Nature Talk

The ever-increasing human species all over the globe vary not only in morph and genetic composition, but they are also segregated into numerous systems of beliefs and customs. Even neighboring people on a contiguous landmass, keep themselves separated from each other. This tendency to construct an identity for self and a group is perhaps the basis of formation of community. In the hoary past, when communication was not developed, different groups of humans devised their own method of earning livelihood and consequently appease the unseen forces to ensure a trouble free life. From uncertainties, grew system of propitiation, which became very complex with development of civilization. Religion became a philosophy.

Even at present stage of technological knowledge, the practices of propitiating natural and supernatural forces persist. The process differs from community to community according to state of knowledge. Some groups of people with more logical understanding of ‘happenings’ call themselves as ‘developed’ or rational, while branding others as ‘primitive’ and blind believers. Interestingly, it is observed that many people of ‘developed’ categories still seek the blessings of supernatural forces with the aid of the ‘primitive’ process. The ‘primitive’ communities are also not static in their methods. They have inducted various gods and their feminine versions in their curricula of religious practices from the pantheon of neighboring ‘developed’ people.

Religion has also a celebration value. People are found to wait eagerly for the festival. In a country like India, it has been observed that many religion-based festivals have participation by people from various faiths. In this issue readers will find interesting articles dealing with the cultural and religious practices of various identifiable communities.

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