maps & general resources,
languages & writing, history, what is "culture"? religion & texts,
orature & literature, women, arts & cultures, film, and indian diaspora.
Human Languages Pages (from Willamette Univ.): Bengali,
The Languages and Scripts of India (from Y. Malaiya, Univ. of Colorado), including links to stunning manuscript illuminations and calligraphy.
See North Indian scripts, and an example of Devanagari script, or an Urdu-English Dictionary
INDIA: Ethnologue, 13th Ed. (Barbara F. Grimes, Ed., Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc., 1996)
From India Home Page (Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India): Indian Culture links, including Indian Languages - "India's official language is Hindi in the Devnagri script. However, English continues to be the official working language."
Sanskrit: The World Wide Link for the Sanskrit Language (from John Scottus School, Ireland)
Sanskrit documents with English translations
Online dictionaries of Indian languages
Hindi Language Resources (lots of good links)
Hindi: The Language of Songs (includes timeline)
Indian names and their meanings
The Religious World of Letterforms (Buddhist, Islamic, Indian)
From the introduction to Peoples and Languages in Pre-Islamic Indus Valley (Dr. Tariq Rahman, Fulbright Visiting Fellow, Univ. of Texas): "What was the language of the Indus Valley, present-day Pakistan, in the pre-Islamic period? Did this region have one language or many? Did it have one language family or many? In which script, or scripts, were they written? These questions cannot be answered by the linguist alone. To answer them one needs the help of the archaeologist, the historian and the anthropologist."
Tamils - a brief introduction to their history, culture and literature (Prof. A. Veluppillai) from Tamil Electronic Library).
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See Hum 210 Timelines of Asia: China, India, Japan
Get your bearings from this map of Indus River Valley Civilizations from World Cultures' India Atlas.
Tour slide exhibitions of ancient Harappa (2600-1900 BCE: see map of the region), of Dr. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (b. India), Professor of Anthropology, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison; and Co-Director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project (HARP) and its continuing excavations at the site. This excellent site includes an introductory essay and timeline, A Walk through Mohenjodaro, and Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley organized by the Elvehjem Museum of Art, with the Dept. of Archaeology and Museums, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Government of Pakistan.
From Around the Indus in 90 slides: "The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the world's first great urban civilizations. It flourished in the vast river plains and adjacent regions in what are now Pakistan and western India. The earliest cities became integrated into an extensive urban culture around 4,600 years ago and continued to dominate the region for at least 700 years, from 2600 to 1900 B.C. It was only in the 1920's that the buried cities and villages of the Indus valley were recognized by archaeologists as representing an undiscovered civilization."
Exploring Ancient World Cultures: India, Univ. of Evansville's initiative to "produce a college-level textbook on the World-Wide Web that is available to everyone free of charge," including a Chronological Space/Time Index and other search capabilities. Chronology: India
Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India, by
David Frawley (published in The India Times): Frawley is
a well-known Vedic scholar, who runs the American Institute of
Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a famed Ayurveda doctor,
and author of Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of
From the introduction to The Aryan-Dravidian Controversy, a scholarly article also by David Frawley: "The British ruled India, as they did other lands, by a divide-and-conquer strategy. They promoted religious, ethnic and cultural divisions among their colonies to keep them under control. Unfortunately some of these policies also entered into the intellectual realm. The same simplistic and divisive ideas that were used for interpreting the culture and history of India. Regrettably many Hindus have come to believe these ideas, even though a deeper examination reveals they may have no real objective or scientific basis. One of these ideas is that India is a land of two races - the lighter- skinned Aryans and the darker-skinned Dravidians - and that the Dravidians were the original inhabitants of India whom the invading Aryans conquered and dominated. From this came the additional idea that much of what we call Hindu culture was in fact Dravidian, and later borrowed by Aryans who, however, never gave the Dravidians proper credit for it. This idea has been used to turn the people of south India against the people of north India, as if the southern ers were a different race."
Scholarly articles of related interest:
Sarasvati-Sindhu Civilization (c. 3000 B.C.) by Dr. S. Kalyanaraman - One of the tentative conclusions in need of further research: "This may mean a new paradigm in our protohistoric studies. Aryans and Dravidians and perhaps Mundas lived in harmony in this civilization. The so-called indo-aryan and so-called dravidian languages may have originated from the common lingua franca spoken by these people on the Indus and Sarasvati river valleys."
Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory, by Dr.Dinesh Agrawal - the Introduction: "Aryan Race and Invasion Theory is not a subject of academic interest only, rather it conditions our perception of India's historical evolution, the sources of her ancient glorious heritage, and indigenous socio-economic-political institutions which have been developed over the millennia. Consequently, the validity or invalidity of this theory has an obvious and strong bearing on the contemporary Indian political and social landscape as well as the future of Indian nationalism. The subject matter is as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago when it was cleverly introduced in the school text books by British rulers. The last couple of decades have witnessed a growing interest among scholars, social scientists, and many nationalist Indians in this some what vapid and prosaic subject due to their anguish on the great damage this theory has wrought on the psyche of the Indian society, and its tremendous contribution in creating apparently lasting schism between the different sections of the Hindu society."
These two sites will take you through several major phases of Indian history:
of India (Indian government
Ministry of External Affairs): Table of Contents links,
with images, to |
The Indus Valley Civilisation
Aryans and the Vedic Age with links, including Hinduism: An Eclectic Religious Tradition and the Mahabharata
Rise of Religions and Emergence of the State: The Gupta Age and The Southern Kingdoms
The Muslim Invasions, including the impact of Islam, and images of the four great Mughal emperors: Babur, Akbar, Jehangir, and Shahjehan
Coming of the Europeans
The Struggle for Independence
The New State
See the Taj Mahal in color, more images of the Taj Mahal and Northern India (Univ. of Pennsylvania)
Chronology of Bharat (India) [Contributor:Alok
Vijay (on soc.culture.indian]; |
Builders of Indian Civilisation (From Builders of Indian Civilisation by P.L. Bhargava, Asian Humanities press, Berkeley, California, posted by: Sandeep S. Bajwa on soc.culture.indian; for the Library Of Hindu History)
Library of Medieval Indian History,at the "end of the Mahabharat War, starting with the reign of Emperor Parikshit. This period also witnessed the Indus Valley or the so-called Saraswati-Sindhu Civilization. This period also includes the age of Mahavira, Buddha and Aadi Shakaracharya. The Maurya and Gupta dynasties also flourished during this period. This era ended approximately in 700 A.D., with the invasion of marauding Islamic warriors on the frontier of Gaandhar, or what is called Afganistan today."
Library of Modern History of Bharat (India) begins with "the onset of Islamic invasions on the frontiers of Gaandhaar (Afghanistan) in 700 A.D. Plunder and destruction continued for about 1000 years under the banner of Mughal rule. Along its course, this period witnessed scattered resistance and challenge to the tyrannical hegemomy from Hindu kings and laymen. The entry of British traders, their annexation of political power and their exit from the country took place from about 1700 A.D to 1947 A.D. The annals of this period proudly record the courage of the Hindus and their struggle to political independence, which finally was acquired in 1947 A.D., although at the cost of country's partition."
Islamic Era: "The Dark Ages"
Figures of history: some Indian rulers
"At the stroke of
the midnight hour, when the world sleeps,
India will awake to life and freedom."
English East India Company (EIC): "On 16 October 1599,
Queen Elizabeth I of England granted a charter to the
EIC, awarding it a monopoly of the trade with the East. The EIC
arose from a grouping of London merchants, ordinary city
tradesmen and aldermen who were prepared to take a gamble in
buying a few ships and filling them with cargo to sell in the
East. At the end of the voyage, after the return cargo was sold,
the profits would be shared amongst the share holders. This
system was known as "joint-stock".Huge profits were
made from the initial and difficult voyages to Southeast Asia,
mainly from the sale of pepper acquired from the Sumatran and
Javanese trading ports and sold in London. Soon, the EIC was
building more and bigger ships and increasing the number of
Of related interest: The Dutch East India Company.
"Stare at the
underbelly of Asia and behold the Indian behemoth:
950 million people - one-sixth of the world's population -
who live in a country one-third the size of the U.S.,
who speak more than a thousand languages and dialects,
and who support more than 21 political parties
in the world's biggest and perhaps boldest experiment in democracy.
India became independent on August 15, 1947, from Britain."
