religious caste

anonymous asked:

I'd like to know what the original names of Undertaker, Finnian, Agni, and Snake were. Is Earl Ciel, Sebastian's first contracted human? Why did Soma decide to save Agni's life? Does the manga explain about Snake's life before he joined Noah's Circus?

Phew! Ok, but give me a moment. On my phone, so I can’t see your ask while I’m typing my reply. Will have to post a partial reply and then edit it….

Undertaker – I think he’s really the Cedric K. Ros-(something) mentioned as the father of Vincent (and Frances) on the earl’s family tree…. This would mean he had been a reaper for some time and had already abandoned the post before siring these children… as odd as it sounds.

Agni – was given that name by Soma, right? No idea what his name was originally, but he was (I think) from a family long-associated with a religious order of Hinduism – he was in the religious caste in Bengal. It should have led to the life of an ascetic, but he rebelled and had become a lush and a lech. Since he was being put to death, his behavior had reached a serious low point; he had fallen into a life of debauchery and crime. Prince Soma saved Agni because he saw potential in him to be useful. That’s about the extent of the reason given….

Finny – who knows. The research facility simply labeled him S-12, since he was the twelfth of who knows how many test subjects. He knows at least some German, though that could be simply from being at that facility for who knows how long. Either that… or German might have been his original language, and the researchers spoke something else (English would be my guess, since Sebastian had to teach him to read/write but didn’t have to teach him how to *speak* English), so he was slowly losing his German. Since the earl was *surprised* that Finny spoke/understood German, I’m now thinking it was his first language, and that the research facility might have been elsewhere…. If that’s the case, then he probably had a German name (if he ever had a real name at all).

Snake – The circus troupe named him Snake, right? It’s entirely possible his parents never named him…. There’s been no real account of his life before joining the troupe… other than that he hadn’t been accepted anywhere or by anyone until the circus troupe came along? I *vaguely* recall something about a freak show that was less-than-kind to him. Perhaps he had once been abused/neglected as a freak show attraction, like caged…. But this could just be in my head, IDK.


Regarding Sebastian, no; I don’t think it’s his first contract. His last contract had been some time before, apparently. The comment about dancing the Viennese Waltz suggests he was active in Austria sometime after 1750 (but a good deal before 1886, since he was apparently sleeping when the earl summoned him). There’s a good chance he had a contract with either a Hapsburg or someone with strong connections to them (in order to attend dances at Schönbrunn Palace). I’d be interested to know more about that “stint”… and what his given name might have been then. Before that? I haven’t a clue. The manga hasn’t given any other clues to his activities before this contract, not that I’ve noticed anyway.


Thanks for the asks!

A dalit woman colleague of mine came to the university campus wearing a mangalsutra one day and this forms the context for my discussion. An upper-caste feminist professor was a little inquisitive about the reason for wearing the mangalsutra. In a lighter mood, the dalit woman professor responded, “My parents-in-law came to visit me. They insist…” The mainstream feminist said that, “we fought such a great struggle against mangalsutra way back! And you still wear it?!” The dalit professor felt offended by this comment since it implied she was somehow a “lesser” feminist. She realized that the mainstream feminists’ construction of their body is hegemonic in many ways in that it leads to the exclusion of lower-caste/class women studying and working in the urban universities.

It is not uncommon to find in the urban universities, many upper-caste feminists clad in ethnic, handloom clothing (either a kurti or saree), wearing terracotta/wooden/metal jewelry and a crimson red bindi on the forehead. This construction of upper-caste feminist body is partly a post-modern assertion of native culture by upholding the aboriginal skills of weaving and jewelry making. Mangalsutra is opposed by many feminists since it is a signifier of marital status of Hindu women. At the same time, it symbolically conveys that the woman is the property of her husband. Hence, the feminists’ rejection of mangalsutra is a rejection of a manifestation of patriarchy in the name of tradition. But the question here is whether the mainstream feminists have rejected all forms of patriarchy. A bindi on the forehead is a marker of Hindu woman. Constructing Hindu woman figure as the Indian/native woman figure leads to the exclusion of other women. Similarly, many feminists have neither rejected bindi nor the religious/caste position that comes from the patriarchal family structures.

