Transnational migrants in the United States find various ways to maintain tradition practices and beliefs. For satsangis (worshippers) at the Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Los Angeles, California, the temple provides a space for cultural and religious socialization and reinforcement. Hindu Indian women are considered the keepers of spirituality and therefore are given the responsibility of providing a culturally appropriate model for younger generations. Women are almost solely responsible for socializing youth. It has been argued that individuals often cling tighter to tradition after migrating out of their place of origin. Challenges to worldviews through a new dominant society increase the urgency and desire to preserve cultural practices and beliefs. How, then, are women at the temple challenged to maintain cultural and religious ideologies regarding proper behavior in the midst of America's pluralistic “culture”? What does it mean to be a “good” Swaminarayan Hindu woman? This study will attempt to understand the myriad perspectives women hold regarding morally appropriate behaviors and practices that constitute the activities of the “good” Swaminarayan Hindu woman: the moral woman. How in this community through social commentary, narratives, stories, and actions do we know how one becomes a “good” Swaminarayan Hindu woman?
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Cultural anthropology, South Asian Studies|
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