(Vipul Kapadia, Northern Arizona Univ., from India: The Country I Love the Most)
New and Old Dehli, India
The Indian Subcontinent: Historical Contexts
Overview (Post Imperial &
Post Colonial Literature in English, Prof. George Landow, Brown
Univ.) is linked to Literature of the Indian Subcontinent in English.
A sample, from The Notion of Time in India: An Introduction, (Prof. Charles Ess, Drury College, based onHajime Nakamura's Notion of Time in India) "...the substance of things is seen as basically unchanging, its underlying reality unaffected by the ceaseless flux. The Indian does not concede that we never step into the same river twice; he directs our attention not to the flow of water but to the river itself, the unchanging universal. Indian thought places a high value on universality, and the connection between this, and the static conception of phenomena, is of course not accidental. 'The one remains, the many change and flee.'" See also:
"Indian versus Chinese Attitudes Towards History" (Charles Ess, Professor of Philosophy, Drury College) and Conceptions of Time and Classical Indian Historiography (Prof. Charles Ess, Drury College [From Hajime Nakamura's The Notion of Time in India]
"Indian Resentment of British Rule"
The Amritsar Massacre (from the Encyclopedia Brittanica)
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869-1948 (Sanderson Beck)
what the Buddha began.
In the Buddha the spirit of love set itself the task
of creating different spiritual conditions in the world;
in Gandhi it undertakes to transform all worldly conditions."
"If man will only
that it is unmanly to obey laws that are unjust,
no man's tyranny will enslave him."
Mahatma ("Great Soul") Gandhi
"He was the
catalyst if not the initiator of three of the major revolutions
of the 20th century:
the revolutions against colonialism, racism, and violence."
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) from Gale Research
Pakistan: A Chronology
Also try searching H-GIG: World Wide Web Links to History Resources (Dept. of History, University of California, Riverside)
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what is culture?
...find out from this excellent website offered by the WSU Learning Commons - What Is Culture? (Eric Miraglia, Dept. of English/Student Advising and Learning Center; Dr. Richard Law, Director, General Education; and Peg Collins, Information Technology, Learning Systems Group). See the baseline definition of culture, and pursue links on important definitions, quotations, and discussions of culture. Review related links to Women, Culture, & Power, the introduction to Social Organization, or the link to Woman & Gender in the Ancient World. A helpful glossary of key terms, like the definition of symbol, is also provided .
religions&textsMap of India's Religions (indicating percentages of Hindu, Muslim,
Christian, and "Other" believers
populating each region) from Univ. of Texas-Austin.
Comparative Religion & Religious Studies links (Mike Madin, new educational directory Academic Info)
From the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance: Descriptions of 63 Religions, Faith Groups, & Ethical Systems, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, and Taoism.
Religious & Sacred Texts, including links to the Analects, Hindu, Islamic, Sikh, Taoist, Zen, and Zoroastrian texts. From Richard Hooker's World Cultures ("an internet classroom and anthology"):
India Glossary, including dharma, rita (or reta), brahman, karma, samsara, moksha
Buddhism, including origins, Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist readings & glossary of key concepts
links (Religious Studies from Gene Thursby, Assoc. Prof.
of Religion, Univ. of Florida)
Introduction to Hinduism, a hyperlinked essay and useful starting place.
A brief definition of Hinduism (Syracuse Univ. based on an NEH institute on the Ramayana) and a guide to the major deities of the Hindu Pantheon
Political and Social Ethics of India (Sanderson Beck)
The Hindu Universe from diaspora Hindus in North America organized as the Hindu Students Council.
See also Argos links for "Hindu," or conduct a new search at this site.
Hindu Tantric Homepage (also from Prof. Thursby)
Don't miss Vedavid
- an extraordinary site worked up for a
dissertation on early Vedic traditions and texts
of Ancient India (c. 1500 BCE), with "Tourist" and
"Academic" Visa versions (from John Gardner, a Ph.D.
candidate at the Univ. of Iowa).
Religious Texts: Sanskrit Puranas
The Ramayana: An Enduring Tradition - another great learning site and illustrated! - (Syracuse Univ. based on an NEH institute)
The Historical Context of The Bhagavad Gita and Its Relation to Indian Religious Doctrines (by Soumen De, 1996 for Exploring Ancient World Cultures: Essays on Ancient India) with a link to e-text of The Bhagavad Gita
(Trans. Ramanand Prasad).
