Religion & Caste:
Although the Caste system does not influence daily life as it once did, it is still wide spread, especially in more rural and isolated regions of India. In the Hindu religion fulfilling your moral obligation to live a rightoues existence strengthen's your chances of being reborn into more fortunate circumstances or a higher caste. Castes are divided into Brahmin (priests, teachers), Khshatriya (warriors), Vaisya (Merchants), & Shudra (laborers), & Dalits (untouchable class). Caste often dictates your position in life and how far you can rise on the social ladder. Although upward mobility is greater then ever in India, many families that belong to certain castes and communities pass jobs and businesses down to their children and people often people identify themselves by their trade. Unlike the past, Dalits can run for political office and have more access to education and better paying jobs. With that being said discrimination based on caste is still part of everyday life for millions of Indians. Many Indians we met who were very proud and willing to share information about their faith and social standing.
India is one of the most spiritual & religiously diverse countries on planet earth and with over 1 billion people. The beliefs and religious practices are as diverse as the population. Hinduism is the faith of the majority of Indians, followed by Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, & various other tribal faiths. In most parts of India, religion plays a significant part in daily life from rituals, diet, festivals, decorations, dress, architecture, social order, & marriage. Although religion is less influential, especially in wealthier and more developed parts of India, as it used to be it is still a powerful unifying and dividing force in India. We are not experts in this field, therefore we provided more links about the diverse religions of India below: