Define The Following Terms Cultural Studies Essay

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Hinduism is a very complex type of religion it consist of Srauta, Vaishnavism and Shaivism among many other tradition all combined into one. This religion also includes some historical groups such as Kapalikas. Their beliefs and practices consist of philosophies, wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of daily morality. This is all based on the notion of karma, dharma and societal norms. What makes Hinduism is different from most religions because, rather than have a rigid common set of beliefs they have conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view. This is a very old religion dating back to the late Neolithic in the early Harappan period (5500-2600). There practices include seeking the awareness of god and blessings from devas. Often they will create a shrine consisting of their chosen form(s) of god. They practice at home mostly and visiting temples is not obligatory. The Hinduism has many festivals throughout the year the Hindu calendar usually prescribe there dates.

� What has been your selected group�s experience with other groups?

Well there is not much to go on for the American view of the Hindu religion so after farther research I found that during the Islamic rule of the Indian sub-continent the Muslims caused widespread carnage and terror because, Muslims regarded the Hindus as infidels and therefore slaughtered them and converted millions of Hindus into Muslims. There is no official total of the deaths from this Muslim led rampage. Another big rampage was during the era of Nizam state of Hyderabad. During this era Hindus where severely repressed under the autocratic dictatorial rule of Nizam. Hindus were called Gaddaar by the Muslims this meaning traitor. Despite the majority of the population being Hindu there were still treated as second class citizens.

� In what ways has the racial/ethnic group you selected contributed to American culture?

From their earliest presence in North America, African Americans have contributed literature, art, agricultural skills, foods, clothing styles, music, and language, social and technological innovation to American culture. The cultivation and use of many agricultural products in the U.S., such as yams, peanuts, rice, okra, sorghum, grits, watermelon, indigo dyes, and cotton, can be traced to African and African American influences. Notable examples include George Washington Carver, who created 300 products from peanuts, 118 products from sweet potatoes, and 75 from pecans; and George Crum, who invented the potato chip in 1853. African American music is one of the most pervasive African American cultural influences in the United States today and is among the most dominant in mainstream popular music. Hip hop, R&B, funk, rock and roll, soul, blues, and other contemporary American musical forms originated in black communities and evolved from other black forms of music, including blues, doo-wop, barbershop, ragtime, bluegrass, jazz, and gospel music. African American-derived musical forms have also influenced and been incorporated into virtually every other popular musical genre in the world, including country and techno. African American genres are the most important ethnic vernacular tradition in America, as they have developed independent of African traditions from which they arise more so than any other immigrant groups, including Europeans; make up the broadest and longest lasting range of styles in America; and have, historically, been more influential, inter-culturally, geographically, and economically, than other American vernacular traditions. African Americans have also had an important role in American dance. Bill T. Jones, a prominent modern choreographer and dancer, has included historical African American themes in his work, particularly in the piece "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land". Likewise, Alvin Ailey's artistic work, including his "Revelations" based on his experience growing up as an African American in the South during the 1930s, has had a significant influence on modern dance.

� Identify some specific examples of prejudice or discrimination that your selected group has experienced historically.

The African American culture was subject to slavery which is a heartless and ruthless act on any culture because of their differences. If you were an African American growing up in the early 1900s to present day you would have had to endure name calling, violent attacks, beatings, killings and so much more. The hatred casted on the African American culture over the years has been very dark and grim. Few have stood up to help their culture and made a difference. The KKK or better known as the Ku Klux Klan I the most known source of discrimination towards the black community. They are known for beatings, rapes and hangings of black just because of their skin color. The entire black culture has endured slavery by more than one ethnic culture and still survived. To this very day some discriminate against African Americans because of their heritage.

� What were the sources of this prejudice or discrimination?

The sources of this prejudice and discriminating I feel lies in the hatred that has been passed on the many generations of people who are un willing to understand the differences between white and black is just that it�s only the skin color that separates us we are all equal no matter how you look at it. The Ku Klux Klan hated against blacks because they were afraid that if the African Americans were seen as equals they would take their jobs and they did not believe it was right for any races to mix and have relationships. I still cannot understand why any person can be so evil of a different color skin. I find it very hard to imagine the hate that any of these people went throw from slavery to being made fun of and sometimes being killed. The world is a very diverse place and we all need to open up our eyes and understand that if we think a culture is different than they also view us the same way but just give them a try and get to know them be for you judge them.

� Does what you�ve learned about this racial/ethnic group help you understand it? How?

I have had a very good understanding of the African American culture for a number of years. But after doing some extensive research on the African American culture I have found that since the days of slavery there has been many things that this culture has done that still helps present day minority groups be heard. For example, When Rosa parks refused to give up her seat on the bus African Americans have been fighting for equal rights. In modern day society minority groups such as homosexuals and Latinos have been fighting for here equal rights for years and there fight has just began. The amount of scrutiny that has faced then African American culture is heart breaking and very disappointing. I strongly feel that anyone who loves history should read up on the African American culture and better understand it before discriminating against it.

Part IV

Answer the following questions in 150 to 250 words each:

� How are the prejudice and discrimination experienced by your selected religious group and racial/ethnic group similar?

The similarities between the Hindu cultures discrimination and the African Americans discrimination is similar because they were both discriminated against for their culture and beliefs the way they were both treated by more than one culture. African Americans and Hindus were both subjected to mass beatings and kidnappings leading to slavery for the African Americans and genocide for the Hindus. Slavery was also a problem for India in the 17th century In America as well as other countries these two cultures were often seen as outsiders and were persecuted against in many ways alike throughout history. If one was to see either of these cultures as negative or evil in any way it would be solely based on what one had heard or read somewhere rather than fist hand experience. Neither of these two cultures have done anything to deserve the type of treatment they have been given.

� How are they different?

The differences faced by these two cultures are one had to deal with the slavery for many more years (African Americans) there road to freedom was much harder and more complex than that of the slavery that the Hindu culture faced it was more brief and less aggressive. The Hindu religion also separates the two discrimination and prejudice. Africans practice Christianity or Islam so both would have and most likely faced there problems very differently and were separated in how they took the persecution. Another difference is the way two were persecuted Hindus were mostly

Just killed and beheaded rather than made servants to the people.

� Can you draw any conclusions about discrimination from this comparison?

The only conclusion I can make about discrimination from this comparison is that both cultures faced very similar hardships but somehow through all the pain they persevered and now have good lives for the most part in the United States of America. Discrimination and prejudice is something we all will face no matter our culture or ethnic background so being prepared for the worst will never hurt anyone. Teach your kids to love all and hate none so that way our grandkids and their kids can grow up in a world without hatred and war. The world is very diverse in many ways and there is no way one can understand all the different cultures or religions and that�s ok. Just be open to all before judging because of a few actions. The Hindu religion is one of many that teach there people to be in peace not war but sadly not all cultures agree with this belief system but, keep praying for better days without any prejudice or discrimination.

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