The reason for the dalit professor’s discomfort has been that the construction of the upper-caste feminist body has become hegemonic since it excludes the Muslim, Christian/dalit feminists. Dalit feminists who wear mangalsutra or gold jewelry and Muslim feminists who wear burqa are often perceived to be lesser feminists or not completely free from patriarchy. But mainstream feminists too have not yet rejected certain privileges of their own social position in the intersecting caste and patriarchal structures. For example, many feminists have not rejected their surnames, family/caste names, husband names, caste/religious status. Surely, some feminists are more equal than others. While rejection of mangalsutra is considered rejection of patriarchy, rejection of caste markers have not been a significant deliberation within mainstream feminism.

The battle grounds we choose depend on the oppressive structures from which the individual and collective subjugation emanate. This is the reason why feminists are not a monolithic group. They come in different shades such as liberal feminists, radical feminists, Marxist and socialist feminists, third world feminists, black feminists, eco feminists and yes, dalit feminists. Each layer of feminism targets a particular oppressive structure that leads to the subjugation of a particular social group. For a dalit woman, the rejection of wearing gold ornaments is oppressive while for upper-caste woman, the insistence on wearing gold jewelry is oppressive.

bell hooks says, “Being oppressed means absence of choices!” Hence, such absence of choices leads dalit women to embrace marriage in certain contexts. Gopal Guru considers marriage in the case of Devadasis as the ‘rejection of rejection’ since they challenge the oppressive tradition by marrying a man and refuse to be the wife of some god or goddess. Here, marriage (though an oppressive system) in this context is “a radical alternative to fight reduction.” Similarly the case of a dalit woman professor wearing mangalsutra (or not strongly rejecting it) may be a statement on her rejection of being accessible to other men (though her parents-in-law’s insistence may be a mere imitation of Brahmanism) because the traditional ideology of considering dalit women as sexually accessible is prevalent in the urban universities as well. Such ideology is evident in cases like that of Sunita, a post graduate student of University of Hyderabad, who committed suicide after being allegedly sexually exploited by an upper-caste Reddy student from the same university. In Nagarjuna University, a dalit woman teacher committed suicide after being sexually exploited by an upper-caste male colleague. Similarly, many dalit women students have been facing sexual harassment by both upper-caste and dalit men in prestigious educational institutions of India.

—  T. Sowjanya, “Have savarna feminists rejected markers of caste and patriarchy?”

ninjaxenomorph  asked:

I've been working on a character recently. She is an Indian biologist and genetic engineer. She was born in India in the 1950s with a host of congenital disorders. Her (Hindu) family immigrated to the US to seek better opportunities, where her extreme aptitude was discovered. I'm having trouble with her name. There is a history of names being somewhat meaningful in the work (a US Marine named Murphy, for example). I've worked out her given name as Bhawani, but haven't moved far from there.

Indian Surname to Reflect a Biologist/Engineer 

So you’d like to give this Indian character a surname that reflects her work as a biologist/engineer, but you would also like to be accurate to Hindu naming convention?

It’s not really as simple as just giving you a few suitable names to choose from, because Hindu naming conventions are hugely variable based on time period, region, family history, religious sub-group identification, etc.  Plus, the 1950s in particular were a period of huge flux in naming conventions, for various reasons, and you had different groups adopting different conventions, and sometimes ever different members of the same family adopting different conventions.

