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Golden Temple of Amristar

"The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world. Read the related article."


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Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 6, 2015 4:33 PM

The Golden Temple of Amristar, located in the northern Punjab region of India, is renowned as the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion. 80,000 -160,000 people come here each day to enjoy a free eatery on top of prayer. This is the largest free eatery in the world. What an unbelievable idea that this huge number of people can enjoy free food. Food is cooked up by workers in large vats in order to feed the masses. This is not a homeless shelter, there was a man in this video who said he was from a prominent family and he can to the temple because he felt peace of mind here. The temple is covered in glitter and gold hence its name.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 24, 2015 10:53 AM

I think this idea is excellent. Sikhism is a blend of Islam and Hinduism.  They believe that everyone is equal and strive for peace and tranquility.  The Golden Temple is, essentially, a place to go to get away from the fast-paced and cut-throat environment of everyday-life.  They accept all races and religions.  I love this model and idea.  I hope the Sikhs gain more attention and spread their simple idea of peace, love, and volunteerism.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 7, 2015 8:29 AM

This video provides some valuable insight into a religion that not many people know about. Sikhism combines elements of Hinduism and Islam, but rejects the Hindu concept of a caste system. It is practiced predominantly in the Punjab region of India, but practicing Sikhs can be found around the world. The Golden Temple of Amristar is one of Sikhism's most important holy sites, and adherents of any religion are welcome at the temple. There is a large community kitchen inside the temple, where volunteers produce tens of thousands of meals for temple visitors everyday. Everyone who visits the temple sits and eats together in the community eatery, as Sikhs believe all people are equal, and so they are not concerned with separating visitors by gender, race, or religion.

 

Sikhism and its Golden Temple are really interesting examples of cross-cultural pollination. While it is not unusual to see cultures adapt elements of fashion or music from other cultures, it is unusual to see one culture fuse its religion with another. Generally, religion is seen as a concrete ideology with immutable truths that should not be disturbed or tampered with. Sikhism sheds this rigidity and incorporates elements of two major religions into one, creating a religion of peace, equality, and tolerance. This is the ideal of any religion, and Sikhism exhibits wonderfully. The Punjab region of India acts as a melting pot for Hinduism and Islam, creating a geographic center for ideologies that reach far beyond their geographic origins. Though Sikhism is a small religion compared to Islam or Hinduism, it provides a fascinating and excellent example of how cultures can come together peacefully to create something new and positive. 

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Why caste still matters in India

Why caste still matters in India | Research Capacity-Building in Africa | Scoop.it

INDIA’S general election will take place before May. The front-runner to be the next prime minister is Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, currently chief  minister of Gujarat. A former tea-seller, he has previously attacked leaders of the ruling Congress party as elitist, corrupt and out of touch. Now he is emphasising his humble caste origins. In a speech in January he said 'high caste' Congress leaders were scared of taking on a rival from 'a backward caste'. If Mr Modi does win, he would be the first prime minister drawn from the 'other backward classes', or OBC, group. He is not the only politician to see electoral advantage in bringing up the subject: caste still matters enormously to most Indians."


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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 8, 2015 9:18 PM

I agree that until there are more jobs created for the people of India, the slower the caste will fade out.  Over time it will fade out eventually, but the creation of jobs and more social interaction will help the process move along faster.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 15, 2015 2:51 PM

It was interesting to read about Modi's run for prime minister- I recently read a TIME magazine article about him, his original platform, and his subsequent work in office- and to see so much of Obama's run for office in Modi's struggle. Modi's support among his own caste, traditionally one that has been discriminated against in Indian society, is not at all different from Obama's support among the African American community. It goes to show that, for all our differences, people are a lot more alike then we'd care to think. Beyond that, it was interesting to see how much power the old caste system continues to hold in Indian society, much like the issues with race that Americans continue to struggle with within our own society. Appeals to different castes have been employed successfully by politicians and other forms of media; I once read that the most popular Indian films are often love stories revolving around "forbidden love" between two members of different, opposite castes. In a society that is so rich and complex, with hundreds of different languages and beliefs, it is so easy for lines to be drawn and for differences to be focused upon in a negative light. Happily for India, it has come a long way to address these problems and to move forward. While not perfect, India's future looks bright.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:34 PM

i dont understand how a country like india that is mostly modern and on the world scale can still have such an ancient system of labeling people be such a prominent practice in their society, i hope modi gets elected so he can start to eliminate this