Ceremonial- Paan Supari
- A food that combines betel leaf with betel nut (Supari or areca nut).
- It is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects.
- It is a tradition to offer paan to guests after tea or meals.
Shira and Puris
- Shira – sweet made in India. It is served with green chili or raw mango pickle
Housing for the untouchables
- It is considered unacceptable for people in upper class of the caste system to see those that are below them to own a better housing than them. This is not just an insult but also a violation to the law in the caste system.
- Dalits are still denied for an access to land even with the Civil Rights Act of 1955 and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Act of 1989.
- Then, write 1-2 paragraphs about the way that the caste system and the plights of the Dalits (untouchables) are portrayed. Try to connect to our unit theme and consider what makes this issue facing Indian society particularly complicated or difficult to address. This section should be comprised of your own original thoughts, and you don’t need to worry about writing a summary of the story or anything like that.
Dalits are portrayed as the untouchables, the broken people. It is the position that no one dream to be in because Dalits live in the bottom of India’s social order known as the caste system. It is also impossible to escape because it is determined by birth. Karma and beliefs also come into play because they belief that a person’s position in life is based upon their good deeds and sins in their past life.
As you can see in the story, Dalits are looked down upon and even discriminated against. Dalits is also not included in the caste system since this “fifth group” was created to perform tasks considered “too menial or degrading” to be performed by other caste members. This is also why they are sometimes called the “outcastes”.
It is also very funny how much I can relate this with Boonma’s family in No Way Out. To me, they are all the same. They face the same problem, stuck in a position, and they don’t have any solution to get out of that position. For Boonma, it’s not being able to escape from the poverty, and in Bayaji’s case, it’s not being able to escape from the cruel system his family and himself are stuck in. Poverty and Dalits have the similar structure. Both are given to people by birth, and it is usually impossible to escape. Either it is because of the wide gap between the rich and the poor, or because of the unspoken rules of the caste system. No matter how hard Bayaji and Boonma try, it seems that their efforts always go to ruin. But, for wherever there is darkness, there will always be light, in this case, the solution. It is unfortunate that poverty can’t be easily escaped, but escaping from Dalits class is possible. In the present, there are laws that are deintensifying the amount of discrimination being given to the Delits.
In my opinion, it will still take a long time to change the way people think. We can’t ignore the fact that this unique culture and tradition of “caste system” was molded for more than 1000+ years. We, the foreigners, can’t really force Indian people to change what they believe in a short period of time. We might view this system as unethical or dehumanizing, but for Indian people, just like viewing those who are in poverty, they might think that those in that class, the dalits, actually deserve their positions.
It is sad, but “This Is Life”…. unfortunately….