Touching The Untouchable



I have spent my time in India observing and trying to organize what I see in a way that makes sense to my North American sensibilities.  Although often uncomfortable and constantly perplexed I love this exercise, I can feel my brain expanding to accommodate new views every day.

This photo was taken on my recent sojourn to South India with a local friend.    The chance for me to see through her eyes was an opportunity that I jumped at and, on our 7 hr. bus ride from Bangalore to Pondicherry, asked her to explain the Hindu caste system to me.
People are born into their caste according to previous Karma (activities).  Although the system is loosening, evidenced by “untouchables” reaching high ranking government positions, there is still a strong family rule to marry within your own caste.
The skeleton of this hierarchy is:
Brahman = intellectual and spiritual people, peaceful austerity
Ksatriya = warriors and leaders, heroes
Vaisya = business people, traders and farmers, cow protectors
Sudra = unskilled labour, sweepers
Outside of the castes are the untouchables.
Places to go, people to see:
3 Responses to “Touching The Untouchable”
  1. cg says:

    Hi Mike,

    This is so moving – how do the see life and what is possibility to them?

  2. Tiene que ser duro, ver según que tipo de cosas, y más a las que no estamos acostumbrados en absoluto, saludos

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