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A lost generation?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Vinayaka, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Here in Canada, (and I suspect in the US, maybe Europe) we've had 2 major waves of Indian immigration ... one in the 60s 70s, then a pause, and now a resurgence. I'm particularly aware of South Indian as that's my crowd, but it's probably fair to assume that other regions, including that huge diaspora, parallel that, in a general way.

    The children of that first generation are the ones that may have been lost. Why? There were no temples, and the temple is a key component of keeping the culture alive and thriving. The elders did build the new temples, yes, but in the meantime, the children had none to go to. Nothing to balance out that bombardment of western culture, and hence many, (but not all) became very westernised. They found new religions, married into other faiths, got materialistic, and for all intents and purposes have nothing about them that remains Hindu, other than being one by birth.

    Now it's different. Urban communities have temples, and kids born here now go, right from birth. They get their samskaras, they hear the music, mothers and grandmothers show them the Gods, they see others, and it gives them a bit more of a balance.

    These are just my observations over the last 40 years watching it, and as usual, i could be dead wrong.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Hmm, I’m too young to do anything other than speculate. But I assume you’re correct. Of course, temple is a key component to “staying Hindu.”
    But that ignores the influences of the parents directly. Hindus don’t just sit on their thumbs at home. They erect their own shrines and teach their children the traditions directly. They don’t really need a local Temple to do that. Though they might yearn for that community in the meantime. Of course if they found some Indian friends, they could set up “Bhajans” in lieu of Temple.
     
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  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Thanks for your speculation. I've observed that some of the first generation ones I spoke of didn't realise how much more they would have to do until it was too late. Just going to temple back home did that for them. Of course there are many variations to the theme. Some folks came to the west in order to be westernised as they'd been told for so long by evangelists that Hinduism was so inferior, that they were convinced of it.
     
  4. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    There is a wide range of ages and generations at the temple, though the average is young families. Lots of pre-teens, teens, not many college age since I suspect they are away at college, middle aged and elderly. It’s particularly encouraging to see the younger families. I asked someone what people did before the temples were built. The answer was as @SomeRandom said, people stayed home, or maybe for a very special festival they’d travel to a temple.
     
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  5. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    The 'lost' generation would be 30 to 50 now. Thereabouts. We get a ton of young families as well, but the weekday regulars are all retired folks.
     
  6. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Interesting... that’s the age range of our evening attendees, even with kids. I haven’t been to temple during a weekday daytime. I would suppose they’re retirees. I’d like to stop one morning on my way to work.
     
  7. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Well there is the interference of evangelicals too, I suppose.
    Back “home” (Fiji) my mother’s family mostly still pray at home. I don’t think they go to temple a whole lot, though there’s one very near their house.
     
  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Yes, Fiji has its own unique story to tell. I only go to the local temple a couple times a year so don't really know the crowd that well. Because it's not open daily, many Fijians also attend one of the 3 or 4 temples that are open every day.
     
  9. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Hmm I wonder if that is just the consequence of Indian culture juxtaposed with the islander lifestyle. Like somehow Kava snuck it’s way into prasad during certain events.
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    All the diaspora places have their unique story. Mauritius is heavily influenced bu French culture for example, so you get these unique cross cultural things like curry sandwiches where a pickle and a curry are put as a a sandwich filling in French bread.

    In Fiji there was more influence from the local islanders. (Mauritius was uninhabited) In the Caribbean there is an African (slave trade) influence so the food is African/Indian.
     
  11. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    A French sandwich with a pickle and curry?
    Sounds like something one makes at midnight when they’re legless lol
    Any good?
     
  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I never tried one because I'm gluten intolerant. I assume they were great.
     
  13. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Ahh well.
    I might have to bite the bullet. For the greater good of course.
     
  14. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    In Fiji how much fusion cuisine is there? I assume there is more seafood than in regular Indian food, but that's more because it's an island than the indigenous influence. Mauritius had that too, a lot of it.

    Fusion cuisine - Wikipedia
     
  15. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    It’s very “tropical.” A lot of coconuts and you’re right a lot of fresh seafood.
    Basically they have their own variants of Indian food but with different spices
    That Fiji Taste - Discover delicious Fiji food recipes!
     
  16. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    If say, they generally somehow manage to remain Hindu, would I be very wrong? :)
     
    #16 Aupmanyav, Oct 15, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    As you know religiosity comes in degrees. In my view, unless you get baptised or do some conversion ritual or declaration, you'd always be Hindu. For children of mixed religion marriages it might be different. Kids might get baptised in the Christian Church and then go get a namakarana in the Hindu temple. Hard to say what religion they'd be. We've yet to label 'mixed' very well in religious categorisation.
     
  18. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    IMHO, we do not have a label like that. One is either here or there. I am not for mix-ups, though I would tolerate them. I do not subscribe to 'All religions (or Gods) are the same'. Old orthodox person, you know.
     
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  19. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    'Confused' might be one label. The other day the 5 year old of a mixed marriage (Kerala Christian, Sri Lankan Hindu) was with her Hindu grandparents at the temple. She absolutely refused to put on the pottu (bindi) at the end of the puja, and made a huge scene. Obviously her other grandparents had gotten to her about 'the mark of the devil'. Poor kid, I felt sorry for her, destined to a lifetime of confusion. This was the one where the Christian parents refused to attend the Hindu wedding. So much hate.
     
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  20. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    And "ignorance". Among my many faults, flaws and shortcomings is naivete. In my naivete I think a mixed religions marriage can work if there is a mutual understanding and respect. Knowledge of the other partner's religion isn't required as long as there is respect. In older generations I think that is sorely lacking. And that is from ignorance. I think younger families today are more understanding and respectful.

    My husband is Roman Catholic. There are saints all over the house, which is fine by me. I have my deities all over. He even prompted me (actually insisted) to buy the Radha and Krishna statues I got a few weeks back. Of course quid pro quo he got two archangels. :D Bottom line, we respect each other's beliefs.

    My family, however, are ignorant, intolerant, biased and over-opinionated. They take just about any opportunity to express a "Ohhh-kay! :rolleyes:" if anything Hindu or Indian comes up. When I declined london broil my sister prepared, I got a mock bow and "oh, so now you worship cows!" Ahimsa notwithstanding I wanted to punch the snot out of her. Side note, I found a neat little comeback to "why do Hindus worship cows?"... "the same reason and way Americans worship dogs and cats".

    So yeah, I think it comes down to ignorance. The hate comes from what we don't understand.
     
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