Traditionally there are a few options for a full name.  They all revolve around a <given name> + <group identifier> formula, and over time what I’m terming the “group identifier” usually morphed into something resembling a surname.  This usually started similarly to some last names in the west, as a marker of occupation (Patel, Deshmukh, etc.), religious sect or caste identification (Iyengar, Shastri, Acharya, Menon, etc.), place of origin (Mehwala, Kanchi, etc.), or other semi-random identifiers (Thampi, for instance, just means “little brother” and referred to the younger brother of a king, and later, his descendants).  Sometimes some ancestor’s given name ends up as a descendant’s family name (this is the case with mine, actually—my last name is so because it was my paternal grandfather’s given name).  Additionally, the core name formula can acquire various accoutrements, such as father’s given name, town of ancestral origin, etc.  Sometimes the group identifiers can fall before the given name.  Sometimes multiple group identifiers fall in various places in the name.  I had a great-grandfather called Sarukkai (ancestral village, even thought I don’t think he was born there) Gopal (father’s given name) Srinivasa (given name) Acharya (religious/scholarly marker).

Basically it’s a huge crapshoot.  You need to know your character’s regional background and religious and status ancestry to some extent, in order to come up with a realistic name.  This Wiki page is an okay place to start, but needs cleanup and won’t give you many name meanings.

To come up with a “meaningful” name (aren’t all names meaningful?—I guess you’re kind of going with a common conceit here, of having a character’s name just coincidentally reflective of their life choices; nothing wrong with that, I guess), the problem is that most Sanskrit words related to biology or engineering don’t make good family names.  Sanskrit for “biologist” is jīvaśāstri.  Shastri (< śāstri) is a good last name.  Jīvaśāstri is not, kind of like how “Smith” or even “Silversmith” or “Goldsmith” are fairly common English last names, but “blacksmith” is not.  The word for “engineer” is yantri but that is also not used as a last name.  In fact, if you look up Sanskrit terms for various sciences, you’ll find that Indians are naming their tech startups after these things, not their children.  Similar problems arise even with more generic terms.  “Malin” comes from mālī, which means “gardener” (sort of a biologist, I guess), but that’s not a common last name (“Mali” can be a caste surname but that’s a place-of-origin name and doesn’t come from the word for “gardener”).  I’m afraid you may be setting yourself up for a lot of extra work.

You could use the onomastic chaos of the 1950s to your advantage.  This is a time when parents’ given names were becoming children’s last names, especially among families moving to the west, and while it would be kind of weird, it wouldn’t be unheard of for a family to name their son Yantri or Jantar or something, and this could conceivably pass into use as a last name among that person’s children.  I guess.  Keep in mind, this relies on a plot device in which parents literally name their child “Engineer”.  Be prepared to explain yourself, which will be more research to do the explanation correctly.

If you search “Sanskrit word for X” you’re very likely to end up at a site called  This is a decent source, but do not trust the romanization.  It is meant for people who already know how to read Devanagari script, so learn to read Devanagari first, and that will tell you how to pronounce the results you get, and thus how to transliterate them into something readable for English speakers.

“Bhawani” is a good name.  It means “creator.”  What does this character create to warrant that meaningful name?  (Something biotech-y, I’m assuming.  I don’t expect you to message back and answer this; it’s just something you should be thinking about if this character is going to have this name.)

-Mod Nikhil

notyourexrotic  asked:

As an Asian who is currently living in an Asian country as a minority: can Western diaspora Asians stop assuming that Asians are somehow "safe" in Asia? Racism is still a MAJOR PROBLEM here even when the oppressor class is not White. And there's all sorts of caste and religious and sectarian etc etc violence.

I agree that racism is totally a thing in Asia and I agree that there are all kinds of caste, ethnic and religious oppressions going on. I’ve never heard of a western diaspora Asian who’s said that kind of thing but they’re wrong. What confuses me here is how there can be a race-based oppressor class that isn’t white people. Unless you’re talking about like…shadeism or something from light skin Asians toward darker skin ones? Which can obviously tie into ethnic based oppressions and such…

Mod W

silver-millennial  asked:

Hi, Can you do a casting of Peanuts [With an emphasis on Christmas] for Sailor Moon. Also please consider my suggested casting, I'd like to see where your opinions differ.

