So a Pujari, a Mullah, and a Priest walk into India…

Hinduism is the largest religion in India. It’s pretty cool too, being so big on acceptance and unity and all. However, I think people should know about the other religions of India as well. From a very young age, it’s been assumed that I’m either Hindu, (She believes in a God with six heads) or Muslim (Why don’t you wear one? [refering to a hijab]). It didn’t really occur to some folks that my brownness didn’t limit me to only two religions. India has about 6 major religions. Here’s a quick overview: glog-9507

After doing some research for this post, I was once again reminded of the large number of Christians in India: 24 million. Which, thinking about it now, I guess makes sense geographically…

BUT that didn’t occur to me last night so I asked my grandparents about it. They said that missionaries came to India and preached to the people. They really struck a cord among the untouchables (very poor people). In some places, the other Indians wanted nothing to do with the untouchables, including in the temples. The Christian Missionaries didn’t go by the caste system, and accepted any converts they could get.

I’ve also been looking into the religion of Jainism. I’ve known it exsists and all, but I never really knew what it was about. It turns out that Jains are pacifists more or less. They’re like Sikhs in that they respect other religions and value meditation. Also, they believe in the Universe as a constant, flowing force, which I think is similar to Buddhism. Also, Jains celebrate Diwali! Whaddup!

It’s true; every once in a while, India will have some sort of religious conflict. That’s hard to avoid in a nation with over one billion people. But overall, I’m pretty proud to learn about how ahead of the times India is in terms of accepting so many religions. I hope one day it’ll be like that everywhere. Until then, we should all try to stay strong, and remember not to judge others on what they believe.

Until next time!

-M

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