Guidance through Bhagavad Gita : "This sectarian (as opposed to historical) site features lessons that show the unique way in which the Hindu people apply the Bhagavad Gita to their spiritual lives. Topics for these lessons include God, Peace,
Happiness, Control of Mind, Consolation, Advice, Life in the Universe, Nature of the Self, Secret of Action, How Man Can Step Up, Meditation, Perfect Man, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Fall, Impotent Stagnation and Glory of Gita. Guidance through Bhagavad Gita is part of a site dedicated to the life and work of Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), "a world renowned authority of the scriptures of India, especially Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads." Readers of the Bhagavad Gita will find the list of definitions [e.g., dharma,] from this site helpful."
On the Nature of Brahman: An Introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (Jeff Hooks, St. Petersburg Junior College), including links to The Drama of the Gita and the Film of the Mahabharata
Selected Hindu Gods from "The Brave One Breaks the Bow", one of the Ramayana's most popular episodes narrating the marriage between Rama and Sita.
Images of well-known Temples and commonly worshipped Deities and Information on Hinduism and its major beliefs is presented by Hindu Sanatana Dharma Ashram
Ramakrishna Sanka's The Hindu Pantheon, with names and descriptions of the major deities.
Mohan Ayyar's Hindu Image Gallery of Deities, including Surya (the Sun & Karna's father) and depictions of Mahabharata scenes from the Bhagavad Gita like Krishna advising Arjuna.
Black Peacock's Transcendental Gallery offers an Indian art collection, with works ranging from the 10th century to the present time. The main focus of these works is "the personality of Krishna - the blue, playful God," but Shiva, Ganesha, and other deities are also represented.
Spiritweb's Image gallery: Vedic Deities: Images of Hindu gods in the style of popular Indian posters and calendars
Tour GHEN Gallery's Images of Hindu Temples throughout India and beyond.
Resources for the Study of Buddhism,
Confucianism and Taoism
Buddha and Buddhism (Sanderson Beck, Ethics of Civilization) with links to Siddartha Gautama, Buddha, Doctrine (Dharma), Dhammapada, Questions of King Milinda, and Community (Sangha)
Buddhism for Beginners (Jeff Hooks, St. Petersburg Junior College)Buddha and Buddhism
Buddhist Studies and the Arts with many useful links (hosted by Randall R. Scott, B.S., M.Div., M.A. Research Associate in Buddhist Studies and Classics, Washington University in St. Louis; & The Doyle Gallery)
Journal of Buddhist Ethics (Penn State University/Goldsmiths College [London], USA/UK)
Introduction to Buddhism, "a rough guide to the basic Buddhist teachings in the Theravada ("school of the elders") tradition: including hyperlinked text About Buddhism and The Life of Gotama Buddha (excerpted from The Teaching of Buddha, The Buddhist Bible )
Great photo from UPenn of the Deer Park at Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon.
19th century compilation of "The Gospel of Buddha" (Buddha, ca. 500 BCE); Buddha's First Sermon - The Middle Path (c. 6th Century BCE); the Dhammapada (trans John Richards, 1993), : an anthology of 423 Buddhist verses from The Theravada Pali Canon (Khuddaka Nikaya), embodying Buddhist ethical and spiritual precepts; and "The True Nature of the Buddha" from The Lotus Sutra, "one of the best-loved sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism," the original Sanskrit text "translated many times into Chinese (the earliest being in 225 CE), as well as into Tibetan and other languages." The passage linked is a "key one for the development of the idea of the cosmic form of the Buddha. Note that "Tathagata" "(which means "Thus Gone", ie, having achieved Nirvana) is one of the titles of Buddha."
