashew nuts are widely used in vegetables and the main cooking medium is peanut oil. Another feature is the use of a deep purple berry with a sweet and sour taste, otherwise called kokum, in sol kadhi, an appetizer-digestive, which is served chilled. Non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are served with boiled rice or rotis made from rice flour. Dessert is commonly comprises rotis (a type of bread) stuffed with a sweet mixture of jaggery and gram flour.

Goan cuisine boasts of delicacies like tangy pork 'vindaloo', spicy 'sorpotel' and the popular fish curry with rice. Most of their meals are accompanied with local wine or local liqueur, 'Feni'. Meals are simple but most are also chili hot, spicy and pungent. The basic components include rice, fish and coconut and delicacies made from these three are a must in nearly every meal. Coconut milk, made from grated coconut flesh and soaking it in a cup of warm water is an essential ingredient in Goan cooking and they also make their own vinegar and chutney. Goans, who are Christians, prefer pork, unlike Hindus who prefer lamb and chicken. Gujarat's are vegetarians and buttermilk and yoghurt forms the basis of their daily diet. The main dish comprises a simple lentil and rice mixture, also called khichdi. It is eaten with a savory curry made with yoghurt using bay leaves, ginger, chilies and finely chopped vegetables as garnishing, onions and pickles.

Rajasthan staple foods include millet bread with hot garlic paste combined with spring onions which are believed to protect them against strong winds. Cooking is done with little water which is in turn substituted with milk, buttermilk and clarified butter. Balance to using milk products is provided by the appropriate use of black rock salt, ginger, asafetida and ajwain, which act as digestives. Favored spices include fenugreek seeds, dried fenugreek leaves and aniseed. Mango powder acts as a substitute for tomatoes; while asafetida enhances taste in the absence of garlic and onions. Generally, Indian cuisine was influenced by several cultures. The Aryan culture focused on the mind and body enhancing properties of food, while the Persian and Arab cultures led to the Mughali cooking style with rich, thick gravies and use of dry fruits in dishes. The British gave the Indian love for tea, resulting in an Anglo-Indian cuisine due to the added European twist while the Portuguese culture is represented in dishes like the vindaloo and Xacuti. With regards to practicing Hindus, the cow is considered sacred and therefore beef is not eaten. Some Hindus are vegetarian, not eating meat, fish, eggs or any products made from these foods. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is not cooked together.

Economics

India has the twelfth largest economy in the world and the second fastest growing economy in the world. It is placed fourth largest economy in 2007 in terms of its GDP at purchasing power parity. It is estimated to have its GDP at around 3.1 trillion dollars by the World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI) database. In 2007-2008, the GDP growth was at 9% putting the economy on an ever increasing growth curve ("India -- An Overview of the Economy"). The positive indicators of stable annual growth rate have brought about a rise in foreign exchange reserves and a boom in the capital market. India's investment climate continues to inspire confidence with its macroeconomic fundamentals staying strong. The country's reform process was initiated with the objective of accelerating the pace of economic growth and poverty eradication. Since 1991, the reforms have signaled a paradigm shift to a more open economy, relying more on market forces, the private sector playing a bigger role including foreign investment and restructuring of the government's role. India has emerged as a premier global manufacturing hub with a number of multinational corporations like Ford, Suzuki, Hyundai, and Coca Cola among others. Manufacturing is a big part of the economy and while global competitiveness in the specific sector fostering growth, productivity and employment and strengthening the agricultural sector that contributing to 18.5% of the country's GDP, as well as the services sector that contributes to 55% of the country's GDP ("India -- An Overview of the Economy"). Large potential for investment exists in sectors like biotechnology, roads and highways, civil aviation, health care and in the emerging special economic zones. The investments are encouraged by India's large skilled and competitive manpower and its own rapidly growing domestic market that arise from the growing middle class' disposable incomes.

A person's decision to take part in entrepreneurial activities is attributed to a number of characteristics from their personality to education, unemployment and education. Though not linked to economic activities, religion plays an important role in the way the economics is shaped (Audretsch and Meyer 36). Hinduism does not encourage one to change one's material well-being as it is believed that one's purpose in life is attainment of liberation and freedom from re-birth, which means understanding reality is more important than acquisition of material things. The caste system which means Brahmins are intelligent and spiritual leaders, the Kshatriyas were kings and noblemen, Vyshyas were traders and businessmen and Shudras took up all other occupations. The caste system also shapes ones values and beliefs and according to the order of the castes, ones occupation determines their castes and means that their affiliation is passed on to future generations. Although abolished, the caste system is evident at the cultural level and influences ones occupation. The castes system also deters community development as its influence prevails in modern Hindus consciousness and especially prevalent in rural areas where the education level is low and if there is, it is inclined to maintaining traditional cultural norms. The view of Vyshyas, the merchant class, as more suited to engage in business means there are fewer lower class Hindus who engage in entrepreneurial activities (Audretsch and Meyer, 36).

Family structure

The Indian family was traditionally large in size and joint and one would find from three to four families living in one house. The family was either agrarian land holding or business based (Deep). Women, though uneducated were well versed in Indian epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata which were rich in family values, social behavior and issued clear guidelines on how to act in certain situations, therefore acting as guiding the family and nation in general. The women acted as teachers of societal norms and behavior through reciting stories of societal Heros therefore giving them their basic education. This family structure made collective decisions on most of the issues, including marriage. In modern days, the structure of the Indian family has been transformed with people choosing non-agricultural activities and therefore moving out of the joint family home and into urban centers. The breakaways from the main families acted as satellites of the parent family (Deep). However, the breakaways became more independent units and continued on more or less the same pattern set from the previous units. Others learnt from the patriarch who made decisions based on his own experience, in order to enable them take up similar roles in the future.

Over time, family system has been altered substantially with the family size shrinking significantly. An average family living in the urban area comprises three to four people, with children and two without. The husband and wife both work so as to earn a living and recital of the epics has declined and even deemed backward. The chanting of Ramayana has been taken over by the television and children learn what the television teaches them. Family values and social norms are not passed on to the next decoration. Rifts have been created between parent families and the breakaway families due to the parents not being involved in the decisions made and may not be understood by them. Education has created awareness contributes to globalization, commercialization and influence of the commercial media resulting in erosion of the family values and social norms practiced in the past (Deep).

Caste System and Religion and Modern India

The caste system is the pattern of social classes in Hinduism with the basic caste called Varna or color and sub-caste called jati or birth, life, rank being its subdivision. According to the Bhagavad Gita, the works of the Brahmins, Ks.atriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras are all different according to three powers of their born nature. The Brahmins work is peace, self-harmony, purity and austerity, loving-forgiveness and righteousness, vision and wisdom and faith. The Ks.atriyas are heroic minded, have inner fire, constancy, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and noble leadership. The Vaishyas work was trade, agriculture and rearing of cattle. The Shudras' work was service. There are thousands of sub-castes in India that are with particular geographical ranges, occupational specializations and an administrative or corporate structure. Each Varna is associated with a traditional color, skin…[continue]

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