Leonie’s host family belongs to the wealthy castes and thus lives in a gated community in a wealthy neighborhood where they are closed off by poorer people. Leonie’s host mother tells her more about why this is so.
The religious approach assumes that the Hindu god of creation Brahma created the different cates from his body parts.
The historical approach relates the origin of the caste system to the arrival of the Aryans in India in 1500 B. C. , who conquered and took over areas of northern India and pushed the natives to the south or into the jungles and mountains of northern India. The Aryans then organized themselves into the groups known today, which later also included non-Aryans.
In the 1950s, the state promulgated its constitution, which in theory grants equal rights to all citizens, regardless of their caste. However, although citizens have equal rights under constitutional law, the caste system is still present in Indian society today, as people are strongly isolated within their caste. More precisely, we expect people to marry a person within their caste, to limit the dealings with human and economic exchange to their own caste, and to adhere to the specific behaviors and customs of their caste (nutrition, occupation, appearance, etc. ). Even rural communities are structured by slums and gated communities on a caste basis. Thus, even in the 21st century, one can still speak of a deeply rooted caste society.