Sri Lankan Buddhist palm leaf manuscripts (Whitman's Sheehan Gallery)
Buddhist Studies and the Arts with many useful links (hosted by Randall R. Scott, B.S., M.Div., M.A. Research Associate in Buddhist Studies and Classics, Washington University in St. Louis; & The Doyle Gallery)
Islam 101: Introduction To Islam (from the Hebron Institute for Political & Religious Studies) with links to "to help people with no or little knowledge of Islam with the basic[s] of the Islamic religion" (from : "A surprising fact is that a country like India with 12% of its population of Muslim faith, has ...almost a half of the number of Muslims in the entire Arab world," including discussion of the Islamic contributions "to the almost all of the facets of the world's civilization, " and the Taj Majal as an example of Islamic architecture. See background on The Muslim Invasions of India, links on Islam, introduction to Ramadan
Of Related Interest: The Pluralism Project: Religious Diversity in North America "was developed by Diana L. Eck at Harvard University to study and document the growing religious diversity of the United States, with a special view to its new immigrant religious communities. In the past thirty years, the religious landscape of the U.S. has changed radically. There are Islamic centers and mosques, Hindu and Buddhist temples and meditation centers in virtually every major American city. The encounter between people of very different religious traditions takes place in the proximity of our own cities and neighborhoods. How Americans of all faiths begin to engage with one another in shaping a positive pluralism is one of the most important questions American society faces in the years ahead."
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Studies Development Program (ASDP)
Syllabus & Bibliography Collection: Online Resources on Asia for College Courses:
Literature, with reading lists
and bibliographies, provided by the Kapiolane Community College,
the East-West Center and the Univ. of Hawai'i at Manoawith
reading lists and bibliographies (Kapiolane Community College,
the East-West Center and the Univ. of Hawai'i at Manoa)
SASIALIT (Literature of South Asia and the Indian Diaspora) offers a short list of South Asian literature resources.
Heinemann lists a limited number of Asian writers and works, with brief synopses.
Indolink, "your electronic link to India, and Indian communities world-wide!!" links online full-text contemporary Indian short stories and Tamil film reviews.
Immortal Hindi Authors and Poets (from early to modern)
Kaavyaalaya: The House of Hindi Poetry
A Bibliography of Hindi Literature in English Translation (Compiled by Irene Joshi, South Asia Librarian, Univ. of Washington)
Urdu Poetry Page of Shoeb and Faiyaz, a collection of good Urdu Poetry (sheyrs and ghazals)
Indian Literature in English (modern literature)
Indian Writers in English (brief bios with images)
Literature of the Indian Subcontinent in English (Brown Univ.): see Indian Authors and The Indian Subcontinent: Historical Contexts Overview for background essays and literary criticism, including Mourning Past Glories, Colonialism, and Indian Fiction, focusing on Ahmed Ali's Twilight in Delhi (1940).
Books of South Asian Writers (Murali Damodaran, Nanyang Technological Univ., Singapore).
Indian Literature links (Yahoo); Indolink Poetry
Oriental and Indian Collections of the British Library http://www.bl.uk/collections/oriental/
In Hum 210, we read excerpts from Women Writing in India, edited by Susie Tharu and K. Lalitha. "Feminist Politics and Gender" is an interview with Susi Tharu, first published in March 1996 issue of Nirapirikai, a Tamil journal, and reprinted in The Hindu Online.
From the 4th century -"Ancient folktales of India come down to us primarily in two collections of stories many of which are about animals. These are the Buddhist tales of the former lives of the Buddha known as the Jatakas and the Panchatantra [traditional Hindu animal stories considered a textbook for wise conduct in this world] (Sanderson Beck, Literature of India).
of Wonder: Tales from India (Richard
Darsie, UC Davis) Tales 1-10 are taken from Folktales From
India: A Selection of Oral Tales from Twenty-two Languages,
ed. A. K. Ramanujan. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991.
1. Bopoluchi; 2. Why the Fish Laughed; 3. Sukhu and Dukhu; 4. The Ogress Queen; 5. Four Girls and a King;
6. Living Like a Pig; 7. One More Use for Artists; 8. The Magic Bowls; 9. The Dove's Egg; and 10. A Drum
When the sun goes down
to the West,
the East of his morning stands before him in silence.
- Rabindranath Tagore
Winner in Literature: 1913 TAGORE, RABINDRANATH, India, 1861 - 1941:
"because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with comsummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West. " Visit the 1997 Nobel Exhibition: Posters & Text on Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize in Literature, featuring Tagore in the exhibit World War I - Literary Neutralism.
Rabindranath Tagore (biography with photo), won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, wrote Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), a collection of religious poems that especially arrested the attention of the selecting Nobel Prize critics.
The full text of Gitanjali, including the introduction by W. B. Yeats (Sept. 1913), is available from Univ. of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center.