OF COURSE I CAN because “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is my favorite piece of animation of all time

Charlie Brown: Usagi (she believes in that small little tree SO MUCH well after everyone else had lost faith in it but in the end her optimism brings it a second chance at redemption and I’m not crying you’re crying)

Linus: Mamoru (patron saint of pep talks; the main emotional support to everything Usagi does)

Sally: Minako (constantly gets proverbs mixed up and would probably write a letter to Santa asking for straight-up cash)

Lucy: Rei (Rei would have a psychiatric advice booth. Rei would ask for real estate for Christmas. Rei would cast herself as the Christmas Queen.)

Schroeder: Michiru (snarky passive-aggressive musician)

Patty: Haruka (the strongest opposing voice against the sad little christmas tree, and yet at the end still shows up to sing carols with the rest)

Violet: Chibiusa (intentionally spurns ever single thing Usagi says, but secretly, she really does care)

Shermy: Pluto (“every year it’s the same; I always end up playing the shepherd”)

Pigpen and Frieda: Umino and Naru (Usagi accidentally pairs them up as the innkeepers despite their initial aversion to one another once again showing that everything she does brings love into the lives of others)

Snoopy: Artemis (i don’t even know but you know what even cats can inadvertently buy into the commercialization of Christmas)

And, though they don’t appear in this special, I like Mako and Ami as Peppermint Patty and Marcie, and Miss Haruna as Disembodied Muted Trombone Noise.

Three Wise Men, A TFA Meta

This meta is to be read from a cultural aspect, religion is not required at all! ;) Also, it is  not meant to be offensive on any level (I myself am a practicing Christian).

Let’s begin! 

The parallel between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the Biblical story of Christ and the three Magi can be drawn in two ways. Whether this is intentional, or a form of cryptomnesia or it simply has something to do with the, as Carl Jung would put it, collective unconscious is up to debate!

First version:

Adoration of the Magi, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

So, let’s refresh our memory of the story about the Three Wise Men.

The Magi - popularly referred to as wise men and kings a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In The Force Awakens, the three men are central to Rey’s plot. I would like to draw attention to the point that Rey means “king” in Spanish and Occitan - derived from Latin rex. Jesus was prophesied to become the “king of of the Jews” - Matthew 2:1-12. Rey was “born” in a desert (well, alright - left there at the age of 5), on Jakku, just like Jesus was born in a desert, in Bethlehem of Judea.

It is important to underline that the birth of Christ was prophesied, just like, in Star Wars, the One to bring balance to the Force was prophesied. Could the One be Rey?

-Once again - I am by no means attempting to be blasphemous, and I know that no one is like Christ or God, this meta has been written solely around common tropes and storytelling, and in an attempt to spread culture-

The three wise men followed a star, that now goes under the name of Star of Bethlehem, in order to find baby Christ, which led to an assumption that the three men might have been astrologists. The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek μάγος magos, itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e., the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born. As part of their religion, the priestly caste - Zorostrians paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for astrology - at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general (and led to the English term magic), although Zoroastrianism was in fact strongly opposed to sorcery. In the case of TFA, all three men are Force sensitive. Furthermore, Finn “falls” from the sky and sets on to protect a map of the skies, contained in BB-8, Kylo flies around looking for the very same map, and Luke can only be found using the intricate map made up of many stars and planets (I will return to his in the second part of this meta).

Here’s another parallel - at the time around the birth of Jesus Christ, upon hearing about the prophecy of the “new King”, the then Emperor Herod ordered a massacre of all children under the age of 2, known as the Massacre of the Innocents, fearing that he might fall from power. This leads to an assumption that it might not have been Kylo Ren/Ben Solo who massacred the Padawans, but that it was done by people who feared the power the Jedi might wield (described in a bit more detail in these two lovely metas - not mine - by @reylo-in-the-stars and by @loveyournightmare ) .

