At that time I told her that she did not know half the story! As time went on, she attended more and more Indian functions and realized that the main differences between the western and Indian cultures were religion, marriage, and social interaction. The western culture is predominantly of the Christian faith praying to one God. Growing up in the Hindu faith, I always wondered why my mother used to pray to many Gods. As I became older, I built up the courage to ask a Pandit (Indian Priest) why we believed in many Gods whereas all the others believed only in one.
He had informed me that we only believe in one God, Lord Shiva. It may appear that we are praying to many Gods, but in fact we are praying to the many forms that he appeared to us on earth. The Hindu and the Christian religious beliefs are predominantly very similar in that they teach individuals to be good and giving people. The main difference between the two religions is our belief in the after-life.
Christians believe that after we die, we wait to be judged (Judgement Day) and until that time, your soul remains in an everlasting sleep (purgatory). After Judgement Day Christians believe that they answer for the wrongs that they committed upon the earth. This determines whether they go to Heaven or Hell. Hindus believe in reincarnation, which is life after death.
We believe that after you die, your soul is transferred into another body or form. Depending on your dharma (behavior) in your previous life will determine your karma (actions that will affect your next life). If you were a good and giving person, your soul will be transferred into a human, the highest life form. If you were bad, your soul will be transferred into an insect, animal, or a lower life form.
In any case, both the Christian and Hindu religion teach good values, beliefs and morals which constitute an ideal individual. The topic of marriage is quite dissimilar in both cultures. The western belief in marriage is that first, you look for the right person. Secondly, there is the process of getting to know the right person through dating and spending quality time, which can last up to several years.
Thirdly, is the engagement where a ring is placed on the females finger and a promise is made for marriage. Finally, the wedding is where vows are exchanged and a lifetime commitment is made. On the contrary, the Indian culture follows the old tradition of parents selecting the proper mate for their children. In India, the rules of arranged marriages are still followed today. Dating is limited, sometimes, to only the rich or city people. People living in small villages are prohibited from selecting their own mates.
Parents begin the selection process for their daughters around the age of 13 and up to 18 and age 16 to 22 for their sons. After the age of 18, if their daughters are unmarried, gossip spreads and people begin to wonder if there is something wrong (mentally or physically) with the daughter and the selection process becomes difficult. For males, it is usually not that difficult because they are expected to be older than the females due to their maturity level. The selection process is according to status, age, family background, and wealth. If your parents are farmers, then it is highly likely that they will select a farmer for their child because it will be easy for them to maintain a similar lifestyle.
Parents do a family check to make sure that no evidence of crime, abuse, and mental or .