Rabindranath Tagore Home Page (Sandeep Mitra, SUNY Brockport), with a collection of Tagore's poetry and a sample of his handwriting
About Rabindranath Tagore
"It all began with Midnights
Children" (1981, by Salman
Rushdie), according to Debashish Mukerji--the
contemporary "boom" of contemporary Indian fiction in
English. Read the full text of "An
Area of Brightness," from The Week: "The boom is also an
outcome of the growth of a post-Independence generation which
thinks, speaks and writes primarily in English. 'It was thought
that with the departure of the British, the English language was
finished in India,' says Ruskin Bond, who has been writing in
English for 40 years. 'In fact, just the opposite has happened.
English has flowered in India to an extent it had never done in
Salman Rushdie (b. 1947, Bombay); See Paul Brians' Study Guide to R. K. Narayan: The Guide (1958) and Notes on Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses (1988) (Washington State Univ.). Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie, won the 1981 Booker-McConnell Prize, and Satanic Verses won the 1988 Booker-McConnell Prize
Clear Light of Day (1980), and In Custody (1984; and see historical and political contexts for this novel) by Anita Desai (see also another biography and photo)
See also The Week's photos & bios of contemporary Indian Writers in English.
(Pakistan-U.S.; b. India before
partitioning) was 1997 Writer-in-Residence at
See the Sidhwa biography & photo from SAWNET (South Asian Women's Network), including announcement that Cracking India to be made into a film by Indian-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Metha (click Metha, b. Amritsar, now living in Toronto, for photo and discussion of her controversial film Fire). See image of a Parsi Woman (ca. 1860; Bombay, India) from the Bombay Center for Photography. To learn more about the religion of the Parsis, see Zoroastrianism links "[In the last millennium BCE, this tradition probably was at the peak of its influence as a major religion of the Persian Empire. It was overcome by the rise of Islam, and has been preserved mainly through immigrants to India known as Parsi (= Persian) and more recently through their small number of descendants who live not only in India but also in other countries worldwide.]" Traditional Zoroastrianism: Tenets of the Religion.
WWW Virtual Library presents its Indian Image Gallery and links to information on India, including a brief history and facts about the setting of Cracking India: Punjab (from Sukhvinder Singh Jhotti, Univ. of Oslo, Norway). A good map of Punjab and images of Lahore are among the features of Welcome to Punjab: The Land of 5 Rivers, linked to the Sikhism Home Page. Learn more about Sikhism: see Jigar Shah's 1993 article on Sikhism - an excerpt: "The word Sikh is derived from the Pali sikha and the Sanskrit sisya, meaning 'disciple'. The Sikhs originally started out as a movement designed to seek unity between best in Islam and best in Hinduism, but later on they evolved a distinctive religion and culture of their own." See also Guru Nanak Dev, founder of the Sikh religion, and a nice photo collection of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, sacred to the Sikhs. See also links on Islam.
Of related interest: Thoughts on Uniting
India and Pakistan today have been
collected by Raj's World (Raj identifies himself
as a Bengali Indian Mining Engineering student at Univ. of
Kentucky; see also his pictures and text of the Indian
marriages of his sisters).
"Who Am I? Living Identities Vs. Acquired Ones" is a thought-provoking essay about the process of defining and identifying oneself as a woman or man, a Punjabi, a Hindu, a Muslim and other multilayered identities. by Madhu Kishwar, from a Punjabi family uprooted by the Partition of 1947. Kishwar speaks out on gender issues, being a refugee, and having an uprooted identity (Manushi, issue 94, May-June 1996). She concludes:
is our own sense of self so fragile that we need to fear and hate
others merely because they are somewhat different from us?
Predominance of negative ethnocentric sentiments against others
is a sure sign of a fragile, fractured, and uprooted identity.
Hatred of others is usually a sign of self-contempt. Those who
really like themselves, are comfortable being themselves,
are not prone to hatred and aggression towards others."
Bangladesh Online: links to Poets, Novelists, Dramatists, Singers, & Cultural Centres (Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan at the time of partitioning in 1947, seceded from Pakistan in 1971)
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of South Asia Women's Studies (Editor-in-chief
Enrica Garzilli, Univ. of Perugia)
SAWNET offers Articles by & about South Asian women, and SAWNEWS links articles on contemporary South Asian Women's Issues; Women in Politics and Government; Women in Literary, Music, Theater Arts; Women in Business, Science, & Technology; and Women's Organizations, and other news sources.