The three Magi developed distinct characteristics in Christian tradition, so that, between them, they represented the three ages of (adult) man, three geographical and cultural areas. In the normal Western account, reflected in art by the 14th century (for example in the Arena Chapel by Giotto in 1305) Caspar is old, normally with a white beard, and gives the gift of gold; he is “King of Tarsus, land of merchants” on the Mediterranean coast of modern Turkey, and is first in line to kneel to Christ. Melchior is middle-aged, giving frankincense from his native Arabia, and Balthazar is a young man, very often and increasingly black-skinned (this has been subject of considerable recent scholarly attention; in art it is found mostly in northern Europe, beginning from the 12th century), with myrrh from Saba (modern south Yemen). Their ages were often given as 60, 40 and 20 respectively (coarsely the different ages Luke Skywalker, Kylo Ren and Finn represent), and their geographical origins were rather variable, with Balthazar increasingly coming from Ethiopia or other parts of Africa, and being represented accordingly.

The age trope is a very common trope known as “The Three Faces Of Adam”.

The Allegory of Prudence (c. 1565–1570) is an oil painting attributed to the Italian artist Titian and his assistants

Apart from representing three different ages of a man, the painting has been seen as an allegory about sin and penitence.

As tropes, the three faces represent:

The Hunter (Finn): The man who thirsts to find himself by striking out into the world; is usually the youngest of the three. May be afraid of what the future has in store for him and be Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life. Or, he might be ambitious with dreams that he lacks the skills and resources to fulfill. Because he has so few things he values, he will tend to take risks to get what he wants.

The Lord (Kylo Ren): The man who struggles to maintain stability against the ebb and flow of the world. In the place of naivete there is now knowledge of the world, both of its dangers and of its wonders. He has an established place in the world and a reputation to maintain, and possesses the skills and resources to keep them. He must strive to achieve a balance between fulfilling further goals without risking his losing what he already has or becoming too obsessed with what he possesses to progress forward.

The Prophet (Luke Skywalker): The man who looks back on his life; usually the oldest of the three. His knowledge and experience has grown into wisdom and he seeks to impress that wisdom on younger generations. Has either fulfilled or given up on his aspirations; if he does have any goals, they will either be fulfilled through a proxy or be a gift to the younger generation. His fears center on what will happen after he is gone, both to his legacy and to the world itself.

Usually, The Hunter is The Hero with The Prophet as his Mentor, while The Lord is the Big Bad, although there are variations.

(the descriptions of the tropes and sentence that follows them quoted from

Back to the Three Wise Men.

As mentioned earlier, each man brings a gift to baby Christ. The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.

Gold - brought by Caspar (in this case, the equivalent of Luke Skywalker) - symbolically associated with perfect or divine principles (the teaching of the ways of the Force), the wisdom of aging and fruition (self-explanatory), and, in some forms of Christianity and Judaism, gold has been associated both with holiness and evil (the duality of the Force).

Frankincense - brought by Melchior (in this case, the equivalent of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo) - I am going to quote “GOLD AND FRANKINCENSE, A Sermon by Dean Scotty McLennan (University Public Worship, Stanford Memorial Church)” :
“Second, the gift of frankincense suggests to me a new kind of spirituality that joins head and heart, biblical text and later-developing traditions, the historical and the legendary, the scientific and the poetic. Mature faith, as distinguished from the wonder of childhood, needs to make sense of all that we know in our lives and experience, rather than becoming “blind faith” or a “leap of faith.” If we grow up our faith beyond childhood and adolescence, it’s possible to find a new simplicity on the far side of complexity, as Oliver Wendell Holmes and Alfred North Whitehead both described it.” 

