As a part of Sanskriti Anveshak Lecture Series on land policy, Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture organizes a lecture on issues of wetlands on 9th October, 2010. Presented by Prof. A.K. Bhagabati of department of Geography, Gauhati University, the title of the lecture is Wetlands of Assam: past, present and future.
A popular but unfounded belief has been spread that Hindus have thirty-three crore (33,00,00,000) gods. It is a misunderstanding of the Vedic concept of the State, and hence a misinterpretation of the word koti. Thirty-three divinities are mentioned in the Yajur-Veda, Atharva Veda, áatapatha-Brāhmana and in other Vedic and later texts. The number thirty-three occurs with reference to divinities in the Parsi scriptures of Avesta as well.
In Jaina tradition, as in all Indian communities, marriage is a community event as not only two individuals, but two families are united. Until, and sometimes after, marriage, children generally live with their parents, and it is the parents’ responsibility to introduce them [perhaps with the help of suitable intermediaries] to prospective marriage partners. It is quite misleading to refer to this as arranged marriage – in practice, the couple has every opportunity over a long period to get to know each other, and the decision to marry belongs to them alone.
The foundation of the Khasi society is based on the concept of Kur and Kha. Ka Tipkur ka Tipkha is a respectful recognition of the basic social structure, which consists of either maternal or paternal relationships. All those who are descendants of the same ancestral mother belong to the same Kur or clan and members of the father’s clan are not Kur but Kha. It enjoins all to know and respect each other, to recognize one’s relation on both sides and to give due regard to them.
Birth, marriage and death are the three pillars of human life and existence. Of these, marriage is a social convention. In the Indian context, marriage has a religious and cultural background associated with it. The Hindus of Assam too have, since ancient times, regarded marriage as an essential responsibility. Therefore it has a distinct tradition of its own and a gamut of customs and rites are intertwined with the ceremony of marriage.
The micro data of different communities of India –its castes and tribes – if put together and viewed in macro frame-work often leads us to the threads of unity. The apparent diversity, the cultural plurality gives way to commonality of cultural elements, our cultural continuum. Our approach brings a lot of difference – the approach whether we want to emphasize the diversity or intend to search the basic materials of culture, the permutation and combination of which make the difference.