Journal of South Asian Women's Studies (General Editor: Enrica Garzilli, Sanskrit scholar & visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School) presents papers on varied topics; abstracts available online and full texts can be downloaded.
Prakash India Infobase also offers several papers on Women in India. Online Madhubani Paintings (Prof. Gene R. Thursby, Univ. of Florida) exhibits folk paintings by women artists in the representational but stylized and symbolic Madhubani tradition, depicting the great life-cycle rite of marriage; some of the major goddesses and gods of the Hindu pantheon; domesticated and wild animals. The Madhubani district of northern India, near the Nepal border, is the region where Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) was born.
The Indian Subcontinent: Historical Contexts Overview (from Literature of the Indian Subcontinent in English, Brown Univ.) includes "Changing Images of Women in South Asian Fiction" (Shoshana M. Landow 1991,Princeton Univ.)
and Sakti, Suffering, and Power (also by Shoshana M. Landow, 1991) - an excerpt:
"Hindu culture conceives of self-sacrifice as a form of power. The submissive feminine role has more complexity than in the West. In fact, according to Margaret Egnor, a special, positive power comes from suffering. The goddess Sakti embodies this power; action of this sort is considered inherently female."
arts&cultures India on the Internet/India Mystica offers
Arts, Culture, and Literature, with links to "Indian
Mystica" - "Why
are cows worshipped in India? What
is the significance of the Bindi? How did
Ganesha get his elephant head? What is Om?" Find answers by following the links to Beliefs & Concepts, Customs & Ceremonies, Religious Texts (Sanskrit Puranas), and Nature Worship;
or to Indian Classical Music (learn more about Carnatic Classical Music, Hindustani Classical Music, and Light Classical Music)
Indian Culture links are offered at the India Home Page (Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India), including Religions of India (links to Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism) and Festivals of India.
Famous Hindu Pilgrimages (Peter B. Aikat)
Indian Customs and Festivals; e.g. see Jatakarman, the birth ceremony
Tour Alamkara*: 5000 Years of Indian Art, an exhibition organized by Asian Civilisations Musem, National Heritage Board, Singapore; and National Museum, New Delhi; held at National Museum, Singapore, 1 July 1994 - 1 January 1995. *Alamkara -"a Sanskrit word meaning ornamentation or decoration - describes an enduring characteristic of Indian artistic production, whether in the visual, performing or literary arts." The exhibit focuses on ornamentation of objects made for use in domestic, religious and courtly settings, grouped by "various aspects of Indian life, including the cooking and consumption of food, dress and jewellery, past-times, the world of men and of women, and devotional pursuits."
Timelines of Art History (Michael D. Gunther, 1997) "selective resources on the art history of ancient and non-Western civilizations" including China, India, and Japan, but also more. See India Resources, and history, sites & monuments, images, and texts of India: Harappan (3000 - 1500 BC/BCE) & Aryan (1500 - 600 BC/BCE) and Medieval India (600 BC - 1526 AD)
Studies and the Arts with many useful links (hosted
by Randall R. Scott, B.S., M.Div., M.A. Research Associate in
Buddhist Studies and Classics, Washington University in St.
Louis; & The Doyle Gallery)
Introduction to Asian Art (Prof. Katheryn M. Linduff, Dept. of Art History, Univ. of Pittsburgh) will yield rich cultural backgrounds on China, India, and Japan, if one follows with patience the frames of the illustrated course notes.
World Art Treasures: India (Photos: Jacques-Edouard Berger, 1994)
Indian Dance (an
Seven Indian Classical Dances--with lots of instructive photos and informative (if sometimes hard to read) text--is one of several links offered by Yahoo! Classical Indian Dance.
The Darpana Academy of Performing Arts (at Usmanpura, Ahmedabad, India) also offers brief descriptions and photos of traditional Indian dance, drama, puppetry, and music taught at the school.
Hindi Songs, with links like these:
Musical Instruments of India (Khazana and Treasures Worldwide); see also Indian Music, with links to a 4-part essay, "A Gentle Introduction to South Indian Classical (Karnatic) Music" by Mahadevan Ramesh.
