By Vineeta Sinha
Sustaining a Hindu universe at a daily lifestyles point calls for a unprecedented diversity of non secular experts and formality paraphernalia. on the point of perform, devotional Hinduism is an embodied faith and down to earth in a materiality, that makes the presence of particular actual gadgets (which whilst utilized in worship additionally hold substantial ritual and symbolic load) an necessary a part of its spiritual practices.
Traditionally, either prone and items required for worship have been supplied and produced via occupational groups. the virtually sacred connection among caste teams and occupation/profession has been in actual fact severed in lots of diasporic destinations, yet importantly in India itself. As such, abilities and services required for generating an array of actual items so that it will help Hindu worship were taken over via clusters of people with out conventional, old reference to caste-related wisdom. either the transference and disconnect simply famous were an important for the last word commodification of items utilized in the act of Hindu worship, and the emergence of an identical advertisement hence. those advancements condense hugely advanced strategies that want cautious conceptual explication, a role that's intriguing and incorporates huge, immense strength for theoretical reflections in key fields of study.
Using the lens of ‘visuality’ and ‘materiality,’ Sinha bargains insights into the typical fabric spiritual lives of Hindus as they attempt to maintain theistic, devotional Hinduism in diasporic locations--particularly Singapore, Malaysia, and Tamilnadu--where non secular gadgets became commodified.
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Extra resources for Religion and Commodification: 'Merchandizing' Diasporic Hinduism
Crucially, this serves to also dent the traditional ‘buyer-seller’ dichotomy and breaks the reliance and dependence on the seller and creates possibilities for autonomous and self-sufficient consumers. Primary Ethnographic Site: Coming to Singapore A concentration on the idea of ‘Diaspora Hinduism’ provides an important context for this research project. Multi-religiosity is a familiar and taken-for-granted reality in Singapore. Forms and modes of religious expression continue to have a presence in Singapore despite her modern and secular outlook.
This also means that the expenditure of all these processes is factored into the final cost of the product by the time it appears on the shelves in the local market. In addition, to these big entrepreneurs who rely on standard, formal mechanisms for trading in ‘prayer items’, are the medium and small-scale entrepreneurs who seem to be able to secure the products they want without ever leaving the country. They function through more informal channels, where it is imperative to be plugged into the right networks.
My engagement with consumption of everyday objects in Hindu religiosity has highlighted two central thematics that I attend to here: first, the question of what makes objects used in Hindu worship ‘sacred’ and second, what are the prospects of disentangling the convoluted modes in which materiality, sacrality and commodity are simultaneously mixed up and implicated in a category of objects, known in the field, as ‘prayer things’? These reflections are grounded in the awareness that the consumption of ‘ritual objects’ reveals a trajectory, a life cycle, including its ‘pre-consumption’ and ‘post-consumption’ moments.