SV: SV: SV: Kinship systems

V.C.Vijayaraghavan vijay at VOSSNET.CO.UK
Thu Oct 12 07:58:07 UTC 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lars Martin Fosse" <lmfosse at ONLINE.NO>
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2000 4:13 PM
Subject: SV: SV: SV: Kinship systems

> V.C.Vijayaraghavan [SMTP:vijay at VOSSNET.CO.UK] skrev 11. oktober 2000
> >This shows that neither the language family nor the same language can be
> the
> >marker of ethnicity. Closer to Taminadu, Tamil Muslims in Srilanka speak
> the
> >same language as the rest of the Tamils, but they are classified as a
> >separate ethnic group - on their own request.
> An interesting and enlightening example! Ethnicity has a lot to do with
> identity, who you "feel" you are. That is why it is difficult to define in
> exact terms. Thus, Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats belong to the same "race",
> and speak practically the same language. However, they belong to three
> different religions and have three separate identities. On the other hand,
> I would guess that an American Catholic would be ethnically American and
> Catholic in terms of religion. There is no ethnic Catholicism in America,
> and religion is not an ethnic marker in the US. Or is it?

I agree that ethnic identity is what people 'feel' about who they are. It is
what a person would like the world to know and how he/she would project
himself/herslf in their most intimate personal and sexual relationships. On
this basis, I have a marker for ethnic identities.: matrimonial columns in
the case of India and lonely heart advertisements in western countries.

I am sure you are aware of the multipage matrimonial columns in all Indian
newspapers in small letters. There you find people describe their identites.
You find "Ezhava youth", "Balija Naidu bride", Sikh Ramgarhia, Thodai
mandalam Mudaliar, Karuneegar graduate, Punjabi khatri, Valluvar bridegroom,
Tenkalai aiyangar, Telugu Baptist lecturer, Syrian christian Graduate,
Mulukunadu brahmin and hundreds of other indian identities. But guess what?
there is no one calling himself/herself as Dravidian - with an exception, I
have seen some Andhra dravida brahmin which are a caste group.

I have quickly flipped through more than 100000 mariage ads over a number of
years. But there is never, never, never a Dravidian - either South or North
or West or East India.

This shows dravidian identity applied to persons is a fiction created by
Indologists and Historians. When no one identifies as Dravidian in their
personal relationships and even in the anonymity of newspaper ads, then such
a person does not exist. Ethnic identity , to have any meaning, must have
personal meaning for individuals including their private lives

If you flip through Lonely Heart ads in the west, you can see Scottish
youth, French school teacher, Mediterranean lady, English genleman, german
businessmn, Arab youth and so on. But even in these ads , there is no

I have not come across any American catholic , but if you across such a
description in sufficient numbers in American magazines, then you can
conclude there is an American Catholic identity

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