Ragmala - List of some popular North Indian Ragas (Gargi Bagchi).
Sounds of India (from "Boston's favorite Indian entertainment radio show for 22 years," Harish Dang, Binita Dang, Amit Dang, Neil Dang, and Leena Dang)
top of this page
the detailed History of
Indian Cinema from Indian
Cinema and Entertainment
(India on the Internet), or
sample other excerpts from indiaMystica
(a multimedia CD-ROM Encyclopedia) on the Arts,
Culture & Literature of India.
From The Internet Movie Database Tour:
Country Browser: India
Mahabharata (India/UK, 1989), dir. Peter
Brook (b. 1925)
See also All-Movie Guide's Mahabharata, including music by Rabindranath Tagore
The Drama of the Gita and the Film of the Mahabharata, linked to On the Nature of Brahman: An Introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (Jeff Hooks, St. Petersburg Junior College)
Satyajit Ray (b. 1921, Calcutta, India, - d. 1992)
Satyajit Ray's father, Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. In 1940, after receiving his degree in science and economics from Calcutta University, Satyajit Ray attended Rabindranath Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University. His first movie Pather Panchali (trans. The Lament of the Path, The Saga of the Road, or The Song of the Road, India, 1955) won several International Awards and established Ray as a world-class director. Pather Panchali [All Movie Guide] is one of three films in the acclaimed Apu trilogy directed by Satyajit Ray: the other two are Aparajito (trans. The Unvanquished, India, 1956) and Apur Sansar (trans.The World of Apu, India, 1959). Pather Panchali covered main character Apu's early years in his native village, while Aparajito detailed his school years, and the tragedy that temporarily brought him back home. In Apur Sansur, Apu, having abandoned college due to lack of money, hopes to find success as a writer. The Apu Trilogy was based on Bibhutbhusan Bandopadhaya's semi-autobiographical novel Aparajito. Among Ray's long list of films is Ghare-Baire (trans. Home and the World, India, 1984), based on the novel by Nobel Prize Winner Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), also the subject of Ray's 1961 documentary Rabindranath Tagore. In 1992, on his death bed, Ray was given an Honorary Academy Award "for his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures and for his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world." Today, Ray, together with Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak, is regarded by the international film world as one of India's most important directors. (See also Satayjit Ray, from All-Movie Guide)
Movie Page offers information about
Asian Women Film-makers.
Bapsi Sidhwa's novel Cracking India is to be made into a film by Indian-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Metha (click Metha, b. Amritsar, now living in Toronto, for photo and discussion of her controversial film Fire).
Univ. of Penn Library Film Studies
The Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema's Films by Country
All time Great Pakistani and Indian Movies
Hindi Film Reviews (Indolinks)
indianDiasporaStudies on the South Asian Diaspora (South/Southeast Asia Library at UC Berkeley), including Maps Relating to the Indian Diaspora and a link to India50's The Indian Emigre in America, a photo essay by Pablo Bartholomew (Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park, California).
See also "Two ways to belong in America," by Bharati Mukherjee, acclaimed Indian-U.S. fiction writer at the Univ. of Iowa, about the Indian immigrant experience in Canada and the U.S. (New York Times, 22 Sept. 1996).
The Pluralism Project: Religious Diversity in North America "was developed by Diana L. Eck at Harvard University to study and document the growing religious diversity of the United States, with a special view to its new immigrant religious communities. In the past thirty years, the religious landscape of the U.S. has changed radically. There are Islamic centers and mosques, Hindu and Buddhist temples and meditation centers in virtually every major American city. The encounter between people of very different religious traditions takes place in the proximity of our own cities and neighborhoods. How Americans of all faiths begin to engage with one another in shaping a positive pluralism is one of the most important questions American society faces in the years ahead."
AsianLinks pages were first prepared in 1998
& are slowly being updated in Winter 2001 - please bear with me.
See also New Asian Links:
of this page
URL of this webpage: http://www.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/hum210/asianlinks/india.htm
Online HUM 210 Course Resources:
Asian Film Asian Links: India China Japan
Asian Timelines: India China Japan
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| Cora's Classes
more Student Writing | COCC Links
If you're interested in other world
literatures and cultures, visit these course websites:
Hum 211 - Culture and Literature of Africa
Eng 109 - Western World Literatures (late 18th-late 20th centuries)