The subject is an Indian male aged 26. His family came to the United States in the 1980s and remained here to work. The subject stated that despite moving to America, his parents and grandmother remained devoted to Hinduism and practiced the same rites and customs as they did at home.
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The subject said that the key distinguishing feature of his culture is domestic worship. In India, most people perform daily prayers at home instead of visiting the church on a regular basis. Indian people have designated places for worship in their homes, which contain images or statues of the deity. The image or statue is located at the family shrine, which is surrounded by offerings and decorations. The subject also noted that for many people, family shrines are not simply a place of worship but also a place of comfort. Apart from praying, people can talk to deities and share their worries. Each day, his family performs at least two prayers at the family shrine – one at dusk and one at dawn. When a person cannot perform the prayer at dusk or dawn, he or she can do it later, but usually has to apologize to the deity for missing the prayer.
Another important feature of domestic worship is that there are various gods or deities to choose from, and each family can choose a deity that speaks to their hearts (Library of Congress, 2017). The subject explained that it is pivotal to ensure that there is a deep connection between the people and the god or deity they worship. Sometimes, the family has separate shrines for several deities, and family members can choose one or a few for their prayers. In Hinduism, there is a general belief that there is no single god but an entire pantheon of deities, with each one having a distinctive personality. This allows people to develop a personal connection to the chosen deity.
Library of Congress. (2017). Hindu rites and rituals: The ceremonies of Hinduism. Web.