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Bayly, Susan. “Hindu kingship and the origin of community: religion, state, and society in Kerala, 1750–1850.” Modern Asian Studies 18.02 (1984): 177-213.
The Malayali Hindu culture is discussed in the journal article, which includes marriage rites as well as the family and home system. The author observes that the caste system is a defining feature of Kerala society. The wedding ceremony, also known as ‘kudivep,’ is lengthy; it begins with the Muhurtham, in which the boy and girl’s parents exchange horoscopes for matchmaking, and concludes with the Grihapravesh, in which the bride returns to her matrimonial home to begin her married life. The main driving force of society is extended family and kinship.
According to the author, the Hindu is a patriarchal society. A single household consists of a joint family of up to four generations. A joint family is made of kin that includes cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, and grandparents. The eldest male in the joint family is the head of the household. The author notes that Indians place a lot of importance on male children; they are treated with respect and given privileges. The female child is thought to be submissive and dependent; women are supposed to be housewives while the husbands fend for their family. I chose this journal article because it touches on the Hindu religious group that forms the Malayali people.

Karimpumannil Mathai, George. , ed. The Malayalis: The People, Their History, and Culture. Cosmo. 2002.

The book traces the history and culture of the Malayali people from the 17th Century. Kerala culture is a mixture of the Aryan and Dravidian cultures that was influenced by other cultures of India and around the world. The Malayalees culture is affected by religion, caste, and community. According to the author, contact with foreign traders and Portuguese people like Vasco Da Gama shaped the natives culture. The marriage ceremonies among the different religious sects are almost similar regarding the procedure. The marriage ceremonies were influenced by the Europeans in the case of the Syrian Christians, Arabic culture in the case of the Muslims, and Indians in the case of Hindus. The research goes on to look specifically at the marriage rites of each religious group. The Malayali people are strongly a cooperative society, where the family forms the fabric of society. The Malayali are mostly a patrilineal society made up of households, whose members are related by blood. The home life involves cultivating farms since the Kerala is an agricultural region. This book will be crucial in tracing the development of culture (marriage, family, and home life) dating back to the 10th Century, to the present modern Malayali people who are in India and other parts of the world.

Miller, Roland E. Mappila Muslim Culture: How a Historic Muslim Community in India Has Blended Tradition and Modernity. Suny Press, 2015.

The book looks at the culture of the Muslims of Malayali; the family, marriage, and home life of the ethnic, religious book. The author, who is a Professor Emeritus of Islam looks at how the social adaptation of the Kerala Mappilas led to their current status as one of the most successful groups in the Malayali. The group fused modernity with the traditional Islamic culture that resulted in the Mappila culture that produced a model of social harmony. There is the Indo-Muslim influence in the Mapilla culture. European influence is present; the modern secular education, and family planning techniques. The marriage ceremony, which is a simple contract between the boy and the girl’s father, is majorly according to the Quran, but there is some Hindu influence like the payment of gold as dowry or wearing of saris by the bride. Divorce is allowed, but according to the Quran. The book also covers the family life. The family co-exists mutually in a homestead. The Mapilla, are a patriarchal society and well-developed inheritance system. However, there is the Marumakkathayam or the traditional matrilineal system. I chose this book because the author is a renowned scholar, and content found in the book covers what I am researching on.

Pothan, Sidney George. The Syrian Christians of Kerala. Asia publishing house, 1963.

The people of Kerala or Malayali consists of three main religious groups; Hindu (54%), Muslims (24%), and Christians (18%). Though they are found in the same geographical location mainly in India, they have slightly different lifestyles. Sidney George, the author of the book above, concentrates on the way of life of the Christians who are also called the Syrian Christians. He looks at the institution of marriage, family, and home life of the Christians in that particular ethnic group. This research presents the claim that the Syrian Christians have a strong Jewish connection and identify with ‘The Way and Life of St. Thomas’. However, much of their lifestyle has been influenced by their neighbors the Hindu and Muslim. The book gives a step by step account of how a marriage ceremony is conducted; from the moment the marriage proposals are mooted through a broker to the end when the couples cohabit together. Also, the study looks at the family and home life of the Christians of Kerala. It is a patriarchal system, where the father, often called ‘karnavar’ is the head of the family. The property is shared among the sons, and the youngest son inherits the family house (tharavadu veedu). There is much more relevant information regarding the lifestyle of the Syrian Christians covered under this book.

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