The Caste System In India
Although it may not be obvious at first sight, the caste system is much like same as most society. It may look at it as strange, but if you really look into American society, many parts of the caste system are lived by us. In American society, it just is not written down as a law by which we must live. If it were a law, individuals in American society would have broken it many times, but most of it still would have followed much of it. The caste system is not a law but a tradition that involves religion. Three main things make the caste system like American society. The caste system's history, social levels, and especially the infamous untouchables make the Indianan caste system interesting.
The history of the caste system is very curious. It is a very old system. In fact, it was developed more than 3,000 years ago. Aryan priests had created it to divide society. This happened in India (Encarta). The original name for this system was jati, meaning groups related to birth. When Portuguese explorers came to India, they misinterpreted the word as caste, meaning a system of classes (Nyrop 221). This system is only practiced by Hindus, but since most of India was Hindu, it got into the law (Encarta). Obviously, only Hindus had to follow it.
One great Hindu hero was Gandhi, who was in the lowest caste, the untouchables (Benderly 198). In dividing society, the priests made themselves in the highest caste and menial workers or polluted laborers the lowest caste. The caste system has probably lasted so long because of the way the castes are assigned to people. The person's caste is the caste of his/her mother and father.
They are in the same caste because they can only marry within your caste (Encarta). The castes were basically made for the different occupations. If your parents were candle makers, then you would also be a candle maker. There are names given to the basic castes in the caste system.