Frankincense was reintroduced to Europe (from Jerusalem) by Frankish Crusaders, although its name refers to its quality, not to the Franks themselves. Speaking of Crusaders - a lot of inspiration has been drawn from Templar Knights in the creation of Kylo Ren’s character.

Myrrh -  brought by Balthazar (in this case, the equivalent of Finn) - symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction. Being an embalming oil, myrrh is also a symbol of death. Whether this denotes Rey’s or Finn’s suffering and death is yet to be seen. I think that it’s not impossible that Rey will actually at some point battle Finn, as suggested in this meta - by @hello-reylo .

The second way the parallels between the stories could be seen is through this trio (to which a lot of the aforementioned applies as well), also searching for this star-map in order to find a very special man…

Feel free to comment! ;)

Disclaimer: I own nothing, all the rights belong to Lucasfilm, and the companies and artists behind Star Wars; entertainment and educational purposes only.

Sources - wikipedia,,

anonymous asked:

Cultural question; can/do Indian men wear a bindi? I'm writing a male indian character who wears a bindi.. More women wear the bindi but I've seen lots of Indian men wear it as well; and as long as they are part of the culture; would it be alright? Help please!! Thanks :)

Can Indian Men Wear A Bindi?

I can’t tell you my opinion on bindi because as a Tejano I’m about as Hindu as hamburgers and don’t actually have an opinion (and if I did it would be irrelevant). But I am answering because there are some questions that suggest you aren’t either willing or prepared to do the research and “can men wear bindis?” frankly is one of those questions. Unwillingness to research is not something anyone can fix but the unwilling. Preparedness is something I can help with, however:

When you research, you have to remember that you don’t know what you don’t know. You have to ask questions that assume that what you know about a subject is unreliable, flatly untrue and/or incomplete. So, of those men you saw, were they ACTUALLY Indian and were they ACTUALLY wearing a bindi?

YOU need to go find out.

A bindi is a type of tilak. There are all sorts of tilaks/tilaka for different uses (e.g. decorative vs. religious) and there are tilaks specifically reserved for certain classes/types of people (the color/shape may denote a certain caste or religious devotion like shaivite vs vaishnavite), for special occasions (e.g. weddings vs. everyday). On top of all that, there are all sorts of cultural expressions of tilaks (e.g. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, Bangladesh). Each language has its own terminology (the Hindi bindi, the Bengali tip, the Nepali tika, etc.). Each region usually has variations of tilak (narrow it down to the Iyenegar Tradition of South India and there are Thenkalai and Vadakalai). There are rich histories behind these markings and the use of them is not always the same as originally intended (e.g. bindi are still something traditionally attributed to married Hindu women as far as I am aware, but some people who wear them aren’t married at all or even just wear them for decorative purposes within their own culture). Perhaps now you have a decent starting point for doing your own homework; there’s a whole, captivating world of potential to look into.

In closing, this question suggests your research priorities are unprepared and you should do some reading for yourself before you begin (or continue) to write this story in order to do it appropriately. I did not want to rudely dismiss you, so I hope you find the information about tilaks helpful, but seriously, Indian men “can” wear bindi in the same way that you “can” do your own research in that nobody is physically stopping you. Someone telling you ‘yes, your character can wear a bindi’ is not going to help you, even if they were in fact A Certified Bindi Permission Giver Outer because your book is not going to just be, “This guy is Indian and wears a bindi.” You are going to ask so many questions that demand research beyond this one so I think it’s best to spur you to go find out about this facet of culture for yourself.

Do we have any Indian, South Asian/Southeast Asian readers who would like to expand on this topic? Thanks in advance!

- El

  • Big Bang Theory: *Is a nice show with non-offensive stereotypes, a nerd getting involved with a cute blonde who makes an effort to be smarter and improve herself, an asexual with autism who is still able to think highly of himself and be successful,involves a religiously and culturally diverse cast, and is a generally funny and enjoyable show with tons of great character development*