Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

1, 2, 3….

September 7, 2009 · No Comments

My first observation: I have absolutely no interest in comparing Hinduism and Sikhism.

My second observation: I lack the sufficient knowledge to try to act as though I can analyze religion, and if I tried I believe my thoughts would reflect my bias nature.

My third observation: I’m going to shut up and write about what I have learned.

Since we have been in London, I have truly enjoyed our emphasis on the great diversities of faith. Since the day I was born I have practiced the same religion. Although I lay great value on my beliefs, I have always found it fascinating to learn and study other religious beliefs. That said, I find this prompt very interesting, in that, I appreciate the opportunity to look further into how these religious groups face immigration as well as assimilation.

I really like BBC.com. It isn’t the easiest cite to navigate, but its very informative. After reading both the Hinduism and Sikhism profiles I happened to find two, very distinct, characteristics that have and will continue to influence their ability to practice religion in London.

To be a devout practicing Sikh, one must have uncut hair, carry a comb, wear a silver bracelet, wear special undergarments, and carry a sword. These customs were came into practice when the religion was developed in India. India allows and accepts these customs simply because it is natural. However, today, in England these practices may influence the daily lives of those who practice Sikhism. Carrying around certain weapons in a city is against the law, this is an obvious, however other customs the Sikhs practice influence their ability to smoothly immigrate into London. Leaving hair uncut, and wearing certain clothing could factor into attaining certain job position etc.

Hinduism also stems from India. Those that live in India and also practice Hinduism have forever followed the segregation of the Caste system. The system includes the priests, the warriors, the merchants, laborers, and the untouchables. This system is clearly prevalent in India but, now as those who practice Hinduism immigrate to London the system continues. Although the segregation is not visible, within their religious community, tradition continues to flourish and those with in their class remain in their class. The combination of both the Caste system and the British Class system allows for deeper separation, and continual discouragement of creating a people as one.

These two faiths immigrate to London with the desire to continue their religious practice in full. However, when they encounter the different laws and social values in the city it becomes difficult to balance religion and assimilation. Preventing this seems almost impossible. Should the people of London allow one specific religion to carry around a weapon? Should the Hindu rank system be completely abolished, even if it altered the stature of a priest? These question are not simple. Question of this form require more than just a quick conversation or a unanimous opinion, they require both cultures to accept each other 100 percent. Who knows when that will happen….

Categories: Patsy

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